Vintage Trouble – Bristol Bierkeller
Vintage Trouble are addictive. That first taste leaves you craving for more and every additional hit provides an immediate sense of satisfaction that quickly disappears and intensifies the craving again. My first taste was in the unlikely setting of the tent at Sonisphere in 2011 and then at a very sweaty Glee Club in 2012. Having been unable to see them in the Glee Club last year, it was inevitable that a trip across the bridge was in the schedule to maintain the addiction when VT announced their latest tour. If you haven't heard of this band, then let me enlighten you. Formed in LA in 2010, VT are Ty Taylor on vocals, Nalle Colt on guitar, Richard Danielson on drums and Rick Barrio Dill on bass. They play a combination of soulful bluesy rock ‘n’ roll with a down and dirty delivery. Possibly the sharpest dressed band in the world, it is in the live arena where Ty and the boys really deliver the goods. The Bierkeller has been around for a long time, and it’s about time it moved with the times and invested in some bloody air-conditioning. Sweltering conditions inside, combined with a capacity sell-out crowd made for a slightly uncomfortable evening although getting a little moist is very much a ritual for the Troublemakers (as VT’s fans are fondly referred to). Kicking off with Jezzebella, the room was immediately in full swing with much jiving and dirty dancing as Ty demonstrated why he is one of the best frontmen in the business. His voice is stunning, soulful and enchanting and his energy is infectious. As the band played through a selection of tracks from their debut album, The Bomb Shelter Sessions, their influences oozed through. From Ike and Tina to the Rolling Stones, this band capture them all in a perfect blend and spin it together with their own unique style and delivery. Ty is the perfect front of house, cajoling and spinning, encouraging numerous sing-a-longs and much air palming from the adoring crowd.
A couple of news songs were also delivered, including the excellent Low Down Dirty Dog. An acoustic session in the middle of the show was welcomed by all and allowed the pace to drop without losing any momentum. Not All Right By Me was performed to perfection. As the tempo built back up with the rocky Blues Hand Me Down, there was a real opportunity for the band’s high level of musicianship to come to the fore, with the guitar work of Colt spectacular. This band have been on a constant touring cycle ever since their formation and it really shows with extended and improvised versions of virtually every song. They are incredibly tight, clearly benefitting from playing support slots to a wide range of bands including the Rolling Stones as well as numerous headline shows. Nobody Told Me highlighted the softer side of the band before they played one of their most popular tunes, the infectious Nancy Lee which again featured extended improvisation and mass audience participation. It’s difficult to describe what it is about VT that is so addictive. Maybe it’s the humility in their delivery, maybe it’s the pure energy and infectious grooves of their songs or maybe it is a combination and the fact that you can't feel anything other than incredibly happy whilst watching them. As they closed their set, jumping off stage and heading straight through the crowd to sign items in the ‘Goods and collectables’ section, all around the ‘Keller were satisfied and sticky Troublemakers who will no doubt be back to see VT as soon as they can. A brilliant night once more. 10/10