Robin Trower is a renaissance man. Formerly an integral member of classic British prog/blues band Procol Harum, Trower then blazed a ferocious fretboard trail across the ’70’s. His gold standard slew of trippy, power blues solo albums remain the acme of heroic guitar wizardry.
Tonight an expectantly eager and sold out crowd at the Islington Assembly Hall roared their praise as Trower strolled onto the stage with his white Strat in hand. True guitar legends of Trower’s stature let the music do all the talking and opening with “Too Rolling Stoned” started a chain reaction of appreciative cheering.
The creamy, wah-wah infused trademark sound from his Marshall amps powered through the PA as Trower flicked classic licks, like blues-drenched bullets, straight to the target from his Fender. This continued on follow up song “Lady Love” from his seminal Bridge Of Sighs album.
Not content to just rest on the laurels of past glories, Trower and band pulled out an epic take on “Returned In Kind” from the recent 2017 Time And Emotion release. Clearly forging ahead with new directions of styles, Trower blends in his classic sound and weaves a magical effect on this new song.
But it wasn’t long before the showstopping moment arrived with an imperious display of guitar mastery on “Day Of The Eagle”. A waft of entrancing guitar effects seeped through the hall warming the stunned crowd on this chilly evening. It was almost as though one could see the word legend frozen upon everyone’s lips.
Then a monumental “Bridge Of Sighs” itself brought the hall to a standstill with its audio attack of sonic prose.
As fascinating as it is to watch a gilt edged master exhibit his skills in person it’s the quality of his songs that firmly back up this show. And Trower has penned a trail of classic songs, like gleaming milestones marking the way on this evening’s musical journey through his back catalogue.
This was further illuminated by the fabulous stab of tight riffing on “Confessin’ Midnight”, lifted from the heady From Earth Below album.
But to round off the show encoring the title track from this same album, raised the roof to the stars on a glistening night in the presence of a true British guitar legend.
Words: Paul Davies / Photo: Adam Kennedy
Event Date: 27-Feb-2018