Gig 12: Rich Robinson (The Black Crowes), David O’Grady / O2 Islington /12.02.12

I’m not a die-hard Black Crowes fan.
In fact, I’m not a fan at all.

My Crowes apathy is attributable to ignorance, not opinion.
I know a couple of tracks: Remedy and Thorn in my pride – and I like both – but my slender grasp on their material proved useless when I was invited to see Rich Robinson, Black Crowes guitarist, at the O2 in Islington. He didn’t play either.

So finding myself surrounded by Black Crowes fanatics, I kept my head down and settled into the support act set – David O’Grady.
Who promptly gave  me a headache.
Cheesy lyrics coupled with predictable acoustic guitar – there wasn’t much to cling to.
He even played a couple of covers to try and get the audience to sing along, which mostly fell of deaf ears. My palms began to itch and I shuffled my feet to the bar – this whole gig’s going to be awful.
Wist tried to comfort me, but despite donning a smile, I was starting to look nervously towards the exit.
I could make my excuses, I could leave…

But I’m glad I didn’t.
Rich Robinson and band came out and played wall to wall blues rock – a sound reminiscent of Free or the Bluesbreakers, but with a shy, endearing front man.
The guitar work was fantastic and his voice held its own.
His band were equally good – the keyboardist had some really nice ideas and managed to get a beautiful hammond sound from his Nord keyboard. The bassist was tight and the drummer imaginative.
I’m not sure whether he played any Crowes songs (my Crowes incompetence made sure of that) but I’ve a feeling he didn’t. Whilst the crowd around me may have been disgruntled, I liked the fact he’s playing what he wants to play. Artists develop and he can’t be tied to life previous.
Great gig – thoroughly enjoyable.

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