After releasing an unprecedented six albums in just under two years, the most recent album from British slide-guitar supremo TROY REDFERN The Wings of Salvation, has been recognised as his most compelling work to date.
The album showcased Redfern’s intensely saw-edged vocal performance, his condensed and urgent songwriting style, his precise arrangements, and of course, his amazing pyrotechnical style slide-guitar play that’s always filled with blatant honesty ‘n’ sandpaper distinctness.
But Redfern is not one to rest on his laurels and when we chatted to the musician outside the famed Brighton venue, the KOMEDIA just a little before his headline show, he promised he’d play ‘another five new tunes tonight that will hopefully go into a new album, due later this year.‘ Yep, lets be honest, this guy is a super-stimulated, overfunctioner!
Presenting frontstage, Troy Refern cultivates his stylishly primped dark-firebrand demeanour to great effect (though he is an entirely congenial guy to chat along with, though every inch a rock star) — so the brooding blackbeard bandito guitar-slinger took to the Komedia stage like a hypercharged electrostatic Johnny Depp, but a version of Depp that had taken an intensive course of hyper-scintillated plasma-shock treatment!
the brooding blackbeard bandito guitar-slinger took to the Komedia stage like a hypercharged electrostatic Johnny Depp…Raw Ramp Music Magazine
On stage with the indefatigable slide-man was the über-accomplished bass guitarist Kiera Kenworthy (Syteria, JoanOvArc) and the expert drummer Finn McAuley (Wille and the Bandits) who energised the classic power-trio combo through thick-and-thin.
The sombre-soulful blues maverick began his show-set with the poisonously smoky ‘All Night Long‘ which is a number that has a boinky-jostling riff, lots of boneshaking rhythms, and a bangarang of a huge rock ‘n’ roll chorus.
His resonator was soon in action for ‘Sweet Carolina‘ which delivered a plethoric tumble of rhythms, steadfastly fuzzy and munchable dark-note scritchiness, and a clattering, semi-spongeous riff that sexed-up the audience for the rest of evening!
Another riff-tastic tune, ‘Come On‘ arrived like a Superbird stockcar on the Daytona circuit: all splatter, tar, sparks, and fury. An architectural roundelay was smacked-out on the glistening guitar strings, then Troy’s notes were pummelled into the amplification. Troy’s beckoning vocal was a mix of bike-leather and black-pepper muskiness: you know what we mean? Infectious and virile. The number was filled with battle-fought elegance!
‘Dark Religion‘ was shamanistic and sinewy sensuous, as Troy wove fibrous guitar twines all-around rawboned bass-notes and tons of high-cheeked rhythms. This was a clap-along number, with a swaying histrionic verse. If the Brighton audience ever wanted to know what a modern-day pirate shanty sounded like: here they had it. The pirouetting cha-cha atmosphere was like taking a fairground waltzer ride with a spun-out Alice Cooper sat alongside you, in your rotating car. Thanks for the spin!
‘Down‘ was a multilayered multilobed exorbitance of dense netherworld shapes, shadows, and ever-darkening sounds: as if Marc Bolan was singing along to some of Robert Johnson’s rusty slides, while stood at the countertop, competing with a fire-spitting griddle.
And ‘Scorpio‘ thundered straight off the grid like a hot-rod that had been over-pumped with nitrous oxide. A little ragged, perhaps, but the partially burnt vocal combined with a lively, swaying beat to bring passion to the pillowy vintage-bass pulsations.
If you appreciate buzz-guttural guitar shrieks of exclamation, coupled with stomping bass notes, hammering rhythms, and cudgelling Zeppelin-style riffs… you’ll be drawn to Troy Redfern! And, what’s not to like?
Words: @neilmach 2023 ©
Main image: © Andrew Ellis