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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

A View From The Back Of The Room: Vintage Trouble (Live Review By Paul)

Vintage Trouble - Tramshed Cardiff

More reliable than an Electric Six winter tour, the ever impressive Vintage Trouble returned to Cardiff a mere 11 months after their previous visit and once again left the venue sweaty, happy and full of joy.

VT has a reputation for pulling some decent talent along with them on their tours. Last year it was Slydigs, this year, 2014's British Blues Young Artist of the Year Laurence Jones (8) and his band. With a mix of influences from Clapton to Hendrix to Tony McPhee, Jones is another in the long line of exciting blues guitarists and his 40 minutes absolutely flew past as he indulged his talent on the stage. Clad in a simple t-shirt and leather jacket, flanked by the enthusiastic bass of Greg Smith and the rampant drumming of Mike Wilson, Jones played a rather decent set of new tunes from his latest release What's It Gonna Be alongside more established tracks from his previous three releases. Yes, the Stratford Upon Avon born guitarist is also a prolific recorder. His easy style warmed the audience up nicely and a generous round of applause was no more than he deserved.

I struggle to find superlatives to cover Vintage Trouble (10). Every time I see them, the band up the level again. For much of the evening, everything I wrote about the band's previous visits to Cardiff and Bristol over the years rings true. It's been six years since we first saw the band impress at Sonisphere whilst they also impressed the Ed before that when he saw them support Brian May and Kerry Ellis a few weeks before that. Since then, they have been on UK shores every year and we continue to go back. Maybe I should end the review there. We keep going back to see them.

But now there is even more maturity about the band. Polished to within an inch of their lives, still as snappily dressed although the cream suit of Ty Talyor's soon soaked through with sweat such is the effort the front man puts into his shows, VT are just consummate professionals. With the addition of Brian London on keys and backing vocals giving more depth and warmth to their sound, the band galloped through a set crammed with old classics from The Bomb Shelter Sessions, more recent stuff from 1 Hopeful Road and four new songs shoehorned into the middle of the set.

As I've said before, Ty has the crowd where he wants them, although even he couldn't get the big gobbed fools near us to shut up during the gentle Not Alright By Me (Ha! The irony!) and Doin' What You Were Doin'. Luckily there was enough raucousness in the likes of Pelvis Pusher, Run Like The River and set closer Knock Me Out to drown them out. The inimitable Nalle Colt continues to impress on the guitar with his work just stunning at times, Rick Barro Dill is the epitome of cool in his three piece suit and subtle bass lines whilst Richard Danielson is an amazing drummer.

The inevitable journey by Ty Taylor to the balcony managed to finally grab the attention of even the most talkative members of the audience before the band took a deserved bow. A double song encore, the brilliant Blues Hand Me Down and the beautiful Nobody Told Me closed yet another fantastic evening for the assembled troublemakers and as the band dived off the stage through the crowd to their usual post-gig merchandise signing position once again we were left to marvel at why these guys are not headlining much bigger venues.

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