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Review: Vintage Trouble, Hall One, Sage Gateshead

The Californian quartet rocked the Sage's Hall One with a heady mix of pounding rock, emotive soul and acoustic tracks

*****
Adam Kennedy Vintage Trouble at Hall One, The Sage Gateshead
Vintage Trouble at Hall One, The Sage Gateshead

Vintage Trouble’s rapid rise from Cluny buzz band to Sage Hall One headliner really shouldn’t come as a major surprise. The rock fans of Tyneside have always preferred their music honest, heartfelt, affecting and ambitious: the Californian quartet ticks all of those boxes and more.

Consequently their latest trip to Tyneside was yet another near sell-out in a venue tailor made for musicians who cherish their craft. Blessed with a quite beautiful mix, the band didn’t disappoint – mixing pounding rock with emotive soul and stripped back acoustic numbers with all consuming electric power.

Frontman Ty Taylor is a terrific example of the lost art of performance. Naturally charming, boasting a voice that’s part James Brown and part Terrence Trent D’Arby, the former reality television competitor is a captivating individual making up for lost time. Stylish and supremely confident he nevertheless comes across as humble, appreciative and desperate to impress.

 

Staring out at hundreds of devoted Troublemakers – the name given to the band’s most committed followers – Taylor led his team to yet another triumphant night on the banks of the Tyne. The natural fusion of Hall One and Vintage Trouble always appeared to be an audiophile’s dream and so it proved.

Heavily promoting new EP The Swing House Acoustic Sessions it was perhaps inevitable that Taylor shone on the stripped down numbers. Lo And Behold, an alternative version of ultimate set closer Blues Hand Me Down and Another Man’s Word’s offered long-time fans a fresh take on a constantly evolving work in progress.

Taylor’s frantic trip to level two, where he belted out pitch perfect lines while hanging over the balcony, could have seemed so contrived had it involved anyone but the bustling leader of the Vintage Trouble pack. However, the band’s diminutive firecracker of a frontman has forged a special bond with his adoring public and nowhere more so than in the North East of England.

Taylor loves to get up close and personal and more than an hour after the evening’s spine-tingling encore he was still pressing the flesh with delighted punters. Vintage Trouble’s approach, attitude and heady blend of rock and soul might be a glorious throwback to the 50s but this is a band that’s all about the future.

Simon Rushworth

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