Vintage Trouble kicked out the jams at Hangar 34 and Getintothis’ Luke Burrowes was there to lend a welcome hand.
Vintage Trouble took over Hangar 34 as their European tour rolled on. Liverpool was one of only four shows scheduled for the UK this time round, so yeah, we’ll take that as a compliment.
Arriving just 15 minutes after the doors opened there were already three to four rows of people up against the barrier with many more dotted around. Anticipation was high and the buzz around the place was palpable.
Support came from Manchester’s Josh Goddard. A talented singer-songwriter with a growing reputation and a glowing reference from no other than Martha Reeves, it was therefore surprising to see him use his allocated time to DJ. The set was marred with technical difficulties and despite the heavyweights being spun, James Brown, Ike and Tina, Eddie Floyd et al, no one really paid much attention, and the muttering of individual conversations dominated the room.
So, with the room not entirely engaged it was over to Vintage Trouble to do it all themselves.
“LIIIVERPOOOL, AAARE YOUUU REEADDDY?” Very “Gladiators” you’re right, but it was the first real rush of excitement of the evening. Crashing into “Run Like the River”, a Mercury-esque call and response ensued, the audience hanging on singer Ty Tyler’s every word. “Doin’ What You Were Doin’” a slower, soulful induces a gentle sway, heads bobbing in unison with Tyler leading the whole venue in a two-step. He has undeniable charm. It’s a mightily impressive start to the show.
And it carried on in that fashion. Powerful, unrelenting R&B. There were even Mexican waves from one side of Hangar 34 to the other. It was mad.
“Another Man’s Words” brought proceedings to a welcome but equally enjoyable change of pace. It was the highlight of the performance, illustrating Tyler’s incredible vocal range, with the rousing chorus passionately reverberating around the venue.
The second half of the set proved more difficult. The energy demanded from Tyler and co seemed to take its toll on the audience. Tracks from their new album, due for release next month, didn’t quite summon the same enthusiasm as crowd favourites earlier on in the set (understandably), and attempts to rouse the audience with shining torches and bizarrely, introducing yourself to two new people came across as a little desperate.
Attention did waver slightly, Tyler’s monologues dragged a little and conversations started to rumble in sections of the venue, forcing Tyler to “Shhhh” the crowd during one of the new, quieter songs.
A self-indulgent ten-minute instrumental track didn’t help, forcing some to take refuge against the wall, phones were subtly checked and a few yawns managed to escape clenched jaws.
Credit to the band, though, they did finish with a bang.
“Knock Me Out” did get the crowd going, again “Give me your attention please? Behold the main attraction.” maybe the most apt lyric you’ll find for a performer who remained committed to the very end. “Nobody Told Me” closes the show to a huge ovation which, despite a slight lull, for their moments of brilliance alone, they deserved.
Images by Getintothis’ Tom Williams