Vintage Trouble Triumph in Norwich despite Crowd Surfing Worry

Ty Taylor is not happy. “That’s the first time that’s happened…in ten years of me doing that. Norwich, you now hold the record”. The cause of the normally happy and free-spirited Vintage Trouble frontman’s ire is a crowd surfing attempt that didn’t go at all to plan, the denizens of the East Anglian city not being quick to join in to support and keep him aloft long enough.

Vintage Trouble

Epic Studios, Norwich – 26 July 2023

Words: Paul Monkhouse

Photography: Lawrence Potter

It was a mess and one that put Taylor off his stride for a little while, a mix of unbelief, disappointment and possibly a little physical discomfort taking their toll. Given the wilfully unpredictable nature that makes him one of the best performers in rock, this slip from the tightrope he walks was always a danger, but one that he surely recovers from, and it’s business as usual after that.

Vintage Trouble - Epic Studios, Norwich - 26 July 2023
Vintage Trouble – Epic Studios, Norwich – 26 July 2023. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk

Barring this one small blip, it was as near perfect as a Vintage Trouble show can be, the quartet welcomed warmly on this, the opening night of their first UK tour for some while.

With the frustration of the pandemic putting a halt to their near-constant schedule, this return to the live scene sees the band fired up and with a fearsomely impressive new album in the shape of Heavy Hymnal to promote.

Vintage Trouble - Epic Studios, Norwich - 26 July 2023
Vintage Trouble – Epic Studios, Norwich – 26 July 2023. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk

Already a tight unit, a run of European shows has seen the band well and truly finding their mojo, the rush of seeing them come onstage with such undiluted fervour igniting primal responses.

The opening blast of slide guitar blues power that drives Run Like The River and the high voltage thrill of Blues Hand Me Down are irresistible invitations for bodies to move. Altogether, the sight and sound of Nalle Colt’s guitar, the drums of Richard Danielson, and Rick Barrio Dill’s bass locking together as Taylor bobs and weaves like a man on fire is something that conjures the raw essence of rock, blues and soul music.

Vintage Trouble - Epic Studios, Norwich - 26 July 2023
Vintage Trouble – Epic Studios, Norwich – 26 July 2023. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk

Rightfully proud of the new material, six of the ten tracks that comprise Heavy Hymnal make an appearance tonight and all slot into the set seamlessly like old friends, the powerful Holla, a rallying call to be louder in love, and ballads Not The One and The Love That Once Lingered especially impressive. Theirs is an impressive range that embraces their influences and loves, the rockers standing alongside the showstoppers and dance tunes.

Vintage Trouble - Epic Studios, Norwich - 26 July 2023
Vintage Trouble – Epic Studios, Norwich – 26 July 2023. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk

Whilst many may struggle to embrace all these different aspects with anything approaching balance, Vintage Trouble manage the feat with a sure-footed conviction, their cross-genre and generational appeal a key part of their armoury.

Memorable moments come thick and fast, Taylor so given to sudden moves led by wherever the music and mood take him as Colt, Danielson, and Dill provide fluid backing for the singer, constantly adapting and seemingly connected psychically.

Vintage Trouble - Epic Studios, Norwich - 26 July 2023
Vintage Trouble – Epic Studios, Norwich – 26 July 2023. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk

From bringing a little girl up from the audience to serenade, a couple slow dancing onstage for Grace, and a brief singalong of Nothing Compares 2U in tribute to Sinead O’Connor, whose death had been announced earlier in the day, Taylor is both wildly entertaining and engaging.

Vintage Trouble - Epic Studios, Norwich - 26 July 2023
Vintage Trouble – Epic Studios, Norwich – 26 July 2023. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk

This, though, is a band, all four members bringing something special and unique to the pot, the performances deft and compelling. Taylor seems particularly talkative tonight, seemingly having missed the opportunity to commune with an audience the most sharply, his in-between song banter ranging from the hilarious to the deeply personal. This was heart-to-heart stuff and something that Vintage Trouble do so well.

Vintage Trouble - Epic Studios, Norwich - 26 July 2023
Vintage Trouble – Epic Studios, Norwich – 26 July 2023. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk

A rocked-up romp through Stevie Wonder’s Higher Ground, the soulful protest of Repeating History and the aptly named closing number Knock Me Out all hit the mark with unerring precision, their victory total.

There are few bands on the planet as good as Vintage Trouble right now, and you can testify to that truth.

Crowdsurfing letdowns aside, this may well be the most exciting tour to hit these isles since the last time Vintage Trouble were here. An evening of thrills, spills and mighty fine music is guaranteed, so what more could you ask for?

July

26jul7:00 pmVintage Trouble | NorwichEpic Studios

28jul7:00 pmVintage Trouble | LeedsStylus

29jul7:00 pmVintage Trouble | EdinburghQueens Hall

30jul7:00 pmVintage Trouble | ManchesterAcademy 2

August

01aug7:00 pmVintage Trouble | BirminghamAcademy 2

02aug7:00 pmVintage Trouble | BristolSWX

03aug7:00 pmVintage Trouble | LondonElectric Brixton

Vintage Trouble - Epic Studios, Norwich - 26 July 2023
Vintage Trouble – Epic Studios, Norwich – 26 July 2023. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk
Vintage Trouble - Epic Studios, Norwich - 26 July 2023
Vintage Trouble – Epic Studios, Norwich – 26 July 2023. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk
Vintage Trouble - Epic Studios, Norwich - 26 July 2023
Vintage Trouble – Epic Studios, Norwich – 26 July 2023. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk
Vintage Trouble - Epic Studios, Norwich - 26 July 2023
Vintage Trouble – Epic Studios, Norwich – 26 July 2023. Photo: Lawrence Potter/MetalTalk

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Comments

  1. The review speaks truth to me. As honest a rock n roll, blues, soul and pop sound you’re likely to hear. Nothing seems contrived, it’s just real music that leaves every witness in a state of awe and love. We sang, we danced and were spellbound by a performance as powerful and spellbinding as you’ll witness in many a year.

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