Tuesday 24 May 2022

Tom Robinson, Metronome, Nottingham

The first task tonight is to find the Metronome which is a new 400 capacity venue on Huntingdon Street in Nottingham. I advertises that it is part of Nottingham Trent University's Creative Quarter Campus. Not that that obscure information helped in the slightest but I found it eventually. It’s a rather posh venue.

I’m here to see Tom Robinson celebrate his 70th birthday tour, two years late. Arriving just in time to catch the support act at 8pm I am surprised to find Tom already on stage. Had I got the timings wrong?

Apparently not. Tom is comparing the show but first plays two acoustic tracks ‘Winter Of 79’ and ‘Fifty’ aka ‘What If We Live To Be 50’ now upgraded to be ‘Eighty’ as obviously fifty is long gone. Then he gives an almost reverential introduction to tonight’s support, one he’d championed on his 6 Music show, Maddie Ashman. Who ably entertains us for another half an hour.

Then after a twenty minute interval Tom is back with his band and we’re into ‘Bully for You’.

His band are excellent. Adam Phillips is outstanding on guitar and capably backed by Lee Forsyth Griffiths, who gets to play his own track ‘Silence Is Death’ mid set.

The rest of the set includes plenty from the ‘Power In The Darkness’ album from 1978, plenty of Tom’s big hits and a cover of ‘Rikki Don't Lose That Number’ which he describes as done in a Roxy Music style that was a very minor hit for him in 1984. While ‘Martin’ is done totally a Capella and dedicated to those we lost over the last two years.  

Tom has always been a bit of a ranter about politics and the state of the country in general which given the current mess we’re in in the UK gives him plenty to rant about. Strikingly his protest songs from the 1970s remain unnervingly valid today. 

He updates some of his tracks for modern times, even the fairly recent (2015) ‘Mighty Sword Of Justice’ which now references party gate among other things and its caustic lyrics were not lost on the assembled audience. There’s non-political banter and plenty of fascinating stories too, which all add to a great evening.

He encores with ‘Only the Now’ a song which urges you to celebrate the present rather than the past or the future and then a stirring performance of ‘Power in the Darkness’ itself, a highly political song that he does wearing a Boris Johnson wig. Which maybe implies that perhaps we shouldn’t celebrate the present too much after all. 

Tuesday 3 May 2022

Feeder, Rock City Nottingham

Supported by Tigress

Feeder do have a habit of picking good supports and Tigress tonight are awesome. Perhaps it’s just my favourite three guitars plus drums and nothing else or maybe it’s a singer who to me seems part Courtney Love, part Lily Allen and part Lena Zavaroni. 


Feeder are back at Rock City for the first time in almost three years, yeah something happened, and with one of the best sets I've them do for some time. It was as if for once if they had stopped trying to please everyone and gone out primarily playing stuff to please themselves and just seeing how that went down.

Out of the set went several of their bigger hits that they've been playing nonstop for years. It was a set list that needed freshening up and they did that on this tour. That said they seemed to get less brave after the first night in Bexhill where favourites of oldies like me, Stereoworld and World Asleep, went out again after just one night.


One that has stayed is Radiation from Polythene which was amazing to hear again for the first time since 1998. The other belter is My Perfect Day, sadly neglected over the years and played far too infrequently.

Then there's Godzilla, a real outlier on Comfort In Sound and not a track I'm overfond of but it growls tonight.

It's a set with five from the new album Torpedo although it constantly reduced during the tour after starting at eight on night one. As the content from Torpedo reduced so did the overall length of the set, ending up a shortish set of 16 songs in Nottingham. There were three tracks from their previous album ‘Tallulah’ and four biggies - ‘Feeling A Moment’, ‘Just The Way I'm Feeling’, ‘Insomnia’ and ‘High’.

Then there's ‘Buck Rogers’ which I know Grant likes about as much as I do e.g. not very much, but his threats not to play it again don't come to fruition as he claims it’s to celebrate Echo Park’s 21st but hey there's always next time.... and he could always have hit us with ‘Oxygen’.

Overall though it’s a fantastic set particularly from ‘Fear of Flying’ (best track on ‘Tallulah’) and ‘When It All Breaks Down’ (best track on ‘Torpedo’) downwards and the last five tracks were just sublime - ‘Radiation’, ‘My Perfect Day’, ‘Insomnia’, ‘Godzilla’ and ‘High’. Three of which come from ‘Polythene’ on the occasion of it’s 25th birthday.

I tell the man so when I meet him afterwards. Along with my mate and his partner, who won’t be happy if I don’t mention our first post lockdown meeting. 

Feeder Setlist Rock City, Nottingham, England 2022, Torpedo