Review by Paul Quinton
Tours celebrating the anniversaries of albums or even bands’ careers as a whole are quite a regular occurrence these days, although when someone realised that Tyketto’s second album, ‘Strength In Numbers’ was reaching the quarter century mark, the band didn’t intend to mark the occasion in any way other than mentioning it on Facebook. However, as singer Danny Vaughn remarked, as soon as the post went up, the replies began to stack up, each one saying much the same thing: ‘tour’, ‘tour’, ‘tour’, etc, and so the band embarked on the official ‘Strength In Numbers 25th Anniversary tour, which reached Manchester on a wintry Sunday night.
Tyketto have struck up a continuing working relationship with Kane’d, who have supported them on a couple of tours, and also assisted in Tyketto’s recent DVD shoot, and it was no surprise that they were named as the support for this tour. The band’s obvious USP is the three pronged lead vocal line up of the Kane sisters, Cheryl (Chez), Stacey and Stephanie, but this is no gimmick, each singer is genuinely talented, taking turns to sing lead, duet or as a trio, whatever each song requires, backed up by an excellent band. Their songs are an engaging mix of classic rock and modern metal, with some strong hooks, good enough to have the crowd singing along, especially numbers like ‘Show Me Your Skeleton’, the title track of their most recent album, and the set closer, ‘La De Da’, which is a cracking song by anyone’s standards. The band weren’t necessarily done any favours with the mix, Chez in particular sounded a little muted some of the time, but each time I’ve seen them, they’ve never failed to impress, they’re a good band and well worth checking out.
From the moment they first came to the UK and won so many fans when they supported White Lion in 1991, Tyketto have had an enduring and heartfelt relationship with their followers in this country. Several of the dates on this tour were sold out (bigger venues next time, perhaps?), and there can’t have been many tickets left for this gig either. Playing an album in full can make a set a bit predictable, but in this case the band did their best to change things round and add some unpredictability into the running order. The set opener, for instance was ‘Inherit The Wind’, which is the second last track on the album, but, with its insistent riff, is a good way to introduce a Tyketto show, and somehow the band managed to continue to introduce surprises into the set. As well as the album tracks, for instance, the band also played the B-side of one of the singles from the album, a song called ‘Wait Forever’, which is such a good song, it really would have graced the album.
Another surprise was ‘Ain’t That Love’, which Danny Vaughn said was hugely influenced by Steve Marriott and Humble Pie, (easy to spot once he’d pointed it out!) another much underrated song, with a fine solo from Chris Green, but in addition to the ‘Strength In Numbers’ songs, the band cast one or two of their set list regulars in a different light. The band’s DVD shoot last June saw them rearranging, their songs often quite radically, including new vocal lines, and adding brass and string sections and backing vocals. No horns or violins tonight, but for the ever popular ‘Wings’, the Kane sisters were reintroduced to allow the band to reproduce the song in its revised form, a bluesier, more soulful version, with the sisters complementing the Vaughn’s vocals superbly.
The main set ended in more traditional Tyketto style with the passionate ‘Rescue Me’, and absolutely epic rendering of ‘Strength In Numbers’ title track, and then somehow bringing things to an even greater height with ‘Forever Young’, in which Danny Vaughn could easily have let the crowd sing lead themselves. A three song encore followed, beginning with Vaughn introducing the rest of the band one by one, with drummer Michael Clayton Arbeeny stage front with a tambourine for ‘The Last Sunset’, then ‘Reach’ before the show ended with another song that has become another anthem for Tyketto fans, ‘Standing Alone’. The band looked a little shattered at the end but also clearly moved by the crowd’s response.
As well as the venue being as good as sold out, the crowd should also be mentioned in the context of helping to make this such a memorable show. The atmosphere was electric throughout the gig, even without prompting from the band, they needed no encouragement to sing along, the response to each song and at the end was loud and passionate, and even if Danny Vaughn hadn’t mentioned that the band were recording the shows for a future live album, I don’t think the response would have been any different. It was a fine, fine show.
Tyketto play The Robin in Bilston on 15th March