Before L.A.’s finest Vintage Trouble, young Liverpool quartet Standin’ Man provided some thrilling support, their own brand of ’60s and ’70s tinged rock a welcome revelation. Exuding a rough-edged cool, the outfit brought a collection of songs with great hooks and no little firepower, singer Dean Fairhurst, guitarist Joe Kaveney, drummer Peter Fleming and bass player Paul Glover on a high from several dates around Europe with the headliners and having opened for The Who a few days earlier.
Epic Studios, Norwich – 26 July 2023
Words: Paul Monkhouse
Photography: Lawrence Potter
Certainly, their confidence was well placed in their material, debut Life Imitating Art filled with swagger and big, ballsy numbers.
Lazy comparisons aside, their music has more in common with The Kinks than anything to do with that other warring siblings ensemble, the Gallaghers, touches of Small Faces and an earthy blast of psychedelia informing them too.
There’s nothing pastoral here, though, the rawness and grit born from their hometown of Liverpool not allowing them to be anything but authentic as county-influenced opener Angry Young Man kicks like a mule.
There’s a great sense of dynamics and colour here, too, from the ringing guitar of Colour Of Money, through to the heavy-duty Be Your Own Messiah and onto inserting a cheeky bit of Led Zeppelin into their pounding take on the Fab Four’s masterpiece Eleanor Rigby.
The perma-sunglasses-clad Fairhurst has a good set of pipes on him, his characterful voice brings nuance to the numbers as Kaveney throws shapes, Glover is an island of tranquillity in the eye of the storm, and Fleming smashes into his drum kit as if it’s personally insulted his family, the spirit of Taylor Hawkins shaping his attack.
Here’s a band who understands rock ‘n’ roll. With the razor-sharp addition of Colt joining them for an electric run-through of Do Do Do Heartbreaker dedicated to birthday boy Mick Jagger and a funky Changin’ Wind closing their set, Standin’ Man proved that despite the naysayers, the future of music is in safe hands.
Certainly, a band to check out. These four friends are making waves and headed for the big leagues.
You can read the Vintage Trouble report here.