Vintage Trouble Live at the Old Fruitmarket Glasgow
Vintage Trouble returned to Glasgow for the third time in little over a year to give their Scottish fans another opportunity to get down and dirty with a properly good pelvis pushin’ dance party. The city’s wonderful Old Fruitmarket was the venue this time around and it was quite literally packed to the rafters by fans of one of the most exciting live bands in the business. This was gonna get hot and sweaty…
First onstage, and charged with getting the audience thoroughly warmed up for our headliners was Slydigs. The Warrington-based rockers supported VT the last time they were in town and it was good to see Dean Fairhurst and the guys back. I remember being damned impressed by them last time out and they pretty much picked up here from where they left off then. Although there were a couple of slower and acoustic numbers in their set, it’s when they picked up the pace with songs like Stiff Upper Lip, The Love That Keeps on Giving and Light the Fuse that they really impressed. Huge riffs, great hooks and plenty of Oasis-like swagger had the audience absolutely bouncing. Highlight of their set for me however was when VT’s Nalle Colt joined them onstage to perform a mashup of Jimi Hendrix’s Hey Joe and Led Zep’s Whole Lotta Love. Brilliant.
If you’ve never been to a Vintage Trouble show before, it’s pretty hard to describe them by comparing them to someone else. And that’s because there really isn’t anyone else quite like them. Take crowd-surfing for example. There are gigs you go to where members of the audience enjoy nothing more than getting lifted above everyones’ head and being passed down to the pit area at the front of the stage before being grabbed by a steward and carted off. The audience at a VT gig don’t crowd-surf. But frontman Ty Taylor does! Told you they were different…
VT’s set on Saturday was a collection of all the fan favourites from first album The Bomb Shelter Sessions and 2015’s 1 Hopeful Road, with a couple of new songs thrown in for good measure. The first song, Run Like the River, began with all four members of the band offstage. Nalle Colt’s slide guitar intro began as he walked on from the wing, then Richard Danielson sat down at his drum kit and laid down a powerful kick drum beat before Rick Barrio Dill joined in on bass. Finally, charismatic frontman Ty Taylor swaggered onstage, smiling broadly, before launching into the vocals. VT’s dance party was off and running…
The centre of attention throughout the evening was of course Ty Taylor. You just can’t take your eyes off the man. And if there’s a better frontman in music today, I’ve yet to see him. He sang beautifully, he danced phenomenally and worked the audience brilliantly. Then just when you think he couldn’t get any cooler, off he pops into the crowd and surfs around as he’s singing. Without missing a beat. He owned the place.
An interesting addition to the show on Saturday was the inclusion of a medley. Obvoiusly keen to fit in as many songs as they could into one show, the band condensed six songs into a short(ish), sharp and glorious burst of bluesy rock goodness. Sure, it would’ve been nice to hear all of Soul Serenity, but that was quickly forgiven when the band broke straight into Angel City, California. I can’t remember any other gig where a band’s done something like that, so hats off to the guys for trying something different.
As easy as it is to focus on Taylor as the obvious focal point onstage, VT wouldn’t be half the band it is without musicians as good as Nalle Colt, Richard Danielson, and Rick Barrio Dill on board. And each one of them were absolute standouts in what was for me the highlight of the night. I’ve always loved Blues Hand Me Down. It’s an absolute barn burning, blues rocking, belter of a song. But as good as the recorded version is, the song simply goes to another level when VT perform it live. The song was driven along by Danielson’s pulverising drumbeat and Barrio Dill’s dynamic bass, while Colt switched effortlessly between rhythm guitar and blistering solos. And Taylor was crowd surfing. And up in the gallery. And, well pretty much everywhere! Live music performances just don’t get much better than this.
Vintage Trouble just don’t stand still. After a couple of more shows in the UK they head off to tour Europe in July before heading back across The Pond to tour the US supporting the Dixie Chicks throughout August and early September.
Fingers crossed it won’t be long before VT are in our neck of the woods once again, because if you haven’t had the chance to see them, you REALLY have to experience them live. This was undoubtably the feelgood gig of the year.
Run Like the River
Nobody Told Me
Can’t Stop Rolling
Strike Your Light
Another Man’s Words
Medley: You Better Believe it/Soul Serenity/Angel City, California/Jezzebella/Gracefully/Total Strangers
Doin’ What You Were Doin’
Blues Hand Me Down
Turn The Sky Blue
Not Alright by Me