Quite a way to end the European tour for Danny and the boys
Of all the comebacks over the last few years, few have been as surprising as that of Romeo’s Daughter. The album they released in 2015, “Spin” continued the good work of “Rapture” and confirmed that reconvening after 18 years was entirely the right thing for Leigh Matty and her merry men to do. Indeed, they might start with an oldie, “Heaven In The Backseat”, but they are soon into more modern work. “Touch” has a dirty groove, “Bittersweet” is a fine mid-paced affair that would, in bygone times, have screamed “radio hit”. Another of the new(ish) songs, “Radio” benefits from some fine keyboard work, while “Inside Out” is the kind of stomping hard rocker that FM have made their own. “Wild Child” still has the power to rouse the rabble even after all this time and is a fitting conclusion to a small snapshot into the past of Romeo’s Daughter, but also it acts as proof that they still have plenty to offer.
The conventional wisdom – and certainly the narrative of those documentaries on BBC 4 – is that in 1991 Kurt Cobain loaded up his guns, brought his friends, asked to be entertained and immediately anyone who ever bought rock albums was into grunge and grunge alone.
This is, as everyone who actually was alive in that period and purchasing records in the early 90s knows, absolute hogwash of the highest order.
Danny Vaughan knows this better than most, throughout the intervening 26 years he’s been battling people who tell him that this kind of what used to be called AOR isnt “cool”. The singer in Tyketto has one of the voices that rock n roll has, but he’s also an affable and chatty host. So it is that he tells a story here of a record company that didn’t want them to tour the UK on their first album, but a sold out crowd that greeted their first ever show nonetheless. There’s still an element of them being a band of the people even today. It’s a January Monday, it’s raining and yet the Robin is packed. Subtext: whether they are “cool” or not, the good people of the West Midlands just like excellent songs played by an excellent band.
In the hour and forty minutes Tyketto are on stage tonight, everything you could want from a classic hard outfit is displayed. “Wings” appropriately soars, “Faithless” is dark and brooding and “Meet Me In The Night” slams.
But its about far more than that. Where a lot of bands deliberately don’t play the ones fans like to “keep things fresh” Tyketto embrace their past and Vaughan seems genuinely humbled that people have enjoyed these songs for so long. Thus “Burning Down Inside” is turned into an anthem and “Lay Your Body Down” celebrates a funkier side.
That’s not to say, though, that this is all nostalgia. It had no need to be either, given how good last year’s “Reach” album was. The four songs from it belong in this company too, whether its “I Need It Now,” a bluesy “Big Money” or the title track – which Vaughan says is for his wife – they are all fine, classy affairs.
Given the personnel involved they couldn’t be any other. Chris Green is phenomenal on guitar, Chris Childs (perhaps he just likes working with singers called Danny?) is a mighty bass player, and original member Michael Clayton Arbeeny knows these songs inside out on his kit, and keyboard man Ged Rylands adds the almost perfect flourish’s.
Things end in the manner they were always going to, with the big hit and it’s delivered as if played for the first time. Vaughan had said something about the future earlier in the evening which seemed apt at its end. “If you are still looking for a copy of the debut,” he’d joked. “It’s been re-issued so it won’t cost you half your house anymore. That way you can introduce your kids to Tyketto and we can do this for another 26 years…..”
Maybe that’s why they are “Forever Young”.