If ever there was a band fit to the grace the stage of Glasgow’s famous Barrowland Ballroom then that band would be Vintage Trouble. A venue filled with history, sometimes a violent history, but arguably one of the best live venues in the UK and Europe. A favourite with bands and punters alike, check out what Vintage Trouble vocalist Ty Taylor wrote on social media about how much it meant to him to be playing ‘The Barras’. One of the many urban legends is that the floor is sprung upon thousands of tennis balls cut in half to cushion the dancing shoes of Glaswegians ‘Up The Dancing’ on a Saturday night.The raucous soulful sound that Vintage Trouble brings to the party is made for this venue, and those tennis balls certainly got one hell of a workout when the boys from Hollywood, California came to town.
First up were Slydigs, a young four-piece from Warrington, who are starting to make waves with both BBC Radio 6 and the NME (or as it’s known in my house… fucking NME). Having a track featured on the recently released ‘Rock Band 4’ game has also helped to raise their profile too. Opening for The Who has certainly given their confidence a massive boost, as they have a real swagger about them. It also helps that they have the songs to back up this swagger. Ty Taylor and Vintage Trouble rate them highly. In fact, it’s Taylor that introduces the band tonight, telling the crowd “This band will tear your face off“.Slydigs play Rock ‘n’ Roll with an Indie tinge, not too far away from acts like Ocean Colour Scene, The View, or even Kasabian, but on songs like ‘Stiff Upper Lip’ they harness a sound not unfamiliar to Aussie rockers Jet. ‘Light The Fuse’ features on the aforementioned ‘Rock Band 4’, and is a massive song that gets the crowd clapping along. A big catchy chorus with some great riffing from Louis Menguy. Slydigs get a 45 minute set and use it well. They get more than a decent reception that should ensure a healthy turnout the next time they are in town.
‘Stereotypical’ or ‘cookie cutter’ are words that do not feature in the Vintage Trouble vocabulary. They take to the stage, gather round the drum kit for a private moment, then go straight into the finger clicking ‘Soul Serenity’, a gorgeous laid back song that is so far away from the type of song that normally opens gigs… but then again, Vintage Trouble aren’t your normal band.”Wind Me Up…Wind Me Up….” shouts Ty Taylor as the band slam into ‘Blues Hand Me Down’, and Taylor just starts spinning around like a madman. He comes out of the spin then jumps onto the barrier at the front of the stage… now who knows, maybe the security were unaware of what Taylor was up to, but for some reason one of them tries to yank him back and get him down… it’s fair to say that the frontman was not amused and some choice words were spoken.The security did put in a decent shift though, as Taylor would go into the crowd several times and I swear at one point one of the bouncers mouthed “Fucking Hell…not again!“.’
‘Nancy Lee’ is up next, and Taylor is back on the barrier, but this time with no misunderstandings from security. He has the crowd in the palm of his hand, and never have I witnessed such full on joyous, crap dancing from pissed up weegies in all my life! I was sober, yet my hips were shaking and my arse was grooving like I was 18 again. Ah..the glory days.
‘Angel City California’ from the second album ‘1 Hopeful Road’ is up next and the “Dance Party” continues with some Rock ‘n’ Roll in it’s purest form. With a frontman like Ty Taylor, it would be easy to play down the importance of the other members of Vintage Trouble, but these are the guys that provide the backbeat that allows Taylor to shine. The rhythm section of Rick Barrio Dill on bass, and Richard Danielson on drums, is perhaps one of the strongest around today, keeping it simple but damn effective, whilst the guitar work of Nalle Colt is astounding. This guy has chops, peeling off riff after riff, and making it look oh so simple.
Before the gig, a friend told me that there isn’t a dividing line between the band and the audience at a Vintage Trouble show, it was more of an ‘all in’. I didn’t really understand what he meant until halfway through the show. The crowd was up for it from the off, but the respect that Taylor showed the crowd was immense, pointing out fans that he recognized from previous gigs, mentioning that tonight was the 50th gig for one ‘Trouble Maker’, then getting the crowd to wish her a Happy 50th. There was a marriage proposal to celebrate (“She said no…” joked Taylor) and then there was Taylor back in the middle of the crowd having them dance with him. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a performer that comfortable amongst a crowd of fans.
During ‘Run Like The River’ Ty Taylor is off again, running through the crowd until he reached the back of the hall, before climbing onto a barrier, then falling into the crowds hands, to be passed over heads back onto the stage. All the while getting the crowd to sing “Run Baby Run” over and over…
Without the songs, all the audience participation in the world would mean diddly-squat, but when you can reel off songs like ‘Another Man’s Words’,’Before The Tear Drops’, and ‘Nobody Told Me’, then you can get away with pretty much anything. ‘Pelvis Pusher’ closes the show in a hip shaking, gyrating, ball busting finale that saw backs getting thrown out everywhere… the Ibuprofen must have been in great demand the following morning. When the song finishes, the band take their bows and then… you guessed it… jump the barriers and leave via the crowd like triumphant boxers having won the title. They were happy to shake hands, high five everyone, then head down to the merch stand for an impromptu signing session!
Truly, a magical evening from a band whose stock is on the rise. Don’t miss them this time around, but look out, your dancing shows…
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Review Dave Stott
Images Ritchie Birnie