Vintage Trouble live at The Forum, London – 17/11/2015 Review by Alan Walters Photography by Jo Drake
This was the 8th time I’d seen this band and having seen them the night before at the O2 Academy in Bristol, I was already warmed up for this.
The Vintage Trouble Experience I believe is unique because of the friendliness & approachability of the band & the fact that at each gig there is a Community of Troublemakers ( Vintage Trouble fans) who meet before, during & after the gigs and keep the music alive. They also communicate and share their experiences, photos & video footage on the fan facebook page. The music and energy of the band and Ty Taylor’s ( lead singer) charm & persuasive drive to entertain & involve everyone in the room in the performance & enjoyment of the music is so compelling! Take a look at this clip from this year’s Glastonbury performance for example.
Support Band – Slydigs
Firstly we were treated to a selection of songs from the support band who are accompanying Vintage Trouble on their European Tour.
I have to admit that I hadn’t heard of them before this and was surprised to learn that they’d had a single out over 5 years ago called ‘Electric Love’. Lead singer, Dean Fairhurst & lead guitarist, Louis Menguy started the band in Warrington in 2006. Peter Fleming on percussion & Ben Breslin on bass complete the foursome.
We were treated to a great selection of rocking songs, at times Oasisesque but with distinctive clear vocals, a great rhythm section & guitar work. Songs like ‘Stiff Upper Lip’, ‘Electric Love’ & ‘Light the Fuse ( the newly released single)’ were well received, culminating in the final song ‘The Love That Keeps Giving’. A great song which I felt had a Rolling Stones tinge to it was ‘Catch a Fading Light’ on which Dean Fairhurst played acoustic guitar. All in all a very accomplished & professional performance which was their 9th with Vintage Trouble & they really connected well with the audience.
A voice is heard on the PA speakers : ‘In America they are the New Protocol of Soul! Get your hands together for Vintage Trouble’. This is followed by the 1952 version of Big Mama Thornton’s ‘You ain’t Nothin’ but a hound dog’. The signal for the entrance of the band who assemble in front of the drum kit & face each other shaking each others hands. This is the ritual before every live performance. Then the magic commences!
The performance commences with the song which is the last track on the new ‘1 Hopeful Rd. Album, ‘Soul Serenity’, a soothing, soulful song impeccably delivered. The tempo changes then with the rousing, rocking ‘Blues Hand Me Down’ where Ty gets everyone in the room involved with his feats of athleticism, twirls, jumps, cries of ‘I can’t even hear you’ & gets us to raise hands in the air & clap & just generally dance & move around to the compelling music to which we comply readily & with glee!
Ty convinces us that we are a community & we are all part of the performance & takes us back to the land of Juke Joints & tells of how his parents met & sings the song ‘Nancy Lee’ which tells us of all this. The songs, ‘Angel City’, Another Man’s Words’ & ‘Doin’ What You were Doin’ are delivered to perfection by which time we are completely aware of Rick Bario Dill on bass guitar & Richard Danielson on drums providing impeccably tight driving rhythm section. Nalle Colt on lead guitar delivers simultaneously enthralling riffs, rhythm & structure to supplement Ty’s melody lines.
At this point a couple climb up to the stage & we are treated to a marriage proposal. Thankfully the lady says yes. They are a couple who appropriately run a cafe called Nancy’s kitchen. The next song is ‘My Heart Won’t Fall’.
A Recent post on facebook describing how he first met the couple to me sums up the emotional connections of people in the Troublemaker Community.
Ok…so this is HUGE to me. While on the AC/DC tour I was walking through the 100,000 person crowd. A beautiful couple ran up to us with the most beautiful, forward, bright, loving energy. He was wearing a Vintage Trouble T-shirt. She was wearing a smile as radiant as my mother, Nancy Lee. They are from Warsaw, Polland. They become dear friends with us through social media. He proposed marriage to her on his knee on our stage in London on the “1 Hopeful Rd” Tour. They have training at one of the finest barista schools and have just opened their 1st business venture. The Nancy Lee Cafe. To say that my band and The Taylor Family could not be more honored is not words enough. With a heart bursting with joy from this act I say to this couple, “You are now part of The Taylors and thank you for contributing to the legacy of the most beautiful person I have ever known.” Gratulacje! Powodzenia! kochamy Cię!
A nice & unexpected surprise follows whereby Paloma Faith enters the stage & sings ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’ with Ty. This a great exhibition of emotion & mutual admiration & a joy to witness.
The tempo is raised a few notches again as Richard Danielson delivers a driving beat on his drums & Nalle Colt’s slide guitar bursts into action & we are treated to the amazing spectacle of the song ‘Run Like the River’ complete with ‘Crowd Surfing’ & the hide & seek game of ‘Where’s Ty’ as he energetically surfs & wanders through the crowd suddenly appearing upstairs on the balcony whilst singing & telling us ‘What I want you to sing is Run Baby Run’. At this point audience participation is in full flight.
The songs ‘Nobody Told Me’ & ‘Strike Your Light’ are then followed by the guys taking a bow to tumultuous applause & then walking off stage.
After a slight pause then the boys come back on stage & treat us to three further songs, namely ‘Run Outta You’, Pelvis Pusher’ & ‘Not Alright By Me’.
Ty Taylor & Rick Bario Dill
The Band Vintage Trouble have been touring incessantly for over five years. Formed in 2010 in Los Angeles, Ty Taylor & Nalle Colt had known each other for some 14 years previous to that. Ty had been in a band called Dakota Moon which released two great albums.
They teamed up with Richard Danielson on drums & Rick Bario Dill on bass guitar & started doing residencies in clubs in the Los Angeles area to great success. They came to UK & played three gigs in London in early 2011 & then appeared on the Jules Holland Show. They played on the Brian May & Kerry Ellis Tour & toured with Bon Jovi. They toured with The Who in 2013 & opened for the Rolling stones in Hyde Park. This year they have toured with Paloma Faith & AC/DC. They have released three albums:-
The Bomb Shelter Sessions (2011)
The Swing House Acoustic Sessions (2014)
1 Hopeful Road (2015)
They have also recorded tracks with other artists such as Booker T & Govt. Mule.
The magic however is with the Amazing Live Performances & they appreciate their fans so much. One lovely fan in the UK has been to over 120 of their gigs & I remember her being presented with a cake last year in Bristol at her 100th gig!
The event I attended was at the Muse (the old museum) on Glamorgan Street & it was only the second year they had held the event there. The place was cosy with a friendly atmosphere & when I arrived they were playing Nick Drake music which helped set the scene. The place holds about 60 seats which gave a lovely intimate feel. [symple_button url=”http://www.breconfringe.co.uk/venues/muse-at-brecon/” color=”gold” size=”default” border_radius=”3px” target=”blank” rel=”” icon_left=”” icon_right=””]Muse at Brecon Fringe[/symple_button]
The first artist I saw was a young singer songwriter called David Roberts. He played finger-style acoustic guitar with flair in an accomplished way using harmonics & an occasional slight percussive effect. This blended well with his soft voice with an occasional hint of vibrato in his voice. He was received very well by the audience & I was very impressed by his performance & song-writing.
Speaking to him afterwards, he is from Hereford originally but lives in Cardiff. His music has been played on Radio Wales on both the Frank Hennessey & Adam Walton Shows. He has uploaded some music to the Hereford BBC Introducing site. His influences appear to be John Martyn, Jeff Buckley & Nick Drake.
He has made a 10 track album called St. Clears which I purchased & am impressed with.
A Couple Of Young Girls Called Shimai played acoustic Guitars & sang. Shimai apparently is Japanese for sisters which is exactly what they are, Angharad & Rhiannon.(not Japanese but from Newport, South Wales).
The first song they sang was called ‘Live It’. This was a great upbeat song with a staccato rhythm, brilliant harmonies & well sung. All their other songs were good & Angharad played ukelele on two of them. They say they have no songs recorded but hope to have some soon. They have some videos on their website & also on Youtube. They also played Heartbeat as well as a great cover version of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’. They quote their influences as Joni Mitchell, Kina Grannis, Ben Howard, First Aid Kit & Fleetfoxes. [symple_button url=”http://www.shimaiofficial.com/” color=”green” size=”default” border_radius=”3px” target=”blank” rel=”” icon_left=”” icon_right=””]Website[/symple_button] [symple_button url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5fFVsnKrAY” color=”orange” size=”default” border_radius=”3px” target=”blank” rel=”” icon_left=”” icon_right=””]YouTube[/symple_button]
Moon was a singer songwriter from Liverpool. Great Performance & great stage presence & really connected with the audience. He played acoustic guitar with a Jazzy feel & his songs were sung with great emotion. I was really impressed by this guy & his performance & song-writing. He said he liked writing songs about fairies.
I believe the next artists name is Laurie. She was a singer-songwriter from London & Ian from Liverpool played Double Bass. Her songs were quite heartfelt & emotional & about her life experiences. One song was about her brother who had by-pass surgery when quite young.
Luke Doherty Band
The next artist was the Luke Doherty Band. These were one of the bands I had gone to Brecon purposely to see. I had heard them on Radio Glamorgan recently & Nicky Cook, the presenter had interviewed them. Luke is only 21 &quite an accomplished guitar player. He was introduced as the nearest thing to Stevie Ray Vaughan. At the age of 9, Luke had been introduced to Eric Clapton & again at 11. At that age he had become the youngest person to achieve grade 8 in the Rockschool examination. His style is very reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughan & yet he did a couple of Great Jimi Hendrix covers. An extended version of All Along The watchtower using great effects & also Purple Haze.
He has a new Album out called Six Strings & A Stetson and they played some great songs from it! Solar Flares On The Sun being one of them. A Great Driving Blues Song With harmonica from Paul Morgan, Lead Vocalist. Great Support from Ant Biggs on Bass & Simon Parrot on Drums. Luke provides some great guitar & Great Solo. The overall rousing performance was given witness by the fact that a large portion of the audience got up & filled the dancefloor. A Great band who I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of! Website :[symple_button url=”http://www.lukedoherty.com/” color=”rosy” size=”default” border_radius=”3px” target=”blank” rel=”” icon_left=”” icon_right=””]Website[/symple_button] [symple_button url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeNRcTIyfp0″ color=”green” size=”default” border_radius=”3px” target=”blank” rel=”” icon_left=”” icon_right=””]YouTube[/symple_button]
Paul Daffurn & Paul Cobbold aka ‘The Two Pauls’
The Two Pauls are a great duo with Paul Daffurn Singer Songwriter playing Electric/acoustic guitar & singing. Paul Cobbold accompanied on Hofner bass, distinctively playing with a bow on some songs with interesting effect. They delivered great vocals & and were very entertaining.
Du Bellows were the reason for my visit. I had seen them only once before at the Baa Bar in Cardiff last year. Originally, a friend had introduced me to their song, ‘Happiness’ almost two years ago & I was so impressed by the music & Amazing vocals. I had followed them on social media and Adam Walton playing that track on his show had been my introduction to Radio Wales.
They came on to a rousing introduction & the audience responded rapturously! The opening number was a suitably quiet song where lead singer, Jade Williams, accompanied herself on auto harp for the song Hymn for Reuben. She explained that the music would get progressively louder. They had previously released a 4 song EP called the Stir studio sessions which they performed towards the end of the set.
They have just released a 9 track bootleg album of live performance songs, titled Transient Electric Volume 1. There is a limited edition of 30cds produced of which I managed to obtain one of the copies. They are available for download also. The tracks, Silurian Woman, Jack and His Queen and If & When & Onlywere rendered in great style with loud appreciation from the audience. Jade Williams has a remarkable voice with great pitch range & wonderful shades of dark & light in her emotional & powerful delivery. She used to sing opera when she was younger. Rich Leeds on Bass & David Watkinson on drums have developed into a really tight Rhythm Section. The timing is so sharp aided by Rich’s immaculate bass playing & Dave performed a great drum solo on If & When & Only. T.J.’s guitar playing is a great complement to Jade’s vocals whether it be delicate acoustic work or heavier electric guitar work.
I remember listening to Gabi Roslin’s comments about them when they played live on her Radio London Show. She was totally Blown Away by them & recommended that all the organisers of festivals should book them. It is no secret that Jimmy Page has been to some of their gigs & has stated ‘There is a cosmic counterpoint alive & well here’. After one of the shows he also said, ‘Du Bellows are by far one of the most interesting musically adept bands I have seen recently.’
Although Jade is from Cefn Coed originally they all live in West London. It is fair testament to their commitment to their art that they, like so many other bands did not get paid for performing at Brecon, but still travel at their expense to further their following. [symple_button url=”http://www.dubellows.com/” color=”black” size=”default” border_radius=”3px” target=”blank” rel=”” icon_left=”” icon_right=””]Website[/symple_button]