I have been attending Sage Gateshead since it opened. I have watched numerous bands and artists from folk, americana, country, and blues. Tonight was a first……
A band had the whole audience on it’s feet – not for one song, not for the encore…but the whole darn gig!! Yep in Sage Hall 1 …where even attempts to get to your seat can raise tuts and raised eyebrows; where standing at an encore is frowned upon….and dancing in the aisles…forget it!!
The band that achieved this feat of turning ‘the show’ into a ‘dance party’ were the barnstorming Vintage Trouble from Los Angeles. Making their second visit as headliners in their own right to a sold out Hall 1 – with a standing (boogie area – natch) down front – once again Vintage Trouble’s Nalle Colt on guitar, Richard Danielson on sticks, Rick Barrio on bass and the one and only Ty Taylor on vocals, crowd orchestration and the coolest dance moves this side of Strictly blew the roof of the usually staid concert hall.
This was the first date on a 9 show UK and Ireland tour and while there were a couple of minor teething troubles such as Nalle’s guitar going off early on (which brought about some heated discussions with a roadie on stage, and improvised vocals around the word “Power” with accompanying drum and bass until quickly resolved) and, to my ears, Ty’s vocals being a little muddy in the mix, this mattered not one jot to an audience that has taken this band to its heart. The audience refreshingly included an age range from a boogying 10 yr old and her grandmother, through some very finely dressed ladies all the way up to grizzled old guys in blues t shirts and leather jackets. Although mention must be made of the gent who turned up fully suited in Ty Taylor fashion in a red wine coloured affair!
The band have a new album out ‘1 Hopeful Road’ and songs like ‘Angel City’, ‘California’, ‘Doing What You Were Doin’’ (with some beautiful solo work from Colt on guitar) and ‘My Heart Won’t Fall Again’ were fine additions to the set list alongside the standards this audience were also looking forward to.
But Vintage Trouble are all about connecting with their fans, or friends as Ty likes to call them and when they grooved into the likes of ‘Nancy Lee’ and ‘Blues Hand Down’ these friends were with them all the way. Never more so when Ty headed into the audience by walking over seat backs as if surfing before racing up to the 3rd level while still singing the vocals to ‘Run Like A River’. To the obvious pleasure of one red haired lady who stood next to him at the top of The Sage, Ty then headed back to the stage via a 200 metre run that Usain Bolt would have been proud of to finish the song. This guy has the musical chops of James Brown, Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye running in his blood and his fellow band members are the perfect tight foil to deliver the goods.
As the encore faded away…the whole band glad handed their ‘friends’ – nay fellow Troublemakers if you will – as they exited down an aisle in the main hall straight downstairs to spend another two hours posing for photos, signing any and everything.
The Sage hadn’t seen anything like it….and probably won’t again …..until Vintage Troubles next visit
Photographer – John Jobling
Although his main focus is on fashion photography nowadays he can still be seen working furiously trying to get "the" shot during those first three songs.