Robin Trower Newcastle City Hall 12th February 1980

Robin Trower Newcastle City Hall 12th February 1980
trowertix80In 1980 Robin Trower released his seventh studio album “Victims of the Fury”, and went out on tour to promote it. Support for the tour was NWOBHM band Samson. I saw the tour was it called at Newcastle City Hall. It was a few years since I’d seen Robin Trower in concert and I was really looking forward to seeing him again. It was the last night of the tour and the band were on their usual amazing form.
It is unfair to draw too many comparisons between Trower and Hendrix. Although Trower has undoubtedly been influenced by the master, and has said so himself on several occasions, he has his own unique guitar style, and is himself a true master of the guitar. Sadly whenever conversation turns to classic guitar greats the names of Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Richie Blackmore, Alvin Lee and Peter Green will be mentioned, but it isn’t that often that Trower gets a mention. That’s a shame because his playing stands up their with those greats.
Robert Fripp, another guitar great, recognises this and says so in the liner notes on the reissues of one of Robin’s solo albums (1996): “Robin Trower is one of the very few English guitarists that have mastered bends and wobbles. Not only has he got inside them, with an instinctive knowing of their affective power, but they went to live inside his hands. It is the rare English guitarist who has been able to stand alongside American guitarists and play with an equal authority to someone grounded in a fundamentally American tradition. Trower has been widely criticised for his influences. This has never bothered me. I toured America in 1974 with Ten Years After top of the bill, King Crimson second, and Robin Trower bottom. The chart positions were the opposite….. Nearly every night I went out to listen to him. This was a man who hung himself on the details: the quality of sound, nuances of each inflection and tearing bend, and abandonment to the feel of the moment. He saved my life. Later, in England, he gave me guitar lessons.”
Back to the City Hall concert. It was classic Trower drawing for throughout his solo career and starting with the beautiful “Lady Love”. They also played my favourites “Bridge Of Sighs” and “Too Rolling Stoned”. Great stuff.
trowerflashI found a review of the concert on Robin Trower’s official site, by Alan Howard, who drove with his friend from London especially to see the last night of the tour, having already seen the show at Hammersmith a few days before: “The good people of Toon town just went absolutely mental, so delighted they were to see the band. What a great start! So it continued. For some reason, this audience were much more appreciative and vocal than their southern counterparts….It was a great show featuring once again the ‘Victims’ lightshow visuals with their distinctive neon barbed wire icon, as featured on the album cover.”
Set List: Lady Love; The Ring; Day Of The Eagle; Bridge Of Sighs; Jack And Jill; Too Rolling Stoned; The Shout/Hannah; Daydream; Victims Of The Fury; Only Time; Madhouse; Little Bit Of Sympathy.
Encores: Messin The Blues; Rock Me Baby.
Thanks to John for the image of his Trower “flash”.
Tomorrow I’ll roll forward and write about a more recent Trower gig.

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