Pete Kent: @Bilston Robin 19/07/2016


Garry checks out local guitar wizard

On the hottest day of the year you really don’t want to be cooped up inside a concert venue so fair play to the numbers that showed up last night to watch the return of guitar wizard Pete Kent at the Bilston Robin and from where I was sitting there weren’t many if any chairs unoccupied.
Last night was the first time Pete had played the Robin since the release of his excellent second album ‘The Hidden Hand’ which came out in May this year…..and it was good to see some new faces in the crowd too, it’s always important to keep adding to the fan base although that doesn’t seem to be a problem for Pete when I chatted to him before the show and he told me about the new interest in his music from Eastern Europe and America.
Pete’s shows are always a real good mix of original, covers and as he likes to call them ‘mash ups’…..the new material such as ‘Icon’ ‘Everytime I See Your Face’ (which was written about his daughter) and the title track of the new album ‘The Hidden Hand’ went down a storm… can really see the progression in writing from the first album ‘The Sands Of Time’ which is an album I’m still incredibly fond of I must say.
To use the word ‘covers’ is a bit of an understatement to be honest as Pete tends to pull the tracks apart and reconstruct them in such a way that you recognise the tune but you sit there wondering how the hell he has done what he has done…’s engrossing to say the least,  the versions of Carole King’s ‘It’s Too Late’ and Joe Satriani’s ‘The Headless Horseman’ we’re just insanely good.
The ‘Mash Ups’ are always a particular highlight of Pete’s sets and the 80s one was particularly impressive… go from Bowie’s ‘Let’s Dance’ to Depeche Mode’s ‘Personal Jesus’ whilst visiting tunes like ‘Time After Time’ ‘Are Friends Electric’ ‘Turn It On Again’ and ‘Golden Brown’ and a few other tunes beside is like being whisked back to the good old days of playing ‘Bits & Pieces’ while listening to a Radio One Roadshow from Plymouth with Simon Bates and Smiley Miley.
Pete’s version of Bruce Hornsby & The Range classic ‘The Way It Is’ has had over half a million hits on You Tube and is a welcome addition to the new album and the live set…..tracks from the debut album from 2014’s The Sands Of Time…….’Spiral’ and ‘Postman’s Knock’ are always a joy to hear and the audience who braved the ridiculous heat to attend the show last night went away happy…..not before a trip to the Merch Desk to purchase a CD or two if they hadn’t got the albums already.
It’s a tough time to be an artist or a band these days when folk either want their music for free or would prefer to come out every two months and watch a tribute act….so fair play to the crowd who showed up last night… I said earlier there wasn’t a spare seat to be found.
It restores your faith a little to see people supporting proper live music…..and when it’s done really well by artists such as Pete Kent…..maybe just maybe the message it getting through.
Garry Foster
Unchained: Tuesday’s 10pm-Midnight
Prog Rock Files: Thursday’s 10pm-Midnight
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