Vintage Trouble – O2 Ritz, Manchester, UK (6th June 2017)

The boys from Vintage Trouble have left the Los Angeles sunshine behind to bring their signature blend of rock, rhythm, blues and soul back to UK shores.

In typical Manchester fashion the weather was rain, rain and more rain but that wasn’t enough to dampen spirits as the mood inside the O2 Ritz was electric as an expectant crowd fills every corner of the room, ready to get a little less wet and a little more wild.

The band struts on stage in their tailor made suits and after a gentleman’s handshake between each of them they waste no time in lifting the crowd off their feet with songs ‘Total Strangers’ and ‘Strike Your Light’ which are both fizzing with energy, lead singer, Ty Taylor sashaying his way around the stage and working the crowd into a frenzy.

Taylor’s charisma shines throughout as he briefly banters between songs whether it be a story about taking mushrooms on Venice Beach which inspired ‘Doin’ What You Were Doin’ or writing a peace prize winning song, ‘Love Song To The World’ which was actually just about the bands travels and their carnal exploits, tongue firmly in cheek as fans shriek with laughter.

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“I’ve always considered myself a powerful person, yet I felt so powerless.” These were words uttered through teary eyes as Taylor talked of his heartbreak after hearing about the atrocious terror attacks in this fair city two weeks ago. Dedicating their next song ‘Battle’s End’ to those affected and then going one step further as he made his way into the crowd with a charity bucket for donations to the Manchester charity fund, all the while singing the soulful and emotive ‘Not Alright By Me’. A sincere and gran gesture that embodied the spirit of Manchester as a city that still grieves but endures.

It seems the band are ready to start rolling out new music as they introduce the crowd to a song that will be released in the future ‘Sorry’, it’s a song that features a trombone solo and gospel organs with the band’s signature soul oozing from every note.

After the slight dip in tempo the band pull no punches as they bring the energy levels up with ‘Don’t Stop Forever’ which is described as the grooviest beat, sweetest melody with the dirtiest words, you’d expect nothing less from these guys. The highlight of the night had to be the band’s performance of ‘Run Like The River’ a raucous slice of rock n roll made all the more rowdy as Taylor danced his way through the crowd on the floor and up in the balcony before climbing the mixing desk and performing the most elegant stage dive you’ll ever see, the crowd passing him around with people on the outskirts irresistibly stamping their feet, jumping around and clapping their hands.

The band round off the set with their latest single ‘Knock Me Out’ (released June 9th) which is a high energy, pelvis pushin’ piece of R&B that leaves the crowd low on energy but high on happiness.

After giving themselves and the crowd a brief moment to breathe the band come back on stage for a two song encore that starts with ‘Nobody Told Me’ and finishes with arguably the band’s first breakout hit ‘Blues Hand Me Down’ that gives the crowd an extra spring in their step for one last dance.

The band’s sound is echoing of an era of music that has passed us by but make no mistake these guys are not a nostalgia act, they’ve found a way to mix traditional sounds and give them a contemporary feel. Couple that with their uniquely high energy and charismatic live shows and it’s easy to understand why their followers continue to grow. With new music on the horizon, it’s safe to assume the boys will be back soon but for this night, the band gave back to a city looking for light in the darkness. Thank you for that, Vintage Trouble.


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