Classic Rock

Robin Trower

To coincide with the reissue of his finest album, a rock classic, the guitar great plays six shows in May.


Robin Trower’s titanic presence as an English guitar hero bestriding the US arena-rock circuit in the 1970s has given way to a more modest, homegrown profile in recent times. But he is never far from a recording studio, with a bunch of new songs to hand. His latest album, Joyful Sky, featuring the American singer Sari Schorr, recently topped the Billboard Blues Albums chart. Having not played live for six years, he plays a short run of UK dates in May.

What’s kept you away for so long?

Well covid came in, and that put the mockers on it, really. Thing is, when you get to my age [79] you’ve got to be really careful with your health. There’s not really a great demand in the UK anyway. But

I had to cancel a big US tour.

What prompted your return, with the six shows you’re doing in March?

I did this in-concert video with Sari Schorr to promote our Joyful Sky album, and I enjoyed it so much, playing with the band again, I started thinking: “Okay, I’ll chance it. We’ll do a bit of touring.”

Will Sari be joining you for these dates?

No. This will just be me doing my thing with Richard [Watts, vocals/bass] and Chris [Taggart, drums]. Sari was a one-off thing. It was a great project and a lot of fun to do, but I needed to get back home.

What will the set-list look like? Presumably you’ll do something from your best-known album Bridge Of Sighs?

I’m concentrat­ing on doing quite a bit of stuff that I’ve never played live from No More Worlds To Conquer [2022]. Also a couple of songs that are going to be on the next album. So it’s a lot of new stuff, which will give it a bit of fizz. But I can’t do a show without doing some tracks from Bridge Of Sighs. They’re the most popular songs and I still love them.

History has decided that the Bridge Of Sighs album is your masterwork. Do you agree?

[Laughs] Well it’s certainly my most wellreceiv­ed, most popular, biggest-selling album. But I tend to think of my best work in terms of tracks rather than albums. There’s tracks here and there on different albums which I’m most proud of.

Such as?

Somebody Calling, off In City Dreams [1977], and Little Girl from the same album which I loved for Jimmy’s [Dewar] vocal. Fantastic. I’d put I’ll Be Moving On with Sari as one of my favourite all-time tracks.

“I can’t do a show without doing some tracks from Bridge Of Sighs.”

What do you do to unwind?

I watch football, which is my favourite pastime apart from playing the guitar. I have a soft spot for Chelsea because I was a big Frank Lampard fan, and for Spurs because I’m a Harry Kane fan.

What is life on the road like when you’re seventy-nine?

I’m going to find out, aren’t I? The break has been great because I’ve been able to concentrat­e a lot more on writing. I did the Sari thing, I’ve just finished my next album, and I’ve also got a load of tracks for another album after that. So all that time was well spent. But now I’m ready to go out and have some fun. Playing live - there’s nothing like it.

So this is just the beginning?

Yes. We’re looking at doing the US in the autumn. DS

Robin Trower tours the U K from May 27 to 31. Bridge Of Sighs [50th Anniversar­y Edition] is out on May 17 via Chrysalis.

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