Tyketto / Romeo's Daughter - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham (UK) - 22 January 2017
Whenever Tyketto venture onto these shores I always try to catch as many shows as possible, on this outing it's four shows of the re-scheduled 'Reach' tour and the first chance to hear some of the awesome new songs performed live. Though I attended the previous night's Liverpool show (during which Tyketto were, of course, amazing), I neglected to review it because of the two support bands. Though good at what they did, the heavier and more morose nature of their music was so far removed from the uplifting Melodic Rock of Tyketto it killed the atmosphere somewhat. Tonight's support was definitely more suitable; Romeo's Daughter.
In truth, I was never a big fan of RD back in the eighties, only seeing them perform once before as support to FM on their 'Heroes And Villains' tour. However, I have to admit they do know how to entertain, with Leigh Matty the obvious focal point, though the quality of the backing vocals from guitarist Craig Joiner, bassist Ed Poole and drummer Andy Wells is such a huge part of RD's sound.
Kicking off with the classic 'Heaven In The Backseat', followed by 'Attracted To The Animal', the audience were immediately appreciative. They shifted to newer material for the next four songs, during which I personally felt a bit of a lull in proceedings, being unfamiliar with these tunes which came across a little too samey, but the closing trio of 'Inside Out', 'I Cry Myself To Sleep At Night' and 'Wild Child' all hit the spot perfectly. Overall, the performance made me look forward to seeing these guys (and gal) again at Bilston on the last night of the tour in a week's time.
The new-found lust for life Tyketto have displayed since guitarist Chris Green, keyboardist Ged Rylands and bassist Chris Childs joined the nucleus of drummer Michael Clayton Arbeeny and vocalist extraordinaire Danny Vaughn was very much in evidence right from the off on this tour; I think they should have tried to get Red Bull to sponsor the tour as this is the most energetic and lively set-list I have ever heard at a Tyketto show, featuring their most Rocking songs and fan-favourites.
Wasting no time in plundering 'Reach' for material, proceedings kicked off with the pounding newie 'Kick Like A Mule'; originally perceived as the album opener, it's the perfect curtain-raiser. It's followed swiftly by 'Wings', making an early appearance in the set and giving the Tyketto choir their first opportunity for a mass sing-along – which they did gratefully! 'Rescue Me' and 'Faithless' followed, then it's back to 'Reach' for 'I Need It Now'; If I have one tiny complaint then it's that only four of the new songs were aired, as a diehard fan I would have loved seven or eight newies, such is the strength of the album (guess I'll just have to wait until the next tour!). However, that slight negative is appeased by the sheer strength of the other selections, as every Tyketto album is accommodated, with the likes of 'Burning Down Inside', 'Meet Me In The Night', 'Dig In Deep' and 'Lay Your Body Down' all guaranteed crowd-pleasers.
Tyketto have always been excellent live, but there is just something about this band at the moment that is exceeding expectations. Maybe it's that the new guys are all feeling more comfortable within their roles now that they finally have a recording credit to their name, maybe it's the up-tempo nature of the set-list adding extra impetus; whatever the reason, these guys were on fire! Clayton Arbeeny was pounding his drums into submission, Vaughn's voice was impeccable as ever as he truly lived up to the "Forever Young" mantra, Green was a whirlwind of guitar shredding energy, and even the normally reticent Chris Childs threw shapes, was seen foot-on-the-monitor and as he leant out over the crowd, certainly way more animated than I've ever seen him with Thunder.
'Standing Alone' was the sole ballad of the evening, during which the crowd accompanied Mr. Vaughn vociferously (and this was supposed to be the quiet song!), and my two favourite Tyketto songs were performed together as 'Catch My Fall' followed, a sublime song that is the absolute epitome of the Tyketto "sound" and one that lyrically references the bond between band and fans.
The reintroduction of the breathless, all-out Rock 'n' Roll of 'Let It Go' (the sole song from the Steve Augeri era) was a masterstroke, Green in particular had a ball as he peeled off the riff, whilst he also shone on the frantic ending of 'Love To Love' that closed the set – this finger blistering solo could have gone on all night.
The band swiftly returned for the encore, which tonight was a cover of 'Don't Stop Believin''... No, of course it wasn't! 'Forever Young' once again brought proceedings to a rapturous close. Twenty-five-plus years later, Tyketto are sounding better than ever, which for a long-term fan is certainly a huge compliment.