Vintage Trouble & Slydigs, Tramshed, Cardiff
"All You Need Is Love, Love Is All You Need" the statement that will forever be associated with The Fab Four actually turns out to be the motto that could be applied to the current UK and US populations, with gun crime, hate crime, political turmoil and general unpleasantness seeming to be ramping up to it's highest levels since the 1970's, then like now the power of live music is a welcome escape, from the circus of horrors that is the everyday. This is especially true when Vintage Trouble come to town, the band that collectively the Musipedia Of Metal are approaching double figure viewings and every time we walk out sweat drenched and grinning from ear to ear. Once again we set out early for a few pre gig drinks and a massive burger courtesy of Cardiff's excellent Grazing Shed, full of food an beer we headed over to Cardiff's newest and nicest venue The Tramshed and met up with our resident Nomad Paul just as the support band had started their opening song.
The support in question were Slydigs who were a high energy, top class rock n roll band with indie posturings, a Jagger Swagger and riotous pop friendly songs. The band have recently come form opening for The Who (an achievement they share with tonight's headliners) and you can see why as their driving Mod-styled R&B was just as exciting and immediate as The Who were back in the heady days of Quadrophenia The band stormed through their set welcoming VT's Nalle Colt on to the stage for rollicking version of Hey Joe made famous by Hendrix (which served as Mr & Mrs H's third Hendrix cover of the week after the Top's run through of Fire and Foxy Lady) which let Colt really show his talent as Slydigs frontman Dean sang those famous words with ragged vocals. As an opening act Slydigs did great job of warming up the crowd up with the ramshackle rock n roll style and infectious sense of camaraderie. 7/10
With newly improved stage set up featuring draped curtains, VT branded floodlights and the snazziest suits the band have worn (which leads me to believe all the touring is just to pay dry cleaning bills) Vintage Trouble were ready to go. There is always a sense of anticipation when seeing the band live as like Mr Gump's box of chocolates you never know what you are going to get. With the stage still in darkness, Nalle Colt took to the stage by himself and started to kick out the jams with some opening solos that meant Richard Danielson could slide behind his kit, Rick Bario Dill slinked on with his bass and as the drums kicked in the clapping began, welcoming Ty Taylor on to the stage for the live-wire high energy opener Run Like A River, from here we were off an boogieing with the call and response of "Run Baby Run" warming up the voices for the rest of the night as hips swayed and hands clapped and pushed to the ceiling, the venue getting hotter and hotter by the second.
Allowing us to catch our collective breaths the band slowed with the heartbreaking Nobody Told Me which once again led to more singing along. Vintage Trouble are one of the few bands that try their hardest to give a memorable show every time they play and this time that meant raiding their treasure trove of unreleased songs and drawing out Can't Stop Roiling which could be a metaphor for the bands punishing tour schedule and built the set back up to the euphoric high of Strike Your Light on me which saw Taylor take his first foray into the crowd making the majority crouch until we all jumped in unison, his goading and cajoling is second to none and has the crowd eating out of his hand, frequent calls of "I Can't Even Hear You!" force the crowd to shout louder without fail.
Back on the stage and we were treated to the bands anti-love song, love song Another Man's Words which is one of the most beautiful songs in the bands catalogue and is up there with a Broadway showstopper, it had the same affect on the night with the raw emotion of the song connecting with the audience. Taylor then went on to explain the problem with only doing an hour and a half set was that many get annoyed that certain songs aren't played so they rectified this with Troublemakers Medley Soul Serenity segues into the bluesy Angel City, California (cue more handclaps) the sexy Jezebella, soulful Gracefully before rampant sexuality of Total Strangers once again whipped the crowd into sweaty, hips thrusting frenzy. The band are one of the most disciplined I've ever seen there is an element of looseness about them that betrays their professionalism even when Taylor crowd surfed back tot he stage it was done with total control although once back on stage he was lamenting people on their phones after his stage dive as a few times he was going to fall flat on his face. With the medley appeasing some of the hardcore Troublemakers the band led the room with Doin' What You Were Doin' and the newbie Turn The Sky Blue both of which kept the hands in the air.
VT have an uncanny knack of controlling the pace of a gig perfectly and this set especially was one of the most considered I've seen from the band it ebbed and flowed with aplomb as the new song was followed up by the incredibly relevant Not Alright By Me which had been proceeded by a killer speech about speaking out against hate from Taylor that caused those who were sleeping to wake up. The song itself is a powerhouse with Taylor crooning soulfully throughout the venue (yep in the crowd again) and let Nalle Colt off the leash to once again solo with power and precision. As Taylor finished the song on the stage the catharsis was evident but there was no time to rest because the evergreen Blues Hand Me Down and Nancy Lee nodded towards the end of the night, the band rounding out the set with the firebrand Pelvis Pusher led by Danielson's snare, more pent up sexuality than on works night out (you know what I mean) and probably as much hardcore twerking as there was at the Beyonce concert in Cardiff two days later.
Physically shattered, dripping with sweat and gloriously happy, the crowd and the band were one spirit both reciprocating the joy and love in the room. They came back on to the stage for the encore, just the one song and they left it up to the crowd who chose the bands guitar hero masterpiece Run Outta You it's slow pace beat, call and response chorus, stunning elongated guitar solo and final peel off as the crowd continued to belt out the chorus once again proved why it's a near perfect closer (good choice Cardiff). Then it was just bows and the show was over, the lights coming on tot he red faced, glistening punters all of whom had the biggest smile (well everyone other than the small group of four who talked during the quiet bits and seemed uninterested). There is a reason we see this band as many times as we can, they do get better every time and reestablish that music is one of the biggest unifying factors around, music breeds friendship is at the heart of love and that my friends is all you need. Thank you Vintage Trouble for bringing the love back. 10/10