FireFest Friday 19th October.

Nottingham Rock City
Or Tyketto, anyway.

Had planned to do a write-up of the whole Friday Fire Fest. Unfortunately, a buggered clutch got in the way of that, so we ended up hearing two songs from Ten and Tyketto (who were our main reason for going, anyhoo).
Ten, from what I saw were really good – strong melodies and excellent musicianship. Just wish I knew their stuff at all and had actually gotten there in time to see their whole set. And indeed the first two acts.
So, then Tyketto. A band I first came to appreciate at a Rock City trip, far longer ago than I care to think about. They were played, whilst the video played up on the big screens and I took time out from dancing to actually listen. The song was, of course, ‘Forever Young’ which is basically ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’’s much hotter younger sister. I got their albums a couple of days after that, and was very impressed, then they split up, reformed and I lost track before they even recorded their third let alone fourth albums. Anyway, one of the main things I love about Tyketto, alongside their ability to craft really strong hard rock tunes is their grasp of dynamics – acoustic guitar seamlessly merges with harder, crunchier tones, and songs go from whisper to shout in a way that is totally unforced and organic. I never understood why they weren’t absolutely massive.
Opener ‘Strength in Numbers’ gave way to ‘Faithless’ which is one of my favourite tunes – again, that dynamic alongside a slinky Eastern melody that is a bastard of an earworm, and a massive guitar riff make it one of the best hard rock tunes in years. The rest of the set blended stuff from the first two albums and a couple more from ‘Dig in Deep’. It was a depressingly short set – only about an hour and a quarter, and there were a couple of mix problems early on that were rapidly sorted out.
Danny Vaughn is a charismatic frontman and the only one who looks almost exactly like he did back on the cover of ‘Don’t Come Easy’. I want to know what his secret is. Git. The voice is as powerful as ever, and he hit (and projected) some alarmingly high notes. The rest of the band acquitted themselves well too, with Brooke St James’s muscular, elegant guitar playing holding the whole thing together. If I have a nit-pick, it’s that he can be too elegant and too… polite – he should cut loose a bit more, but that is a very small, personal preference and I’m a guitar player so can’t really be trusted on these things…
The closer was, with pleasing circularity, of course, ‘Forever Young’, and whilst I may prefer ‘Faithless’ as a song, it was ‘Forever Young’ that made the hairs on my arms stand up most.
Tyketto are a seriously under-rated band who’ve been making great music for years. They also make my wife shake her thang like nobody’s business. I thank them. So too, I think do the guys standing behind us…

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