Concert Review

Robert Jon & The Wreck Shine their Light on the 100 Club

RJTW on fire in front of a capacity Crowd at the 100 Club, London

The occasions are rare that a band truly lives up to the hype that surrounds it.  It is rarer still that a band exceeds that hype.  Robert Jon & The Wreck are one of those rare bands that do both, and do it in a style that takes the breath away.  Following on from the critical acclaim for their latest album release “Shine a Light on Me Brother” and rave reviews for the previous shows in this tour the band were riding the crest of a wave and in the mood to party.    At a Sold-out show at the 100 Club, London, they delivered a No-holds barred high energy show that demonstrates why they are praised so highly right now.

Opening the show was Troy Redfern, dubbed as “Britain’s King of Slide Guitar”.  Armed only with a beat-up guitar, a brass slide, and a Kick Drum, Troy kicked off into a short, rocking set featuring songs from his latest album “The Fire Cosmic” and a few others.  Set opener “Sanctify” showed straight away that, even without the backing of a band, the song lost none of its fierce primal edge.  In fact, the stripped back arrangement with screaming slide and pounding drum was perhaps even more primal in its bare simplicity.  A couple of mellower tracks followed, “Falling Down” and “Ghosts”, before Troy upped the pace again on the crazy slide driven “Backdoor Hoodoo” and “Waiting for Your Love” before closing with a crowd-pleasing version of Hendrix’ “Voodoo Chile”. 

Robert Jon & the Wreck should be no strangers to fans of the Southern Rock genre, peddling their double shot of Southern Rock with a Blues chaser for the last 10 years or so with a catalogue of seven albums behind them.  Their reputation for fearsome, good-time shows precedes them and they enhanced that reputation further at the 100 Club.  Opening with “The Devil is Your Only Friend” from 2015’s “Glory Bound” and the Allman Brothers-esque “Do You Remember”, the band kept the pace and energy high throughout their 14-song set.  Leaning heavily on their 2020 release “Last Light on the Highway” with only the title track of their latest album “Shine a Light on Me Brother” featuring.  Not that it matters much with a bagful of songs that represent the best of the Genre, with the swirling keys of Steve Maggiora, and Henry James’ Lead Guitar adding accents and texture to Robert Jon Burrison’s guitar and whisky-drenched vocal and the rhythm section of Andrew Espantman (drums) and Warren Murrel (Bass) keeping it all tight and funky. “Oh Carolina” deservedly got one of the biggest cheers of the night.  They closed the set with “Cold Night” and the promise that they would be back in the UK next year, before returning for a well-deserved encore with a full-on version of “On the Run”.

Burrison mentioned during the set that last time they played the 100 club there was around twenty people in the audience.  With a capacity crowd this time, it is clear that the Band are destined for bigger things in the future.  Surrounded by the ghosts of legends past, Robert Jon & The Wreck delivered a set that will be talked about for years to come, such was the sheer power of their performance and the energy they generated.  A new legend in the making, for sure.  They’re back in the UK next Year, at the Garage, Islington on May 15th, and tickets are on sale now.

Robert Jon & The Wreck are:  Robert Jon Burrison (lead vocals and guitar), Andrew Espantman (drums and backing vocals), Steve Maggiora (keyboards and backing vocals), Henry James (lead guitar and backing vocals), and Warren Murrel (bass).

SETLIST: The Devil Is Your Only Friend / Do You Remember / Hey Hey Mama / Work It Out / Oh Miss Carolina / The Death of Me / Blame It on the Whiskey / Can’t Stand It / Tired of Drinking Alone / This Time Around / Gold / Don’t Let Me Go / Old Friend / Cold Night / Encore:  On the Run

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Troy Redfern: Vocals, Slide Guitar, Kick Drum

SETLIST: Sanctify / Falling Down / Ghosts / Backdoor Hoodoo / Waiting For Your Love / Voodoo Chile

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