Top’s at The Wharf 13/10/23 – A review by Dave Wilcox



What a night for The ‘Top’s’ at Tavistock Wharf on Friday ?

So many friends and fans came out to share an ‘Evening with The Blacktops‘ and the Band did not disappoint.

The Boys took us through over 2 hours of their music, ranging from the early Blue on Black days (including tracks from the ‘Robert Johnson’s Door‘, Suckin’ Out Venom‘ and ‘In Transit‘ Albums) plus a healthy selection of tracks from all of the Blacktop releases (‘ Dark Horses‘, ‘Turn Up, Be Nice, Play Hard‘ and ‘Presence & Gain‘) and even a track from Keith’s solo album ‘That’s The Vibe‘ included too.

The evening started with a stunning, solo ‘Slide’ guitar introduction by Keith before the Band launched into a Rockin’ version of Kenny Wayne Sheppard’s ‘Shotgun Blues’ and the set never looked back from there.



Wether it was the rockier ‘Crank It Up’ or the Bluesier ‘ Should Ha’ Gone Yesterday’, the delicious light and shade of ‘Magnolia’ or the jazzier version of ’50 Bucks’,  the ‘Top’s’ we’re on fire, covering the Blues/Rock spectrum, ‘Blacktop Style’..

Now, I’ve seen the boys many times, but they had me from the start tonight, it really was something special. They seemed determined to make this one count the most and as Keith reminded us, “never take things for granted, make the most of the moment as things can change in an instant. Catch things while you can”.

It was so good to see Alan and Tim back together in the ‘engine room’, locked in from the start, rockin’ & grooving right through the night like a well oiled machine.

The guys solo’s during the ‘Santana-ish’, ‘Seventh Son’ left a few jaws on the floor  I can tell you and throughout the evening it was a feast for the both ears and eyes.  Tim’s ‘Music Man’ and Alan’s perspex ‘DW’ kit locked together with Keith’s Bad Cat (or Maverick, I couldn’t tell as they were both on all night !) weaving a ‘Blacktop‘ storyline between them.

The anthemic ‘ Man Down’ brought a hush to the crowd before soaring into its  crescendo of guitar and harmony vocal ending, truly stunning . It  was also wonderful to hear the crowd singing along with the boys during the chorus of ‘Paper Cup’.

There was lots of dancing going on, photo’s being taken and along the way, we were also let into some great anecdotal ‘Blacktop‘ story’s with many quips being exchanged between Alan and Keith’s microphones.

By the time the Boys fired up the last number,  ‘Mustang 429’,  we were left wondering what could possibly come next but as usual, the Guys were determined to ‘leave it all on stage’ and when rightly pressed for an encore, Alan obliged with a stunning ‘Wipeout’ Drum intro which then morphed into a Blues/Rock finale of Robert Johnson’s ‘Crossroads’ wonderful !

With so many people wanting to see the guys after the gig and so many photo’s/ video’s being taken, the merchandise stand was buzzing (particularly with ‘T’ Shirt and CD sales) and lots of requests for signing’s and selfies were all gladly obliged.

All in all, a classic Blacktop evening of Brit’ Rockin’ Blues/Rock.

There are so many  video’s and photos that I’m sure a good selection of them will be posted separately on the Bands website and Facebook pages, meanwhile for those of you who did miss the night, here’s the ‘memento’ set list, handed out to us all at the end of the night ……..

ps: (the Guys tell me that these ‘limited’ hand outs will also be included for  anyone who purchases one of the Blue on Black, Limited Edition,  ‘Brit’ Rockin’ Blues ‘T’ Shirt’s or CD’s from their website while they last).

So, Onwards & Upwards for The Top’s, I do hope you can join us for their next adventure because as Keith says “Catch em’ while you can,  when there gone. there gone”.

Dave ‘Divin’ Duck’ Wilcox


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.