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The Robert Cray Band

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill - 15th October, 2018

Written By Andy Gunton

  • Photograph by Sara-Louise Bowrey

  • Photograph by Sara-Louise Bowrey

  • Photograph by Sara-Louise Bowrey

The Blues comes to Bexhill.

It's not every day that a modern day American Blues legend comes to Bexhill.

So it was no surprise for me to see so many music related friends come out on a Monday night to see Robert Cray, and his excellent band, perform at the De La Warr Pavilion.

They obviously knew what they were doing, as we, and the rest of the near capacity audience, were treated to a master class, in a gig oozing with quality songs and musicianship.

From the opening two numbers, 'Phone Booth' and 'The Same Love That Made Me Laugh', a cover of the Bill Withers classic, through to 'Right Next Door', and 'You Must Believe In Yourself', which closed the 80 minute set, this was excellent entertainment.

For a man who has been playing live for over 40 years, it's plain to see that Robert Cray still enjoys himself on stage, as indeed do the rest of his band, who exchanged smiles and laughter throughout the gig.

It's always nice to see a band having fun on stage.

The tracks played on the night were spread across that lengthy career, with songs played from 1986's classic 'Strong Persuader' album, right up to several offerings from the excellent 2017 album 'Robert Cray and Hi Rhythm'.

Such is the quality of Robert Cray's back catalogue that he was even able to leave out a couple of his most well known songs on the night, 'Smoking Gun' and 'Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark. I don't think they were missed though.

Robert Cray himself can still play a mean Blues guitar, and his soulful voice is still as strong as ever, an element of his talent that is maybe sometimes overlooked?

His website suggests that he is 65 years of age, but he still looks the same as he did back in the 1980's! Maybe he has a painting in his attic?

This gig was all about the music, hghlighted by the fact that the stage lights didn't change once during the whole performance. No spotlights, nothing.

Sometimes the music just speaks for itself.

The aforementioned excellent backing band certainly helped produce such a memorable evening.

Solid drumming, great bass playing from the bare footed Richard Cousins, and some wonderful Hammond organ from Dover Weinberg contributed to the overall sound and feel of the gig.

One aspect of the performance that stood out for me was the way the band faded out a couple of numbers.

Reducing the sound of their instruments to such a low volume that the hissing of the guitar amps became louder than the actual music. It takes a lot of skill to do that.

To showcase the fun element of the gig, the amiable Robert Cray and Richard Cousins even managed to fit in a little dance routine, with their respective guitars, during the organ solo of 'Hip Tight Onions'.

There was no way the band were going to be allowed to disappear into the night without an encore, so we were treated to 'I Shiver' and a great version of 'Time Makes Two', which rounded off a gig to remember, and which provoked the very well deserved standing ovation.

I've no doubt that if Robert Cray manages to find his way back to Bexhill at some time in the future, many of those present tonight will welcome him with open arms.

And I would definitely be one of them.


Find Robert Cray at:

For info about future gigs at the De La Warr Pavilion visit:


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