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Sunday, 29 October 2017

#review #TOMROBINSONBAND @Freshnet @RiversideNcl 28/10/2017 #powerinthedarknesstour

Review: Tom Robinson at Newcastle Riverside 28/10/2017

We walked at the start of support act Lee Forsyth-Giffiths. Lee is a superbly talented bloke with a skill for writing well observed lyrics and singing them them beautifully. Astronaut was a particularly pertinent take on how people aspire to great things then just sit on their backsides and do nothing about it. Because things like that don’t happen to people like us. Lee’s music is definitely worth checking out. One piece of advice though, don’t talk during his set, he can get a bit lairy. I definitely prefer him when he’s singing.

The night was also raising funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and celebrated the memory of David Greaves, a local man who succumbed to the condition but campaigned tirelessly for the charity in his final years. His family were at the gig as were fundraisers and Debs McCoy who raises money for the charity using her music. Debs’ played during the interval which provided a chilled, ethereal corner before the main event. 

You can get her album here:

You can donate to Andrew Greaves’ Justgiving page here 
Andrew is David’s father.

All of the artists on the evening donated CDs to be sold by the charity on the merch stand. 
After a number of Tom Robinson gigs now, I can definitely say you are guaranteed a good night out. This was a special night for a number of reasons. This was one of the last of the 2-4-6-8-Motorway 40th Anniversary Tour. A large section of the audience, as usual were just waiting for that song. A smaller section of the crowd were apparently surprised by Tom’s politics. But as he said, he “couldn’t give a fuck”. The song that truly grabbed me by the heartstrings on the night was Power In The Darkness, the title song of the album which formed the setlist for the tour. The song is so much stronger as a live performance. Tom updates this and other political songs to fit the current climate. 

Tom worked his way through the album with the band, even reminding us where the vinyl would be flipped for side B. The band are energetic on stage with a real passion for the music. Andy Treacey (of Faithless) on drums played a tight set and adapted quickly to the changing live situation. Adam Phillips was stunning on guitar as was the rather groovy Jim Simmons on keys. 

Tom’s CafĂ© Society bandmate Raphael Doyle’s sons Louis and Jesse played their dad’s gorgeous song Never Closer. Raphael was meant to be here to play it but he too is afflicted with MND and was not well enough on this occasion to come out. The performance was live-streamed to Mr Doyle and we hope he enjoyed it as much as we did.
Tom Robinson is full of stories as he’s been in the business for a few decades now. He’s funny, cutting and insightful in his between-songs banter. One thing maybe I hadn’t appreciated before is just how good he is on bass.  I do now. The end of the show came with a “going through the motions” encore of, you guessed, it 2-4-6-8 Motorway. This went on for some time with the audience singing and Lee, Louis and Jesse joining the band on stage. This was a wonderful party-style finish to a fabulous show. Catch him next time!

Happy New Year by Simma


  1. Thanks very much for the mention about my music and kind words.
    Just to say I don't work for MNDA raising money through my music specifically. David Greaves was a good friend of mine. I wrote an album of instrumental music for him while he was alive last year and another album completed on the anniversary of his death this year on 28th September. This was the reason Tom had asked me to play/support him given the event was in David's memory and to raise money for and awareness of MNDA. I couldn't join David's family last year in The Great North Run due to health problems but I really wanted to try to raise some money too for MNDA through donations. So I set up a Just Giving page last year offering people a digital download of the album in exchange for a donation.
    I've done the same this year with the 2nd album and produced cd's for Tom's gig, with the proceeds of sales all going to MNDA.
    My Just Giving page is:
    Many thanks again
    Debs McCoy

    1. Thanks for the clarification Debs. Sorry if I got/gave a slightly wrong impression. Jo.


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