Troy Redfern leads ethereal blues-rock fuelled evening in intimate Kent basement gig!

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Written by Flynn Herondale

Photography by Bobbie Cornelius

Slide guitar master Troy Redfern wowed the crowd In The Forum Basement Thursday (27th) evening. It didn’t matter if you were a seasoned fan or discovering Redfern’s unique sound for the first time; the eye-catching performer had one hell of an experience in store for you!

Beginning with All Night Long the set was a masterclass in guitar excellence, with era and genre hopping vibes throughout, showcasing Redfern’s versatility and range of music. Overall Redfern is considered a blues-rock artist, but many of his tracks feature historical and cultural influences. Dark Religion, a favorite of Redfern’s he mentioned, has nautical rhythms and tones “…seashanty-esque.” as he described it. Whereas other tracks such as Voodoo Priestess from his latest album ‘Invocation’ (released May 2024), conjure up images of Victorian New Orleans, smokey Speakeasies and back alley Hoodoo stores.

It is in fact this ability to conjure a feeling, set a scene, and transport his listener that marks Redfern out as a truly gifted musician. During an improvised solo section in Waiting For Your Love, the underground venue fell silent as Troy conjured notes that seemed otherworldly in the dark space. It was an experience that became almost spiritual, and Redfern himself was clearly a man enraptured in his love of music.

Accompanied by his two band members the jolly Nicky Waters on drums and captivating Keira Kenworthy on bass and supporting vocals, the trio were all smiles for each other and the audience. Their crowd interaction was effortless and casual, creating a relaxed and personal vibe in the venue. You really felt invited in and part of the experience. During Come On, the crowd were encouraged to join in, clearly delighting the band with their gusto.

The set list was excellently paced with a good range of Redfern’s previous work. Ghosts had never been played in front of a live audience, and tracks from the latest album such as Van Helsing and Native all received enthusiastic applause.

Despite the humid environment Redfern’s vocals were on point. Instantly unique, Troy’s voice is a rich, gravelly blend of Bryan Adams and Bon Jovi, with Southern States inflections and enough growl to make a Hollywood werewolf jealous. Redfern himself was raised near the Welsh border, yet has found a way to combine the celtic folk roots of his homeland with the blues-rock vibes of the Deep South. His signature voice, combined with his lyrical themes and transcendent melodies conjure up images of old Louisiana, misty lakes, wooded mountain foothills and galleons sailing uncharted waters. A future epic fantasy movie saga would do well to feature Redfern on the soundtrack!

Clear professionals Redfern and his band easily adapted to a last minute venue change as well as the audience requesting one more song; a clear sign an artist has impressed a crowd!

Musical talent aside, it’s clear after spending time with Redfern in such an intimate environment that he is both humble and appreciative of his fans. After a brief trip up the winding stairwell of The Sussex Arms pub for some much deserved fresh air he came back to run his own merch stand! Chatting to eager audience members as he did so. It would be easy for Redfern to have developed an ego with accolades such as a ‘2024 UK Blues Awards’ Nomination as well as being featured in ‘Classic Rock’ magazine. However after meeting the man himself it’s clear that maintaining an ego is far from on his list of priorities; writing and producing all his own music as well as cultivating his signature style (Victorian dandy, grew up on a pirate ship and then raided a cowboy’s wardrobe chic) Redfern is a man who knows what he likes, what art he wants to produce and has a passion for gifting it to the world.

Troy’s latest album ‘Invocation’ is out now and you can catch him performing on tour in the UK with Philip Sayce this November (2024).

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