SALISBURY'S guitar fans had a double treat on Thursday night when Robin

Trower played at the City Hall, with Joanne Shaw Taylor in support.

Robin Trower must be one of the longest-serving musicians around, having

started in the fertile Southend music scene in the 1960s. He recently

celebrated his 70th birthday with a new album and a concert tour, with its

penultimate date at the City Hall on Thursday.

Unusually for an artist with a new album to promote, the concert covered his

career right back to early days. Robin Trower plays the guitar with great

emotion and intensity, bending the strings and stretching the notes out for

ever. His style is very effective and expressive, and instantly


Midway through the set the lights dimmed and the band launched into the

title track of the breakthrough album Bridge of Sighs. The opening chords

prompted an appreciative ripple of applause in recognition, and the song

sounded as fresh and as powerful to my old ears as when I first heard it

back in the 1970s.

The evening opened with a set from Joanne Shaw Taylor and her band, making a

very welcome return after her successful headline gig here last November.

She is an excellent guitarist, with roots in the Blues. Her soulful and

smoky vocals are well suited to strong ballads and her singing of her own

song Jealousy was immense.

This was a great evening showcasing two great musicians, both with mastery

of their craft but using it to express themselves in quite different ways.