Review of Vintage Trouble at The Ironworks,Inverness on the 17th of November 2011.
Thursday 17th November 2011 is one day that will remain long in the memory for this invernessGiGs reviewer. I was lucky enough to spend a good part of the day in the company of one the best bands to emerge from the States in many a year as well as catch them put on a blistering performance at the Ironworks that same evening.
Vintage (like a fine wine that’s had years to mature) Trouble (to flip out, make a scene, make waves). I would say the name is well suited to these well-suited gentlemen.
With a sound crafted from different genres from the last forty years, you’d be forgiven for thinking, they had just stepped out of a time machine and on to the stage. Blues, rock, funk, soul, they are all here in abundance in this old sound with a modern twist.
Ty Taylor (vocals) Nalle Colt (guitar), Rick Barrio Dill (bass) and Richard Danielson (drums) have worked through various musical adventures in the last twenty years before being brought together ‘by the Universe’ as Ty poetically describes the emergence of the band.
“This was the first band we were all involved in where we didn’t really need to think about it. It was brought together by the Universe, and has always felt right.”
The band emerged from Los Angles at the start of 2010. Ty, a New Jersey native, and Nalle, originally from Malmo in Sweden, had originally met in 1997 and continued a friendship and musical marriage over the next thirteen years. The two had written and recorded what would be the basis of the bands sound while playing in another band together.
“At this point, the whole project was no more than a pipe dream, but we were finding ourselves more excited about it than the band we played with at night.” Ty explained. They realised very quickly, that their current band of the time were not right for this project.
“We were given the opportunity to do some recording at a beautiful old 1950’s studio in UCLA. Up to that point, we had spent two years recording demos of the songs at Nalles place in Venice Beach. We now needed a band to create the sound.”
Old friend and bassist extraordinaire Rick Barrio Dill, a Florida native, had just decided to move to Nashville. He had been there less than a month when he received the call from Ty, while Richard Danielson, the only native Angel among them was the next old comrade to get the nod.
“Richard is a solid rock and roll drummer, if we had gone for a soul or Rn’B drummer, it would have taken the sound down another route. Because everyone in this band has different influences and musical backgrounds, that is what makes ‘Vintage Trouble’.” Explained Ty.
You can hear the many influences that have inflicted themselves on this band from various directions and members. Growing up in Sweden, guitarist Nalle had to delve a bit deeper to find the material he really wanted to listen to. “With bands like ABBA and other pop music being big in Sweden, I really had to search to find the stuff I wanted. I love the simplicity of some of the old rock n’ roll songs where it sounded like they only had one or two takes to record, and the simple stripped down sound of drums, bass and guitar. There is a lot of modern music for me that has lost that simplicity, where you have a lead vocal backed up again and again and so on.”
Although it all appears on the surface to have happened very fast for Vintage Trouble, every member of the band has served a long apprenticeship in the business. The band appeared on the Los Angles scene at the start of 2010. “We started to play four or five nights a week in residency spots throughout LA, which was about 75% more than most other bands. Your average band in the area would sometimes only play once a month.” Explained drummer Richard.
“They say a gig is worth ten rehearsals, so we just went out a played as quickly as we could.” Said Nalle.
With the band now, well in to triple figures in gigs, there are many videos of the band on YouTube. It is in watching these that they get a sense of how they come across as a band. “Its only after watching these clips I realize how awesome it is to be in this band with such great players. You sometimes are so close to it you forget until you watch these videos.
“When you’re up there, you don’t think of each other as separate parts, you see yourself as one machine.” Said Ty.
Over the last year, the band has played Scotland on numerous occasions including Rockness and Belladrum. They have developed a special place in their hearts for us Scots! “When we played the Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh earlier this year, it was the first time I heard people singing back our songs to us, it was amazing!” said Ty.
Nearly two hundred gigs in, Vintage Trouble proved their stage prowess in Inverness on Thursday. From the opening beats to the very dramatic one by one closing of the set, they had the sell out crowd onside from the first note. Ty had the crowd singing back on every number.
All their current hits and future ones to were they’re to enjoy, on a night where the mix of the Ironworks sound was the best I personally have ever heard, not too loud and not too understated either.
‘Nancy Lee’, ‘Blues Hand Me Down’, ‘Nobody Told Me’ and my personal favourite ‘Pelvis Pusher’ were all their to hear in glorious Technicolor!
Draped in a Scottish flag towards the end and giving a special mention to Jool Holland for their appearance on his show, Ty had the audience continually want more from the band, and we could have all quite easily stayed if the band extended there two hour set even more.
A common subject of discussion amongst people on the night was, “I’m glad we’ve seen them and met them (they took time out to meet and have photos taken with every audience member that wanted to) before they go huge and start playing their own stadium gigs.” And you know, it’s going to happen!
The hard work and exposure to British audiences was rewarded the other week when the band won the ‘Classic Rock’ Award for ‘Best New Band’. Ironically, the host for the awards was none other than Gene Simmons (Kiss’s charismatic, long tongued bassist), who not only shares a manager with the band (Doc McGhee, famous for helping both Bon Jovi and Motley Crue on their way to stardom), but, he also had Vintage Trouble play at his wedding earlier this year.
Enjoying the day and evening in the company of these four gentlemen was beyond great. They were a fun, friendly and a very grounded bunch of guys who I will have great delight in watching as their star rises in the coming months and years.
For those eager to hear more: a new album will come out sometime towards the end of next year with favourites such as ‘Pelvis Pusher’. Some tracks have already been recordedat London’s famous Abbey Road studios.
Article by MDA
Photos by Lori Williams
Many thanks to Cath Hurley of the Charm Factory and to Vintage Trouble.