Hard to believe that 25 years have passed since Tyketto released their second studio album “Strength In Numbers” to which many including myself believe to be their best.
So the group decided what better way to celebrate this anniversary than to go out on tour to perform the whole album and a hidden treasure in “WAIT FOREVER” which was recorded at the same sessions but never made the final album cut.
When the studio album saw the light of day way back in 1994, grunge was like a battering ram leaving its damage on the rock landscape for many years to come. Thankfully Tyketto in this new millennium have weathered the storm and still at the top of their game.
With a line up for this live release of DANNY VAUGHN / VOCALS
MICHAEL CLAYTON / DRUMS
GED RYLANDS / KEYBOARDS
CHRIS GREEN / GUITARS
GREG SMITH / BASS
The band took the decision to record every night of the tour and cherry pick the best performances of each track which worked perfectly without breaking up the spontaneity of it and it’s a master stroke. The benefits are there for all to hear.
“INHERIT THE WIND” opens up the album with an entertaining intro tape with wolves howling and swirling wind rounded off with a single gunshot, before those distinct vocals kick in and Chris Green’s tasty guitar licks side by side with the remaining 3 band members.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hi6fnNxWACI&w=560&h=315]
We’re more than 3 minutes into the track as Danny Vaughn addresses the crowd ( Glasgow) reminiscing about a show they played across the road in 1991 before returning to the song. With backing keyboards being slowly drowned out by a blazing guitar solo and a banshee scream it’s business resumed with an almost immigrant song riff that brings one of the more overlooked songs in the groups catalogue to a triumphant end.
“MEET ME IN THE NIGHT” with that typical catchy Tyketto chorus showcasing Danny Vaughn’s exceptional vocals. With its piano led intro, this song just swings including its slower sections being built up every time with Chris Greens guitar touches and some nice backing vocals towards the end.
“ALL OVER ME” – when it comes to drums Michael Clayton has the swing and funk of Joey Kramer and the clout of Frankie Banali and this is so evident on the opening couple of minutes with a drum beat so funky and catchy before the harmonica kicks in.
If anyone presumes TYKETTO are a one trick pony they need to hear this track and hear the other side of what they offer the listener.
“CATCH MY FALL” is next and out comes the acoustic guitar. For me, this is more than just a song, it’s a story. What the band have always managed to do is write not only catchy songs but perform them with depth and feel and this version is a great live rendition, with effortless vocals and soaring guitars that are note perfect.
“THE END Of THE SUMMER DAYS” and the first of the original album’s big hitters. With its snare drum shuffle intro and gentle acoustic picking, building into the delicious chorus that makes the track so adored by the fans.
Timeless is an understatement and with so much being contributed from the simple but affective bass and all underpinned with Ged Rylands exceptionally reliable keyboards, it stands out as a major track in the groups arsenal.
“WAIT FOREVER” with its chunky riff is the albums selling point, a song that many people may never have heard, written by Brooke St James for the sessions that made up the Strength in Numbers album in 1992.
Supposedly released as a B side it was discovered by Danny Vaughn as he trawled through the archives deciding if they were going to perform the whole album live and if they would throw it into the mix. Old school rocker is an understatement as it barrels along with a groove induced beat that fits the bill when it comes to toe tapping, riff infested rockers.
For any fans or completest of the groups discography this alone makes this album essential.
“RESCUE ME” with the stuttering riff that has launched a thousand air guitars and banged a thousand heads comes blasting out the speakers and hasn’t dated a bit over a quarter of a century.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IilqLlinMI&w=560&h=315]
This must have been written with the guitars firmly taken at centre stage and wow, Chris Green is all over it like a rash. From the opening to the ending, this track has it all with more funk driven drumming and soaring vocals that make me want to shake my ass.
Everything about “RESCUE ME” is designed to make the listener feel happy and upbeat and no TYKETTO show will feel complete without its performance.
“THE LAST SUNSET” with full crowd participation, clapping along to this full acoustic number with tambourine keeping the beat, driving the song along with the whole performance pushed over the finish line with support and enthusiasm from the crowd.
What a great way to break a guitar oriented album up and take a breather.
“STANDING ALONE” makes way for Danny to tell the crowd about the recent death of his beloved mother who encouraged his career every step of the way, so with no further ado he dedicates this heart-warming version to his much-missed mum.
It’s hard to listen to this version of the track and relate to how hard it must have been to perform on what would have been his mother’s 81st birthday.
Sometimes words can’t describe how a song is performed, but the actions and sheer emotion and power including the famous mid-section high note performed by the man is inspirational and hugely emotional.
“STRENGTH IN NUMBERS” the title track brings everything full circle and again is an out and out rocker allowing the keyboards to fill the song out with Chris Green saving his most pissed off solo for the song.
Thundering along it demonstrates another side to this fine group who have never been afraid to put their foot to the floor and dish up some hard hitting music.
All in all, this is essential to any TYKETTO or rock fan, so much so I have told my fellow reviewers to get a copy.
Again released on the amazing Frontiers label who never fail to keep us rock fans happy, my only complaint is this release not being available on beloved vinyl maybe the label will reconsider this at some point ?
The new live album from Tyketto out today 8th Nov 2019 on Frontiers.
Purchase here: https://radi.al/StrengthInNumbersLive
Review by Steve Bruty for Metal Planet Music