When it was announced that this Holy Trinity of the very finest Melodic Rock Bands On The Planet (Tyketto, FM and Dare) would be touring together as Triple Headliners, folks must have thought that they had died and gone to AOR Heaven. It was no surprise then that LL’s Steel Mill was, as I like to describe, ‘Comfortably Rammed’.
KK’s Steel Mill – 19 May 2023
Words: Sophie James
Photography: John Inglis
Regardless of your regular or preferred position, tonight, I just wanted to stand at the back, be in the sonic sweet spot and let the sumptuous sound waves wash all over me. On this constantly rotating bill, I will get straight to the point and say that this evening’s ‘Headliners’ Tyketto were simply out of this world.
“Wolverhampton! Say hello to Facebook Live,” proclaimed Danny while scanning the audience with his mobile phone. “Show them where the party is!” before opening with the comparatively restrained Reach.
Playing the long game makes sense. Things will build. Danny’s acoustic added another layer of sparkle to the mix. Ged on the keyboards was providing sterling support to the vocals. Later, we were introduced to the flair and vitality of the group’s newest member, Kane’d/Chez Kane guitarist Harry Scott Elliot.
“We heard you singing loud and clear from upstairs. Are you going to sing for us now?” The crowd didn’t let him down, as it was on the fittingly named Wings that things started to soar. Now warmed up, Danny let rip. Cue mass whoooah-oh-ohhhs, as it concluded to rapturous applause, it was evident who the majority of the crowd had come to see.
“You are all wonderful singers. We have got a lot of stuff we can sing together.” With Burning Down Inside, they were now motoring. I repeatedly ask this question when I see performers of this standard. How do people learn to sing like this? Danny did most humbly share his theory with me after the show.
Strength In Numbers had probably the most rocked-up riff of the evening. “There is strength in numbers, there is strength in love.” With the chorus at least, one would like to believe that this can also be applied to the unified fraternity to which we belong.
Lay Your Body Down is a classic ’80s-style good-time rock ‘n’ roll party anthem. Like a fusion of Extreme and classic VH. The kind that makes you shake your touché as you belt the chorus out. Blistering solo from Harry followed by a funky bass piece from Thunder’s Chris Childs, then throw in a delicious little AC/DC flourish to round it all off. “Never did I think that this would be sung 32 years later by so many good people.”
“Some of you may have that image of Green Spandex burned into your memory when I was in that great British institution Waysted,” which, of course, heralded Heaven Tonight. A number that probably needs no introduction to many of you and would be a standout in any set.
If someone asked me to select a song that typifies Tyketto, then Rescue Me would be the one. Just something about the combination of that short staccato riff, musical and vocal harmonies and rumbling bass that has fused so impeccably.
“This is a song that has been around the world, it has played a part in people’s lives, and that is the best thing a songwriter could ever hope for.” This, of course, was heartstring tugger Standing Alone. Complete and utter vocal perfection, one wonders how he was able to reach, let alone sustain, some of those notes. It was clear that mid-song, Danny was having a moment. Indicative of the power and reach of this song that even after all this time, it still affects its composer. That’s how you write (and perform) a power ballad.
“While I was watching this band during the solo, before I come back in and shriek my stupid head off, I realised that Harry [Scott Elliot – Guitar] first heard this song when he was six years old. He’s done a brilliant job this evening, don’t you think?” I wholeheartedly concur. A newcomer to the band, it must have been daunting to walk out on this particular stage and be the secondary focus. One could see how much he grew into the role and the situation, appearing like he’d been in the band for years, both with his presence and graceful dexterous soloing.
During the singalong part of Sail Away, what an unbelievable sustain from Danny. Fair play to some of the female members of the audience, who did a fairly decent job of riding along. The fellas, on the other hand, just went, ‘Nah!’
“When we started out, there was a time in New Jersey when all the bands decided that they wanted to become cowboys. Most of us had never seen a horse, but we figured if JBJ could do it, then why not. We need some claps on this one, so Johnny is going to demonstrate the correct rhythm.” Escaping from behind the drumkit, armed with a tambourine, Mr Dee did just that.
The Last Sunset was the cowboy song in question. The musical phrasing had more in common with another NJ resident and probably its most famous son.
“Give us whatever you’ve got left,” as if a song as good as Forever Young needed any more encouragement. IMHO, one of the greatest rock anthems of all time. How could they conclude with anything else?
A consummate demonstration of vocal and musical excellence delivering songs that are as relevant and vibrant as when they first appeared.
While I wholeheartedly agree with a friend who had caught them the previous evening and remarked, “Tyketto, were the best I have ever seen them,” I shall leave the final word to Danny.
“KK’s, you’ve been wonderful. I don’t think anywhere’s going to beat this.” Such was the participation and reception, let alone the numbers, I do have a sneaky feeling he is right.
You can read the FM report, here.