Review: Danny Vaughn – Dreadnought, Bathgate

There’s nothing quite as akin to a double edged sword than the good old faithful solo acoustic tour. On one hand you get the chance to hear the stories behind the songs up close and personal, but on the other hand, in order to hear the stories, a certain level of decorum is required from the audience. It must be frustrating for a performer when they are trying to talk, and the chatter from the audience renders it useless. Ginger Wildheart commented a while back that he was considering putting a stop to solo acoustic shows because of the issue, tonight, Danny Vaughn soldiered on the best he could in difficult circumstances. It was easier to hear that the guys in front of me were planning a trip to the gym the next day, than it was to hear what went into each of the songs that Vaughn performed. A great shame considering that his recent solo album ‘Myths, Legends and Lies’ is an album well-suited to this format.

It’s only a few moments into ‘A Million Miles Of Road’ when it becomes clear that Vaughn has lost none of his vocal prowess, or his charm. Strumming on an acoustic guitar, he quickly gets, those paying attention to him, involved with some audience participation. During another track from his ‘Fearless’ album, this time ‘Haunted’, he casually changes the line “She walks down London city streets” to “Glasgow city streets”, a moment lost to most apart from the front few rows.

Baring their souls onstage, alone without a band, or a backline, must be daunting for a performer, but Vaughn is an old-hand at this and makes it look simple. He flicks the pages of his songbook backwards and forwards, before stopping at one that takes his fancy. Chances are that if you were to attend multiple dates on his tour, you would hear different tracks each night. Tonight the songbook stops at various points in his lengthy career, including a stunning rendition of the rather rare ‘Remember When’, as well as a mighty fine run through of ‘Avalon’, and multiple dips into ‘Myths, Legends and Lies’. From the new album we are treated to, ‘Point The Way’, ‘Last Ride Of The Sunset Men’, a toe-tapping ‘The Shadow Of King John’ and ‘Kelly’s Gone’. The latter, one of a handful of moments that featured support act, Jason Sweeney from The King Lot, on guest vocals/acoustic guitar.

Tyketto are one of a handful of melodic rock bands from the early nineties who are still revered today, hell they are probably the only melodic rock band from that era revered today. The admiration is down to the fact that not only is the material killer, but also that Vaughn is still out there keeping the name alive, with such high standards that the reputation stays intact. So naturally the biggest response comes when he kicks into Tyketto staples such as ‘Walk On Fire’ and ‘Lay Your Body Down’ (complete with Vaughn messing up the first line!), as well as newer tracks like ‘Circle The Wagons’ from 2016’s ‘Reach’ album. ‘Forever Young’ is of course THE Tyketto staple, but going against the grain for a moment, I actually prefer ‘Wings’ (which tonight, again features Jason Sweeney guesting).

With the exception of Dee Snider, it’s hard to think of a vocalist from one of the strongest eras of rock, that still has the same chops as Danny Vaughn. If anything, his voice has actually grown stronger over the years. In this form, it’s not hard to envisage him carrying on for many more years.

Review – Dave

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