Gig Review: Robbie McIntosh (Half Moon Putney, London, April 29, 2014)

Robbie McIntosh is an amazingly talented guitar player and gifted songwriter, most notably playing guitar with The Pretenders from 1982 to 1987 and with Paul McCartney from 1988 to 1994. This was Robbie’s second visit to the Half Moon Putney this year, the first being just last month. Unfortunately I missed that gig but I was determined not to miss this one! It is really exciting to have Robbie back playing solo gigs with his own band again. It has been such a long time since I last saw him playing live.

The first time I saw The Robbie McIntosh Band was back in June 1999 at the Borderline London. He had just released his first solo album, the brilliant “Emotional Bends”. I was lucky enough to see him again in August, 1999 at The Worcester Park Club London, then again back at The Borderline in June 2001 after the release of his second album, the equally great “Widescreen”. The last time I saw him solo was in February 2003 at The Boom Boom Club in Sutton. Since then Robbie has gone back to doing session work and also touring with the likes of Norah Jones and John Mayer.

This gig at the famous Half Moon Putney is to showcase and promote his new album “Turn Up For The Books”, a 14-song collection of brand new, well crafted and sonically rich tracks of varied styles and moods. A great representation of Robbie’s talents as a songwriter, singer and guitar player. The band tonight consisted of Paul Beavis on drums, Steve Wilson on bass, Stephen Darrell Smith on keyboards and the fabulous Peter Hope-Evans on harmonica and Jew’s harp. The turnout this evening is quite disappointing, the venue being barely half full. Part of the reason for this is probably due to the tube strike which is in full swing and possibly not enough prior advertising.

The lucky ones who made this gig got an evening of great music and pure class. Despite the low turn out the band gave it their all and did not disappoint. We were treated to two sets of around forty five minutes each. A fair number of the songs played were from the new album, for example such gems as ‘Biodegradable Man’, ‘Trouble Will Soon Be Over’, ‘Carousel’, Keep it to myself’, ‘Turn up for the Books’, ‘Wonderful World’, ‘Stone Cold’ and ‘From A Buick 6′. Many of the other songs in the set were from the first album ‘Emotional Bends’ including great songs like ‘Scarecrow’, ‘Hang Me On The Line’, ‘Roll Away’, ‘Homesteaders’, ‘Emotional Bends’ and ‘Good Punchline’.

Interestingly there were no songs from the awesome “Widescreen” album played tonight. Robbie did acknowledge this observation and made the comment that people have been asking him if he will play some songs from this album, to which he replied “maybe sometime”.

I was hoping to purchase the new album at this gig but unfortunately Robbie forgot to bring any CDs with him! Instead he took my address and posted it out to me. My copy arrived in the post within two days and was also signed by him!! He is a really nice down to earth person and a true gentleman. He is also a living legend.

Steven C. Gilbert

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