The Commoners and Troy Redfern – co-headline Tour – Review at The Crescent, York, 27 April

Troy Redfern

Having mutually decided early on that Troy Redfern would open tonight’s show, Troy takes to the stage,  booted and suited in faux leather pants, a see-through leopard shirt, and of course his cowboy hat. Redfern is joined by his touring band members Finn McAuley on drums and Kiera Kenworthy on bass guitar.

With all guns, a blazing ‘All Night Long’, is a brand-new punchy song filled with gruff rock and roll, hard-laden drum beats and melding solos. Troy goes hell for leather, using his bottleneck slide for extra oomph. Wavering his guitar out in front of himself, Troy gives the guitar a good hand whammy shake at the end of the song. What a way to introduce this brand-new song to his audience.

Following on with the sassy ‘Sweet Carolina’. This song has become an anthem for Troy Redfern, the crowd are excited to hear it and the band are excited to play it. If you’ve seen Troy before you might’ve caught his solo performance tour. Having a band along really does give Troy the kudos he deserves with Finn adding his rhythmic drum beats and Kira the sweet basslines. 

Going from strength to strength.  Troy gets his mojo working as he melds the riffs on his trusty  National Resonator guitar, paired with his husky vocals, Redfern builds up the smouldering dirty blues licks on ‘Come On‘. It’s another smasher from Wings of Salvation and the crowd loves it as they break out in a frenzied dance, trying to match its furious beat.

Nothing can hold Redfern back

Down’  is a primal poetic piece, that is even better live, as Troy introduces this less well know song. The energy is high between the band, as Finn opens up with an anthemic drum beat and Kiera syncs with Troy on backing vocals. The lusty slide solos and fretwork pull you to its enigmatic brace. That’s the draw of Troy, his playing takes you to another dimension, out of the room we are in tonight, well it did for me. There’s nothing like getting lost in the music.

Bringing satisfaction, the first single off his upcoming album, ‘The Fever’ breaks you out in a sweat, it’s a gem of rusty blues. And a fantastic insight into what’s to come off his new album, which I believe is out later in the year.

Photo by Alex English

Taking a quick Encore the band returns to the stage.

Troy is a one-of-a-kind individual, having gained himself the title of ‘UK’s Blues Slide King’, he certainly doesn’t disappoint.  Interchanging guitars throughout the set, to match the songs as originally written, you get the full Redfern experience.

Now armed with his resonator ‘Wating For  Your Love’ is an even more fierce performed live. Troy puts the slider to the metal, as he reverberates his six-string vigorously.

What can beat this, you ask? The tub-thumping  ‘Sanctify’ of course. Its rousing beats are pumped up by an electrifying  Troy solo, as he lets loose, seeing where the music takes him on this awe-inspired rock ‘n’ roller!

What a show!!

Thank you and good night.

If you’ve not seen Troy Redfern live before then head over to his website for his latest news and tour dates.

More photos here:

Troy Redfern by Alex English

Troy Redfern by Alex English


^All Night Long
**Sweet Carolina
**Come On
^Getaway – new song
**Dark Religion
^The Native – new song
^ The Fever –
*Waiting for Your Love

Songs off **The Wings of Salvation and *The Fire Cosmic, ^ new

Touring as The Troy Redfern Band – Troy Redfern – Vox & Guitars – Finn McAuley –  Drums and Kiera Kenworthy – Bass guitar I I I I I I

The Commoners 

The Commoners by Alex English

Tonight grassroots blues rockers, The Commoners are far, far from home as they bring their grove-laden riffs and harmonic melodies from Toronto Canada.  The five-piece has two albums under their belt, ‘No Stranger’ and ‘Find A Better Way’.  Taking to the stage, The Commoners have a retro look about them and the opening track  More Than Mistakes is on point, as its vibrant bluesy sound is driven by keyboardist Miles Evans and his Hammond  Organ style performance.   

The only song that I was familiar with before tonight from The Commoners is Find A Better Way. It has a Black Crowes feel and singer Chris Medhurst, honey-like raspy vocals would melt butter. The chorus is beefed up with all the band members adding in and creating an anthemic vibe on the chorus line ‘find a better way’. The crowd are liking what they are hearing so far.

A brand new song, Devil Teasin Me is full-on deep Southern muddy electric blues, taking you inside your green-tinted 60s mind, with an explosive solo from Jason Mamoa look-a-like Ross Citrullo. Some of the songs played are as yet unreleased, so you’ll be hard-pressed to track them down. Body and Soul brings down the pace and guitarist Citrullo whips out a violin bow to give this song an extra dimension as he plays his Les Paul.

Nearing the end of their 15-date Tour of the UK

Singer, Chris tells us the band is having a great time in the UK, and are loving playing their co-headline tour with Troy Redfern and his band.  Asking the audience for inspiration on this next new song, with its yet-to-be-decided title –  Who Are You?/Ain’t Knocked Down opens the throttle with its high-octane energy. Medhurst shakes like he’s possessed as his band rattles out a jam – wowsers!

Naturally is introduced by bassist, Ben Spiller, who gives thanks to his audience for having them here tonight. Naturally, is slower-paced with deep heavy basslines.  Keeping the heavy melodic pace going,  Deadlines brings with it a bright melody and gives keys meister Miles Evans a chance for an epic keys solo.

The soft crescendo and the familiar chords of ‘Melissa’ resonates through the room, as The Commoners give you their passionate cover of The Allmond Brother’s classic. Giving a slow slide intro by Citrullo, who sports an interesting-looking finger slide. Hangin’ On Around is an emotive, soft-paced number. Singer Chris ardently delivers whiskey-soaked vocals,  he then takes a sit down on the stage whilst the band plays an extended-out jam, showcasing the guitarist’s abilities.  

Photo by Alex English

The Commoners are a fantastic live band, who have a  great interaction between themselves and their audience, they deliver one-hundred-per cent. They play us out with the vibrant Fill My Cup, it’s a sunny California tune but from Toronto.


Returning to Shake You Off, this tub-thumper has a  Bowie-esque flavour as  Adam Cannon blasts the skins on this jam-tasic, heavy riffer. Holy Moly!!

Having just announced their return to the UK in Autumn, you can catch The Commoners on tour supporting Samantha Fish and Jesse Dayton – Tickets ???? |


More Than Mistakes
Find A Better Way
Devil Teasin Me
Body and Soul
Who Are You? (Ain’t Knocked Down)
Sweet Melissa
Hangin’ On Again
Fill My Cup

Encore – Shake You Off

THE COMMONERS: Chris Medhurst (lead vocals), Ross Hays Citrullo (guitar), Ben Spiller (bass guitar), Adam Cannon (drums), and Miles Evans (keyboards). | | |

Words and Photos by Alex English

About Alex English