Gig review: ARTHUR BROWN – Robin 2, Bilston, 17 April 2014

Arthur Brown - Robin 2, Bilston, 17 April 2014

‘I Am The God of Hellfire and I Bring You Fire’, the unmistakable line that has beguiled listeners since it first appeared on the album ‘The Crazy World of Arthur Brown’ back at the height of the psychedelic era and signified a wild and crazy stage show that involved a wacky fire helmet and mesmerizing  dancing.

Whilst Arthur Brown hasn’t topped the success of his debut album he has gone on to release a further 16 albums and is currently touring ‘Zim Zam Zim’ his latest journey through the workings of his crazy mind.

Roz Bruce Infusion - Robin 2, Bilston, 17 April 2014

The Robin 2 is filling quite well now as the first band hits the stage, The Roz Bruce Infusion, a three-piece Midlands based band that have brought quite a following with them tonight, led by Roz who apart from vocals plays a mean Strat kicking out some superb riffs and solos.

They mix wahwah/fuzz driven rock with punky overtones and distinctive vocals and produce a highly likeable and infectious sound.

With some standout tracks like ‘Social Freak’ and ‘Secret Life’ which see Roz displaying her guitar skills and at all times backed by the solid and tight backline they set the scene and the tone for the evening.

Lifecycle - Robin 2, Bilston, 17 April 2014

Next up is Lifecycle, another three-piece with a distinctive sound, they class themselves as alternative tribal and you certainly get the tribal feel from the beat built around the drums (Nick Holder) and tech effects which gives Letitia (bass) and Geoff (vocals/guitars/effects) the space to produce the funky spacy soundscape over the top.

With a combination of haunting vocals, high guitar riffs, punchy bass lines all added to the continuous use of the guitar strap mounted effects controllers they produce a very intriguing and mesmerizing sound.  Having just finished the album ‘Lino Cosmos’ expect to see them out and about this year.

Arthur Brown - Robin 2, Bilston, 17 April 2014

Having seen Arthur Brown and the ‘Zim Zam Zim’ show last year I knew we were in for an exuberant display of theatrics and sound.  For a man that will be celebrating his 50th year in the music industry next year there is no sign of him slowing down or hanging up his crown of fire.

From the off you can feel the energy coming from the band, all a lot younger in age than Arthur but all certainly running on the same energy map and mindscape.

As they take to the stage all made up and masked they kick into the slow buildup of ‘Zim Zam Zim’ and from that time onwards I don’t think Arthur stood still for the entire evening; if he wasn’t cavorting and undulating round the stage he was dancing with his onstage playmate ‘Angel Flame’ who made a number of appearances during the set.

Arthur Brown - Robin 2, Bilston, 17 April 2014

Songs like ‘Muscle of Love’ showing off his wicked mind and an awesome cover of Peter Green’s ‘Green Manalishi’ guide us through the night but unfortunately due to the roof being too low we didn’t get to witness the flaming colander on ‘Fire’ – but instead he used the same approach as HRH and Angel came on dressed it a golden cape to mimic the flaming.

There is no doubt that the new music is every much as wild and wacky as his previous work and as ever has such detailed and precise underlying melodies that with the visuals all make for an awesome show.

Arthur Brown: Zim Zam Zim, Want to Love, All the Bells, Devils Grip, Kites, Unknown, Spell on You, Voice of Love, Muscle of Love, Apple Creation, Nightmare, Fire Poem, Fire :: Sunrise, Green Manalishi, Money.

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