Robin Trower & Joanne Shaw Taylor @ Glasgow Arches

4th April 2015
Review & Photography by Gavin Lowrey

This is my first time at Glasgow’s most under rated venue, the Arches for the double delight of Blues Mistress Joanne Shaw Taylor and the Perennial  Robin Trower

The crowd is all in and ready to go as JST  and her band mates make very a low key entrance to the stage, before launching into their opener (the first song from the new Dirty Truth album) the rocky Mud, Honey

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Joanne has been criticised in some quarters for going down a more rockier route on her new album, but Blues, Blues Rock, who cares! it still sounds bloody good to me!

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Second song in is the more soulful “Just Another Word” before we flip the switch into blues overdrive for “Watch ’em Burn” complete with Blistering guitar solo, the sort of track that wouldn’t be out of place on a 70’s ZZ Top album

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There is a stand out extended solo in the Frankie Miller cover “Jealousy” and killer vocals on “Jump that Train”, proving that Joanne really is at the top of her game on this tour.

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The moody “Tried, Tested and True”, complete with another brilliant extended solo and “Tied & Bound” finish off the set.

This was an excellent set and given the fact that the numbers in the audience were the same for both acts, it shows the pulling power JST and her progress musically, bridging genres and the age ranges of the listening public

At the age of 70 most people would be retired and thinking about where they had put their pipe & slippers, but not Robin Trower,  who is still producing quality albums and giving performances to match into his 7th decade.

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From the opening chords of the low key opener “Somebody Calling” and all through the hour and a half set we are treated to an absolute masterclass in the art of guitar playing and moreover absolute musicianship from someone who gets every ounce of sound out of his signature Fender Strat

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This was the 4th time that I have seen Robin Trower (excluding his awesome partnership with the late great Jack Bruce) and like a good wine, he seems to get better with age.

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The set encapsulates Robin’s whole career, including several tracks from his excellent new album “Something’s About to Change”

His band at the moment consists of Richard Taggart on Drums and Richard Watts on Bass and also vocal duties for all bar one of the tracks tonight.

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Both are on top form tonight although the vocals suffered a bit initially in the mix but once the sound guys worked their magic, we were back in the game!

There could have been a volcano erupt in the next room and the crowd really wouldn’t have given a shit as they seemed to be in a kind of hypnotic trance while Mr Trower was giving it his all, and living up to his nickname of “The White Hendrix” at times.

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Show highlights are “Good Morning Midnight”, “Daydream” and ‘Little Bit of Sympathy” along with the classic “Day of The Eagle” of the title track of his best (In my opinion) album “Bridge of Sighs”

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The encore includes the ultimate jamming track “Too Rolling Stoned” giving us the perfect end to an evening that showcased two performers at contrasting  points in their careers but both standing side by side when it comes to the musical message that they are trying to get across.

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