MAKER August 1984
EDINBURGH FESTIVAL FRINGE
Tom Robinson at the Assembly Rooms
by Bob Flynn
THE stage set is a garage in East Falkland and the band are dressed in
dungarees and boiler suits. What's this? A rerun of "Uptown Girl"? All
becomes clear as the show proceeds and the common theme of the tragic
joke of the Falklands war and the frightening hysteria it produced unfolds
through a set of strong, classy, Robinson songs.
Tom looks and sounds much more relaxed here, away from the rock ideal
of concert halls and clubs, swinging well into cabaret. Songs from the
new album are sombre and convincing on first hearing while "I'd Like To
Be Your Cabin Boy" has the whole band in a prancing dance.
"Back In The Old Country" and "Atmospherics" are delivered with a power
and humour by two backing singers and a reshuffled band, while Robinson
shows that his strength is now one of humour and dark perception.
A motorway sign is revealed and shows the Port Stanley airport extending
to Land's End (a disturbing joke which sums up the whole scenario) before
"2468 Motorway" and "War Baby" brings a successful night of theatrics
and rock to a close.
Any doubts as to TR's wit and talent were dispelled by this set - he's
now completed his personal and commercial renaissance. Edinburgh's got
two weeks of him and should count itself damn lucky.