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Troy Redfern / “I appreciate what Troy has done, tonight,” Jim the taxi driver says

There is something special about Troy Redfern, the cosmic cowboy. His recent performance at The Garage, with When Rivers Meet, found Redfern performing solo, making up for a lack of personnel with a plethora of loops and dirty riffs.

I first saw Troy at The 100 Club last September, where he added a bass drum to enhance the sound, and while I have yet to see him perform with The Troy Redfern Band, that is most certainly on my to-do list now.

Troy Redfern. 100 Club, London.
Troy Redfern. 100 Club, London. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

Troy says it’s special to be able to get out and perform shows again. “I did a little run with The Sweet solo [Troy replaced Limehouse Lizzy due to illness on some dates], and I enjoyed that. The first time you saw me at The 100 Club was the first tour I’ve ever done solo. It was completely new, but I’ve got into the swing of it. I love it because it’s a lot of freedom. You can take any turn when you haven’t got a band behind you. It’s remembering that when you’re up on stage that you can bring it right down, you can go loud, you can do anything. So it’s embracing that.”

On both nights, the audience’s reaction to Troy was passionate, so it was inevitable that we would be joined by people wanting to know more during our chat outside The Garage after Troy’s wonderfully received set.

Jim, a taxi driving customer, was impressed and said that Troy really looked like he was enjoying himself on stage. “Yeah, I love it,” Troy says. “I just try and get lost in it.”

“You certainly did,” Jim says. “The Hendrix at the end was just superb.”

Troy Redfern. Blues night at The Garage. 12 May 2022.
Troy Redfern. The Garage. Photo: Steve Ritchie/MetalTalk

Rather than the kick drum, for this tour, Troy is using a loop pedal, and he just lets fly. “I put a basic boogie riff in, and then I can do the solo. It’s nice to have that canvas to play over.”

The feedback from the When Rivers Meet tour has been fantastic. “Their fans are particularly nice people,” Troy says. “I’ve been talking to a lot of people at the merch stand and they are a lovely bunch of people.”

Jim is a When Rivers Meet fan. “It’s a bonus to have Troy there,” he says.

“I have definitely felt that welcome more on this tour, than any of the four since last September,” Troy replies.

“I appreciate what Troy has done, tonight,” Jim says. “I think everybody in there appreciates what Troy has done and it just adds something to the show. It’s very good because we’re all music fans in there.”

Troy Redfern The Fire Cosmic album cover
Troy Redfern – The Fire Cosmic

The Fire Cosmic was released in August 2021 and was MetalTalk’s album of the week. Paul Monkhouse said that there was a real sense of Marty McFly with Troy Redfern, the artist straddling both the past and the present with equal aplomb.

“It weird,” Troy says, “as that film, when I was 10, got me into guitar playing. That Johnny B Goode scene was the thing I watched because I wanted to play the saxophone when I first started. I was a Dire Straits fan and loved Your Latest Trick from the Brothers In Arms album. It was all about that, it’s always a monster. But I saw that film and I was like, that’s what I want to do.”

But then Troy does Hendrix. “It’s what I want to do with the solos. The song is a song, doing what is on your mind with a lyric. But when it comes to a solo, all I wanna do is switch off my thinking brain altogether. You want to get to a point where you’re in a space where you’re kind of just doing it, and after you’ve finished and thinking what the fuck … you don’t know what you’ve done. That’s the place I want to be.”

Photo of Troy Redfern
Troy Redfern. Photo: Rob Blackham

Next year looks like a very exciting prospect in the Redfern camp. He is in Abbey Road this week working on the next album. “The last one was definitely sort of more rock,” Troy says. “This one’s got a few rock songs on it, but broader. It’s a nice contour across the album.”

Troy then plans to tour both The Fire Cosmic and the new album next year, with his full band. “All these supports are gearing towards that,” Troy says. “What you’re hoping is that 10% of people who come to this show might buy your ticket to come and see you on the full tour because they like what you do.”

Jim says he will be in that 10%. “This is my fourth tour,” Troy says, “and merch sales on this tour so far have been more than double every night than on any of the others. So it’s a good sign that at least people listen to what I’m doing and then like it enough to want to get something.”

The thought of a full tour with a band is a mouthwatering prospect. “I’m a band guy,” Troy says. “When I play solo, a part of me is still wishing I had the drummer behind me because that would just drive it. I’m always surprised that going out by myself, and just a guitar, there’s a response because I’ve spent all my life in a band.”

Indulgent, but marvellously so, Troy really impressed the crowd at The Garage. “Congratulations and well done,” Jim said. “I really enjoyed it. I’m a new fan.”

You get the sense that, quite deservedly, things are moving along nicely for Troy Redfern.

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