Gig Review: Y&T 3rd October, 2010
Y&T at Bradford Rios 03/10/10
support: Fury UK & Gods of Hellfire
The venue is a small club on the outskirts of Bradford city centre, much smaller than its predecessor, but definitely cleaner. A small bar greets you upon entry after you’ve had the obligatory hand stamp, and the steadily building crowd are squeezed into this area whilst things are being set up in the ‘new room’. We are finally allowed entry into the ‘new room’ to find that not only is it ‘new’ but also ‘small’. The stage can only be about fifteen feet in length and eight deep. I’ve sat at bigger tables.
First up are Gods Of Hellfire. I didn’t know what to expect of them as they were new to me, and I wasn’t disappointed when they fired up with a dark rhythm, solid guitar and…. no vocals. This brought both quizzical and amused looks and comments from those gathered, but, to quote Saxon, “The Band Played On”. It took one and a half tracks and much plugging in and unplugging of various cords before we had vocals. This brought much ironic, but enthusiastic, applause and cheers from the, as yet, small but appreciative crowd. Sadly, there was only one more track ‘due to a curtailed set’ as their singer told us, and it was hard and heavy with undertones of Black Sabbath.
It was a shame that they were only allowed such a little time on stage as I thought that they showed promise and played well despite their obvious difficulties. To give them a fair appraisal, I’d have to see them again. And, I hope it isn’t too long before I do.
Line up: Alec Calderbank – vocals
Si Stather – guitars
Rich Savage – guitars
Robb Philpotts – drums
Ross William Adams – bass
The Mancunian trio that is Fury UK followed on, and after a minimal sound-check they launched into their set that never let off from the off – full throttle, pedal to the metal, honest to badness sheer heavy metal! The two opening tracks were played straight through without pause for breath. I See Red and Fall From Grace are the opening tracks on their latest, and, in my opinion, greatest offering thus far, A Way Of Life, sparking the increasing crowd into life. Guitarist and lead vocalist Chris Appleton then took a few moments to apologise that their set would also be shortened due to unforeseen, (and unexplained), circumstances before firing up the night with their next offering, Saviour. This has an Iron Maiden-esque sound, but undoubtedly carried the unmistakeably Fury UK stamp to it. Stage movement was a hindrance being only able to move a pace in any direction, but this left them unperturbed as they cranked it up with Nemesis, the pre-album launch teaser that could be heard on the internet. A great tune with meaningful lyrics. The set finished with a favourite of Fury UK followers; Death By Lightning. This is from their second album, VR, and is a corker of a tune with everything the headbanger needs; furious guitar work, an equally aggressive bass line and frenzied skin-bashing.
Chris’s guitar was totally sublime, and his soloing in Death By Lightning was like something you get from virtuosos such as Satriani, Vai, and Malmsteen. Luke seems to improve every time I see Fury UK, adding subtle backing vocals whilst smacking the crap out of his bass. Martin thrashed his way through the set singing along while in his own private little world, never missing a beat and occasionally glancing across to his cohorts to see if they were keeping up.
The crowd seemed to appreciate them more and more as the set continued, culminating with rousing cheers and thunderous applause as Death By Lightning concluded. I’ll be going to see them again as they continue their own tour after finishing their support slot with Y&T, and I think that you should, too!
Line up: Chris Appleton – guitar/lead vocal
Luke Appleton – bass/backing vocal
Martin McNee – drums
- I See Red
- Fall From Grace
- Death By Lightning
And then it was time for the headline act – Y&T. I have been waiting for a long, long time to see this band again. Twenty-seven years, in fact. They were the first band I ever saw live way back in November, 1983 at Sheffield City Hall as a spotty sixteen year old kid. They had the original line up of Dave Meniketti, Phil Kennemore, Joey Alves &Leonard Haze back then on the Meanstreak tour with FM in support, and they kicked ass! Sadly, for me, Joey and Leonard are no longer in the band, and Phil, who was supposed to be touring with Y&T, has been diagnosed with cancer, causing him to miss the tour. We all wish him the very best and a speedy recovery. As I look around the room at the crowd, I see that it has increased significantly, and that is pleasing as I didn’t want there to be a low turnout for such a great band that has been strutting the stages for over thirty years.
The lights dim and the spoken intro to the first track of the night and, indeed, the first track off their latest album, Facemelter. On With The Show kicks off the set, and it has the sound that is uniquely belonging to Y&T; melodious, yet with riffs to make your hair stand up on end. This is immediately followed by Don’t Wanna Lose, including the crowd singing along to the chorus. There is no need to warm up the crowd, Fury UK had already successfully done that, as they are straight into singing along to every song, never missing a word, and egging the band on for more. The band stop for a quick breather, and Dave welcomes the fans to his bedroom. “Well,” he says, “it would be if the room was bigger”. And, with that slight dig at the venue, launches into Meanstreak. This is a song that really brings back memories from that first ever gig, and a lump to the throat with them. They continue their set with varied tempo, slowing it down a little with Lonely Side Of Town, and picking up a bit with Shine On. Their professionalism shines as they ease their way through the night with a well polished act that many younger bands would struggle to emulate. John Nymann swapping licks with Dave as though they were psychically linked, Brad Lang, (stepping in to cover bass for Phil Kennemore), wanders the stage erratically, slapping his bass guitar and taking the odd swig from a giant bottle of vodka the roadie hands him, and Mike Vanderhule faultless on the small but effective drum kit. Then, it is time for Mike to have the stage all to himself to treat us to something that has all but vanished from a bands repertoire – a drum solo. This goes down a storm as his hands and sticks are a blur as they crash around the kit to a rhythm completely at the mercy of their master. At the conclusion, rapturous applause and cheering is forthcoming, and he respectfully takes his bow in acknowledgement. Then, it is time for the rest of the band to rejoin us and continue the show. Brad opens the next song, Bar Room Boogie, with it’s unmistakeable thumping bass-line sending those watching into raptures. It’s time to slow it down again with How Long and the bluesy epic instrumental of I’ll Cry For You. This tune, in particular, truly shows off Dave’s skill as a guitarist. With a tear-jerking blues-style intro, he leads you into a world where you seem to share the emotion that his guitar sings to you, leading you from a sorrowful beginning to a breathless high, before bringing you gently back to earth. Astounding is the best way to describe his talent for playing and song writing. The applause is deafening before the band fire into the closing tracks of their show. Some classics to keep us buoyant, before signing off with a fans favourite, Forever. A tune with one of the best intros I’ve ever heard, and the crowd responds by screaming every lyric in time with Dave, as they have done throughout the night.
There is just enough time for one encore, as John has trouble with getting sound from his guitar. Dave takes charge and fixes the problem, shares a laugh with us all and then starts the final song for the night; one of my personal favourites, and, it would seem, everyone else in the room – Rescue Me. What a way to round off the night! Concluding the song, the band take the front of the stage to acknowledge us all and to take their bow.
I can honestly say that this night was everything I hoped it would be and more! Full of great bands, great music, and great people. Those that accompanied me were amazed by how good Y&T actually were, including my young daughter whose tastes extend primarily to the more modern type of rock music. One thing I can say for certain, is that I won’t be leaving it another twenty-seven years before I go to see them again, and my mate Peter Jones has promised to learn more of their songs so he can sing along to them more next time.
Line up: Dave Meniketti – Lead guitar/lead vocals
John Nymann – Guitar/backing vocals
Mike Vanderhule – Drums and percussion/ backing vocals
Brad Lang – Bass guitar/backing vocals
- On With The Show
- Don’t Wanna Lose
- Lonely Side Of Town
- Shine On
- If You Want Me
- Keep On Running
- I’m Coming Home
- I Believe In You
- Eyes Of A Stranger
- Black Tiger
- Bar Room Boogie
- How long
- I’ll Cry For You
- Dirty Girl
- Summertime Girls
- Rescue Me