Last year I went to see Vintage Trouble for the first time and they played one of the most memorable gigs I’ve seen in a long time, featuring a piper, a marriage proposal, Ty Taylor climbing a balcony and all of this in an old church hall. Since then they’ve released their long awaited second album, 1 Hopeful Road, and the rise in their popularity was pointed out as DJ and music critic Billy Sloan introduced them onto the stage at the Barrowlands for their biggest headline gig to date. This iconic old venue has seen some sights, and playing it is a dream for many artists. To play your biggest gig to date there must have made it even more special for this band.
The show was opened by Slydigs, who had the honour of being introduced onto the stage by Vintage Trouble frontman Ty. They got off to a slow start, but as their set went on the crowd warmed to them, which the band clearly realised, commenting, “that’s more like it,” whenever they got a louder cheer than before. I didn’t particularly enjoy their set myself, but once they’d finished I discovered I was in the minority as everyone else around me seemed to have had a good time. I guess if we all liked the same thing it would get dull pretty quickly!
By the time Vintage Trouble took to the stage the venue was full and they were greeted with a roar that pretty much didn’t stop until the end. Opener Soul Serenity got everyone swaying and voices were raised right up to the beautiful old ballroom ceiling. Next things were kicked up a notch as Ty told the crowd this was going to a be a dance party and they went into Blues Hand me Down. I discovered yet again that my ability to simultaneously
take photos, dance and sing along needs some work! What a brilliant song that is, and there can’t be many better for kicking off a party. I had wondered whether Ty would spend as much time in the crowd as he did in smaller venues but my question was soon answered as he launched himself across the photo pit to stand on the crowd barrier during the next song, Nancy Lee. Hands were raised to hold him steady straight away. He was all over the place, in the centre of the floor encouraging the crowd to form a circle around him and dance. His talents are many, but not least is the fact he has the crowd in the palm of his hand from the very beginning. He told us to dance, we did. He told us to high five someone we didn’t know, we did. He told us there was a fan in the crowd who was at her 50th Vintage Trouble show, and to shout, “Happy 50th show Jade,” and we did. At one point he even got a wave going. Later in the gig during Run Like the River he jumped straight into the crowd and made his way to the very back, demanding people dance as he went, ending up standing on the barrier around the sound desk, then falling onto waiting hands and surfing literally from the back row to the front, while the crowd sang “Run Baby Run”
and he somehow managed to still sing along. This was a show from an ultimate showman, and yet the glue that sticks it all together, while never leaving the stage shouldn’t be underestimated. Nalle Colt, Rick Barrio Dill and Richard Danielson are brilliant musicians, never missing a beat while Ty gyrates and spins, conducts the crowd and runs all over the building. They always look like they are having the time of their life and on a night like this who can blame them. During Another Man’s Words the crowd became almost like a choir, voices providing perfect backing vocals. There were quieter moments among the madness, in the form of Shows What You Know and first track of the encore Nobody Told Me. They finished with Pelvis Pusher. For me this song sums up everything a Vintage Trouble show is about. We danced, we waved, we sang and Ty gave us everything he had. He’s an incredible performer, with the soul of Marvin Gaye, a performance like a deep South gospel preacher and the hips of Elvis. The band are so much fun and I can only see their upward trajectory continuing. Brilliant.