Rich Robinson + Dave O’ Grady @ The Ironworks, Oswestry – 14th February 2012


Review by Paul Davis

Black Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson, on tour to promote his second solo album, ‘Through A Crooked Sun’ came to Oswestry’s Ironworks this evening, the most intimate venue on the UK tour. Along in support was Dave O’ Grady.

Dave O ‘Grady is a Dublin born, Liverpool based singer songwriter performing a blend of folk and blues. His set goes down well, featuring songs from his debut EP, the title track ‘Dirty Little Secret’ and ‘I (Don’t Want To) Love You’. He gets the audience singing along with a cover of ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ and closes with another cover, Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’. Definitely one to watch.

There can’t have been many occasions in the past twenty years, with 30 million album sales and sharing stages with the likes of AC/DC, Rolling Stones and Aerosmith, when Rich Robinson has had to walk through the audience to get to the stage, but that was the case here tonight.

Rich Robinson and his band perform an excellent set, opening with ‘Gone Away’ from the new album. ‘It’s Not Easy’, ‘Standing On The Surface Of The Sun’ and ‘Don’t Hear The Sound Of You’ are other highlights from Through A Crooked Sun, the latter with superb vocal harmonies from the band, reminiscent of something you might hear from the Jayhawks.

Having performed a variety of covers throughout the tour, tonight we are treated to ‘Winter’ by the Rolling Stones, apparently learnt by the band at soundcheck earlier in the day. Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Station Man’ features tonight, this also appears on Through a Crooked Sun.

Rich Robinson, although not a natural frontman like his brother Chris, is quite clearly enjoying being out on the road and getting to these smaller venues where he is close to the audience, there is plenty of banter tonight too, with Robinson responding to shout-outs from his fans.

Closing out the main set with ‘Fire Around’ from the new album and ‘Yesterday I Saw You’ from solo debut Paper, Robinson then informs us that this is the part of the show where they normally leave the stage and go and wait in a little room. Tonight there is no little room so we have to pretend that the band has left the stage. The band then proceed to the encore, with Robinson promising to blow minds, which they do with extended jams on a couple of songs by War, ‘Vibeka’ and ‘War Drums’.

The two hour set ends and for the 150 fans in attendance at Oswestry’s Ironworks this evening, it was a privilege to be there at close quarters with such musical talent and in a great venue too.