Local lads Shyne can barely believe their luck at opening tonight. It’s easy to see why, men of a certain age (let’s not beat around this particular bush – about the same age as RTM) it is clear they were influenced by events on the sunset strip in the 1980s. Songs like “You Want It” and the angrier “You Are You” live up to their billing as being Wolverhampton’s “proper” hard rock band. Singer Toni Gale has more than a touch of the Stephen Pearcy’s about him and if you – like us – grew up listening to bands like Warrant and Pearcy’s Ratt, you could do a lot worse than check these boys out.
At the opposite end of the age spectrum to the Black Country based first band, Londoners Night By Night are the main warm up for this tour. With the endorsement of no less a rock luminary than Rik Savage ringing in their ears this mob are the very epitome of “hotly tipped” it is easy to see why. Their set begins with a banging bass not unlike The Prodigy, but that is about the only modern thing about them. Their stack harmonies would be worthy of “Hysteria” era Leps, while “Just Can’t Walk Away” gives all its mystery away in the title and new single “Time To Escape” rolls along like Heaven’s Basement. Their forthcoming album has been produced by Romesh Dodangoda who has worked wonders with BFMV amongst others, so keep an eye out for Night By Night, as they might just have something.
At one time Y & T were that young and hungry. Dave Menketti might be the only original member left, but the band – who in their day were very much the forerunners of the hair metal scene - remain a good, fun, live draw.
They have all the experience of a band that has done this before, so when Menketti forgets his mic before the first song they can laugh it off. When it is finally underway that first track is “Mean Streak,” the eponymous song of the 1983 album they are nominally here to celebrate – playing a couple more songs from it than usual.
Always giving value for money, the group are on stage for well over two hours and they are essentially flawless throughout. “How Long” brings to mind Dio, while “Believe In You” boasts a quite superb guitar solo.
Of course, with record selling days behind them – although last album “Facemelter” was an RTM favourite a couple of years back – bands like Y & T are almost constantly on tour wherever there is a demand. That appetite appears to be there in the UK, indeed Menketti dedicates “I’m Coming Home” to their British fans.
What keeps people coming back to see them isn’t mere nostalgia, though, it’s far simpler than that. Everytime you see Y & T you are guaranteed to have fun. So it was tonight, and with supports such as these – one playing it seemed because they wanted to and one with genuine ambition – the hard rock scene is still a vibrant one. It is over 20 years since grunge was meant to kill music like this off…… Nice try Kurt, but the perm is still alive and well.