The Black Crowes review

THE BLACK CROWES got famous for making velvet flares famous in the 90’s. And since, the Robinson brothers Chris and Rich have had, give-or-take, 15 musicians pass through the Robinson revolving door. Thanks to a two year hiatus, the current six-piece took to the stage of Glasgow’s O2 Academy fresh faced- with not a rugged hair out of place.

A brilliant melting pot of girls and guys stood before a stage of rock n roll royalty last week. Since announcing the tour in late December, fans have been alight with excitement. A short UK tour then sees the band jump the pond for a US stint throughout April. With no new material to promote, The Crowes promised a nostalgic and relaxing evening working through their impressive back catalogue.

Lead Robinson, Chris is known for his endearing stage presence. As the set opened with upbeat Jealous Again, his on-point vocals and strategically placed hip thrusts set the crowd alight. A great sing-along track, the high-pitched vocals were perfect from start to finish.

The band merged the ending of Jealous Again with second track Thick N Thin, with its fast-paced tempo the lead Robinson treated the crowd to more of his effortless moves. Third song, Hotel Illness seen a harmonica solo from Chris.  New addition and friend of the band Jackie Greene really shone in this one, showing off his guitarist talents. The flamboyant frontman ended this track with his endearing peace-fingered salute he’s been perfecting since 1989.

Next tracks Space Captain and Oh Josephine all engaged the crowd well, Chris working the corners of the stage with his hand claps and hip twists, the crowd remained fixated on his charming smile and stage presence.

For many of the young crowd, this was the first time being treated to the blues rock n roll of The Black Crowes, live. Formed in 1989, the band are at their most comfortable touring. Tenement TV were surrounded by a 15-strong Spanish group, who later admitted in a quick chat at the bar that they didn’t think twice before booking flights when the tour dates were announced in December last year.

A gig highlight, She Talks to Angels brought The Robinson brothers and Greene together huddled in centre stage. With the mandolin and guitar taking the lead, the song was perfectly delivered alongside Chris’ vocals. Since its release in the early 90’s, this song has stood the test of time and was still well received by the crowd as they collectively sung every word.

The set continued in good strength- tracks Soul Singing and By Your Side stand outs. As the set drew to an end, a mish-mash of Otis Redding’s- Hard to Handle and Deep Purple’s- Hush set the crowd’s energy on fire. As the crowd sung along, the band sang in perfect unison which was wonderful to see; a true highlight of the night.

The last track before the encore, Thorn in My Pride was another great choice from The Crowes. With its heartfelt lyrics and vintage feel, the band hit the nail on the head with this one. The crowd engrossed in the frontman’s dancing, smiles were seen far around the room.

Encores Decending, Goodbye Daughters of The Revolution and Boomer’s Story were well received- although the two hour set seemed to be taking its toll on the standing fans with a few leaving before the close.

All in all, The Crowes proved their current line-up, experience and attitude are a recipe for many more years of those tousled locks and shaking hips on a stage near you again very soon.

By Nadine Walker