By time I get there I detect DJ Tom "Papa" Ray has been warming the crowd up, dousing the fixtures and fittings of the venue with a subtle dose of gasoline, ready for his friends Vintage Trouble, to step up and strike a match to a little later. I'm sipping my usual tipple (vodka and tonic) and quickly realise it's just the wrong drink as soon as this bunch burst onto the stage. Their sound is drenched in the finest, barrel-aged bourbon known to man.

I'm immediately happily confused as Vintage Trouble appear before my eyes. Just what decade are we in? Where are we? Who ARE they? What IS this? A band with a name like this are clearly not bothered about being viewed as a musical anachronism, in fact, they appear to have worked very hard to look/feel/sound like an authentic, mid-twentieth century rock/blues band - but what makes them so good is that it's not an act. They aren't pretending to be operating out of some time-warp, dressing up or playing a game. They are simply coming from a place where the blues, shaken and stirred with some sweet soul bubbling on top is their natural mode of being – or that’s certainly how it feels to me.

So, it's a pretty weird feeling to see Ty Taylor hanging off the (naturally) retro-style mic, looking like a beautiful blast from the past, yet I also see an audience in front of me holding their mobiles in the air to attempt to capture this vintage image...so, although I know it's really 2015 where I'm standing I don't know what era it is where the band are because they, and especially their front man, seem to be caught in perpetual motion, flying like shooting stars through time and space. There’s plenty of dry ice which is a handy substitute for what should surely be cigarette smoke. For most of the night I find myself caught between a hot and sweaty Los Angeles speakeasy style bar and the rather uninspiring surrounds of Manchester Academy 2 – and I know which one I prefer!

Most of the material tonight comes from the acclaimed ‘Bomb Shelter Sessions’ album but some new material is also aired. Ty tells the crowd that the question they get asked most is when is the new record coming out and reveals the answer to be “this summer” ,and as he prepares to give us a taste of what’s to come the crowd break into a cheer – to which he cautions them that they haven’t heard it yet and it might not be cheer-worthy! It is admirably cheer-provoking, of course. Every song goes down well with ‘Jezzebella’, ‘Blues Hand Me Down’ and ‘Nancy Lee’ getting the crowd in a particular kind of frenzy. I’m not sure if I could pinpoint a highlight because the show seemed to hang on a strange kind of sustained peak for longer than seems possible - but when Ty Taylor catapulted himself to the back of the venue to sing ‘Run Like a River’ and then magically re-appeared on the stage again – that sequence was delightful.

I’ve got to mention crowd participation because I’ve rarely, if ever, seen anything like what happened here. Taylor whipped the crowd into submission, instructing them, cajoling them, applauding them and simply being one with them and them with him. He even managed to get most of us down on our knees at one point singing patiently “I’ll wait all night” until the audience relented and did as they were told.

Compelling as this band are on record, the live arena is truly their forte. Speaking of their recent performance in London, the band observed that “a new kinda roof was torn off the situation", and it seems that in Manchester tonight the gales that have been beating up our rainy city for the last few nights have swept that roof right off yet again. Vintage Trouble are more than a gust of fresh air, and prove to me that good music is timeless and good times...are now!


Photos by Melanie Smith
www.mudkissphotography.co.uk


















Related Links:

http://www.mudkissphotography.co.uk
http://www.vintagetrouble.com/
https://twitter.com/vintagetrouble
https://www.facebook.com/vintagetrouble
https://www.youtube.com/user/vintagetrouble


Commenting On: Academy 2, Manchester, 1/4/2015 - Vintage Trouble








ie London, England

tick box before submitting comment
 

23588 Posted By: Allan Rickwood (Sheffield)

Great review from Mary. Tbh, all VT's reviews are amazing, I've never seen an average one, and for a very good reason. All the nights go the way of this night, band and audience as one, in a hot, sweaty party, with the crowd leaving, just blown away. You have to see it to believe the scale of it really. Best live band I've seen for years and years.


First Previous Next Last