Review by Paul Quinton
The second part of Tyketto’s ‘Reach’ came back to Europe to play a couple of festivals and included some club dates around the UK. This gig came shortly after the band’s barnstorming set at Hard Rock Hell XI, and the Queen’s Hall seemed either sold out or very close to it as showtime drew near.
Support for tonight’s gig came from Welsh band Kane’d, who turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. A seven piece, two guitars, bass and drums, and fronted by the three Kane sisters, Steph, Stacey and Chez, who share lead vocals. If their music is fairly straightforward hard rock, it’s very well sung and played but the best thing about the band is that despite having the three lead singers, it never feels as if there’s anything contrived about the band. While they share the vocals almost equally, there’s also a lot of thought in how this is done, and it’s just as likely two or even all three of them at once will be taking the lead. There’s also never any sense that their stage movements are rehearsed or choreographed in any way, which brings a welcome sense of spontaneity, and makes them so much more watchable on stage. Their songs aren’t bad either, with particular mention for ‘La Di Da’ and the excellently titled ‘I Won’t Bite (Unless You Want Me To)’. Good band, and well worth catching them on their dates in the New Year, which include Eleven in Stoke On Trent on February 9th, Evesham’s Iron Road on February 24th and The Diamond in Sutton In Ashfield on the 25th.
I’ve always had the suspicion that Tyketto may be one of those rare bands who could only play a bad show in the most extreme of circumstances, and this wasn’t going to happen in the Queen’s Hall in front of a crowd who were on their side from the very start. Logically, as this is the ‘Reach’ tour, after their now familiar intro tape, which includes samples of music and interviews from their early career, the band led off with the title track from the album. While there’s no doubt it’s a great song, already with a fine Danny Vaughn lyric, compared to some of the songs the band have in their locker it makes for a comparatively low key start to the show, but then they play ‘Burning Down Inside’, one of the best songs from their classic ‘Don’t Come Easy’ album, and the gig almost immediately hit a high that rarely let up.
With Chris Childs away on Thunder duty, the band have been forced to bring in a substitute bassist, top New York session man Greg Smith, who has a CV even longer than Mike Portnoy. He’s fitted into this role almost seamlessly, and some of his playing at this show, especially on ‘Lay Your Body Down’ was superb. Overall, though the whole band are in absolutely sumptuous form. Mike Clayton Arbeeny is playing with such fire that a member of the road crew is now stationed next to his drum kit, essentially to stop the whole thing falling apart under the onslaught, and Chris Green is proving to be a guitar player of rare quality, so much that it’s quite common to see the other members of the band nodding in approval during his solos. It was also a pleasant surprise to be able to hear Ged Rylands’ keyboards properly during this gig, which is not always the case at some venues, but it’s always worth appreciating what he brings to the band’s overall sound, especially on songs like ‘Burning Down Inside’.
As well as highlighting the new album, and the inevitable songs from Don’t Come Easy, the band also included songs from their other two albums with Danny Vaughn, including ‘Strength In Numbers,’ from which we heard the title track and the brilliant ‘Rescue Me’, and from their previous studio album, there was the fiery ‘Big Money’ and the epic ‘Faithless’. The band also pulled a bit of a surprise out of the hat when they looked back to Danny Vaughn’s time before Tyketto, when he was in Waysted with Pete Way, and gave us ‘Heaven Tonight’, which he’s played in his solo gigs before now, but not as part of Tyketto. It’ always good when a band can surprise an audience like this, and I hope the cries of ‘Wow’ and ‘oh yes’ will encourage the band to do something similar in future. Even in the encore, which naturally concluded with the mighty ‘Forever Young’, also included a nice surprise with ‘The Last Sunset’, a song the band don’t seem to have played for a while.
With something approaching a stable line up, Tyketto tour the UK quite regularly these days, and it’s an extremely rare occurrence when they don’t put on a great show. This was typical, a great, enthusiastic crowd, the band playing their collective socks off, and a memorable gig. They’ll always be welcome visitors.