Gig Review

Rich Robinson
Dave O' Grady, Ulysses
Bristol, Fleece
15th February 2012

Rich Robinson         Dave O' Grady     Ulysses


After the crowds of fans slowly dispersed into the quaint little venue that is the Fleece, it was somewhat clear that I was possibly one of the youngest members of the crowd at the ripe old age of 23. It was fairly shocking to think that people of my generation hadn’t educated themselves in the ways of the Black Crowes to know what was hopefully going to take place this evening. However, everyone seemed in good spirits, the beer was flowing and people were ready for a rock show.

Ulysses stepped out on stage and it looked like they belonged in the 70s, lead singer Luke Smyth sported an afro, a yellow long sleeved top and a waistcoat. Surprisingly he pulled this look off so well I dare think what would happen if anyone else attempted to imitate it. These guys had a very easy-going air about them, they had a casual rock structure to their music, hints of indie at times, and the crowd seemed to like them. For a first-up support act they had a healthy round of applause after every song. It seemed as though they would be an easy to sing along to kind of band, there was hints of old school Kings of Leon in there, y’know, back when they were cool and had beards and long hair. As they progressed towards the end of their set they finished with one epic instrumental, resulting in all 4 members on some sort of percussion instrument. Now, I realise I’m slightly biased as I’m a sucker for percussion and drum solos; but that was fucking cool. Ulysses said their goodbyes and the bar stacked up ready for the second pint of the night.

Then along came Dave O’Grady. Wow. Slightly unexpected for the theme of the evening, just an Irish man and his guitar, singing along to what appeared to be very country-sounding. As he sang on I was just encapsulated by his voice, he had quite a few people’s attention from the crowd, although unfortunately people still took it upon themselves to talk during his set. I suppose I can’t really slate them, I don’t think they were expecting a quiet chilled show on the build-up to the rock ‘n’ roll that was to be Rich Robinson. I absolutely adored his voice, he ran through covers of The Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends” and Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”, which worked surprisingly well in such a slow pace. When he performed his own songs I couldn’t help but be drawn in to the lyrics, some were so heartfelt I could imagine dedicating these songs to my loved ones as I stood there listening to them. He interacted with the crowd in such a humble way, it really was quite refreshing to hear something so raw. If you have time, an evening free, or you see Dave O’Grady is playing near you, go and see him; If only to experience it for yourself.

Rich Robinson and his band stepped onto the stage and received an almighty welcome from the audience. That soon hushed when he hushed the crowd and made the announcement that he would

not be playing any Black Crowes songs, and if that’s what we were expecting then he was sorry, and we should just walk right out and get a refund because that’s not what we were going to get this evening. There seemed to be a mixed reaction from the crowd on this one, some cheered and knew this was exactly what they were there for, others looked disappointed as though they were expecting to hear some good old classics being played live for the first time in a few years. In their defence, it was advertised on the posters as ‘Rich Robinson (The Black Crowes)’, so how was anyone to know different?

This seemed irrelevant a couple of tracks in, there were a few nodding, a few foot taps, but nothing too exciting. But then again, the average age of the crowd was 50+, so you can’t expect too many mosh pits kicking off. His music was pretty riff-tastic, old school style. There was always a loud cheer at the end of a song, although it didn’t seem many people were really getting into it. The piano/keyboard really uplifted the music and gave it an edge that a lot of bands don’t bring to the table. The bass was awesome, and really compensated for the lack of a 2nd guitar. About half hour into the set they played around a ten minute instrumental. Rich told us at the end it was from a band he was in in the 70’s, and the song was called Aggravatingly Free. It was mildly aggravating by the end of it, I found it a bit too long, a bit too repetitive and it just seemed like a chance for him to blast out some mediocre guitar solos. He picked the atmosphere back up, then dropped it back down again with ‘Standing On The Surface Of The Sun’ people cheered, some even sang along to the whole thing. The vocals were fairly mellow throughout, he was a fairly chilled kinda guy on stage. Interaction with the crowd was somewhat minimal, but it was there nonetheless.

Overall, Rich Robinson did exactly what he stated he was going to do. It was an overall good show, I guess it’s just more of a specified taste in music. You just can’t question anyone that’s been in the industry as long as he has.

Ulysses 2.5/5
Dave O'Grady 4/5
Rich Robinson 3.5/5

Review By Karlie M

 Rich Robinson

Rich Robinson

 Dave O' Grady

Dave O' Grady


Luke Smyth
Julyan Wells-Cathedral
Tom Sartoryal
Shane Maxymus

 Band Related Links
Rich Robinson Facebook
Dave O' Grady Facebook
Ulysses Facebook
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?