Monday, November 9, 2015

Vintage Trouble - Barrowland, Glasgow, 8 November 2015

People get ready, because here comes the next big thing.
The faded ballroom charms of the Barrowlands seem like just the right setting for Vintage Trouble, and their 21st century take on a Sixties soul revue injected with bluesy guitar and rock’n’roll rhythms.  Think Motown melodies.  Think Sam and Dave freneticism.  Think James Brown showmanship.  Think, if you will, of National Lampoon’s Animal House, and the kids going nuts to Otis Day and the Knights (featuring Robert Cray, by the way) performing ‘Shout’.
Vintage Trouble - Sharp Dressed Men
These guys know their green onions, as evidenced by their entry tape of Big Mama Thornton doing ‘Hound Dog’ as a prelude to the cool opener of ‘Soul Serenity’.  Then serenity be damned, as they explode into the frantic ‘Blues Hand Me Down’.  Sporran-adorned lead singer Ty Taylor is spinning and bouncing through dance moves, gangling bass player Rick Barrio Dill is getting down in spidery fashion, and Nalle Colt is cranking out a belter of a guitar riff to complement Rich Danielson’s pounding drums.
They keep their foot on the gas through the offbeat dance-ability of ‘Nancy Lee’, with Taylor breaking out his selection of soulful squeals, and on into the ringing chords and thumping backbeat of ‘Angel City, California’, which sounds for all the world like the Stones opting to rock out by speeding up and de-countrifying ‘Sweet Virginia’.
They offer the odd breather mid-set, such as on ‘Another Man’s Words’, which is just one example of their flair for a great hook, and in this case also for great accompanying  guitar licks filling in around it.
Taylor is always working the crowd though, and when he poses the question “Have you heard of a juke joint?” it’s the cue for things to kick off big time.  As he pictures a scene in the Deep South, where you drip sweat when you walk outside, they ease themselves into ‘Before The Teardrops’, and women start screaming as he grinds his hips. 
Then, proclaiming that it’s time for a dance party, Taylor is suddenly off the stage, forging an aisle through the middle of the crowd to dance with any female who makes herself available on his way back to the stage.

As if that’s not enough, Nalle Colt propels ‘Run Like The River’ into rocking action with
Ty Taylor - To infinity and beyond!
Page-esque slide.  Singing along is just the norm by now, so Taylor enlivens things still further by conducting the audience in the Wave, before going AWOL among them again to turn up at the back of the house, and then crowd-surfing his way back to the stage.  And just in case anyone doubted his total control, the raucous set closer ‘Strike Your Light’ has him in the body of the kirk yet again, in true Otis Day mode ordering everyone to crouch down as the band lower the volume before their final assault.
After that, first encore ‘Nobody Told Me’ is a cooling off period, a Marvin Gaye-style slice of soul that again suggests VT’s mastery of the genre is, as the lyrics put it, “a message and a calling”.  It also allows all concerned to gather their strength for the final assault of ‘Pelvis Pusher’, which comes over like a revved up, sexed up sequel to Arthur Conley’s ‘Sweet Soul Music’.  Taylor, needless to say, acts out the title big time, provoking yet more female whooping from among the dancing crowd.
If Vintage Trouble are coming to a town near you, get your dancing shoes on, get down there, and prepare to surrender.  Resistance is useless.

Support band Slydigs are a cocky looking bunch, which can’t be an easy state of mind to maintain when you come from Warrington and you’re supporting a gang from LA who are tearing it up every night.  But they give a decent account of themselves as they collide the Stones with Britrock.  Drummer Pete Fleming in particular, powers things along in the manner of Taylor Hawkins, which is to say perhaps a bit manic and overfond of a crashing cymbal, but still distinctive.  They need to work on stronger material, but ‘Light The Fuse’ is striking enough to set a standard to aim for.

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