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HomeMusicDanny Vaughn - Wolverhampton, UK - Live Review

Danny Vaughn – Wolverhampton, UK – Live Review

Danny Vaughn burst onto the music scene in the mid 80s as vocalist in Waysted, a hard rock band put together by legendary bassist Pete Way but it was his own band, Tyketto, that really cemented Vaughn’s reputation as one of the genre’s best vocalists. Tyketto’s 1991 debut album, ‘Don’t Come Easy’ is regarded as being one of hard rock’s all-time great albums and Vaughn has continued to make great music with Tyketto, as a solo artist or in projects like the ‘From the Inside’ albums or as part of ‘Flesh and Blood’ with AOR legend Mark Mangold, ever since.

This tour, postponed twice due to the pandemic, was originally intended to be Danny Vaughn and Dan Reed touring together in their ‘Snake Oil and Harmony’ guise but filming responsibilities prevented Reed from being involved. Rather than cancel a third time, Vaughn hit the road solo but with a unique idea – why not let the fans choose the set list? So, armed with a spreadsheet of requests and a book of lyrics full of the more obscure, deeper cuts, Vaughn took the stage at The Robin in Bilston, deep in the heart of the industrial Black Country of England to bring his career to life in front of a set of loyal and devoted fans.

Opening with ‘Is That All There Is?’ from his solo ‘Soldiers and Sailors on Riverside’ album, one of four songs aired from that release 22 years old now, it was clear that he was amongst friends. A musical legacy 35 years in the making, Danny Vaughn, now 61 years old, is still a vocalist and a storyteller of some notable renown. The power is still there in his vocals, as was in evidence on tracks like ‘Nothing But Love’ from Tyketto’s iconic debut release ‘Don’t Come Easy’ from 1991 or even on a cracking cover of ‘All Along the Watchtower’ later in the set.

For long-time fans of Vaughn’s career, this type of show is a delight. He sang three songs (‘Beautiful Goodbye’, ‘Damn’ and ‘Nothing At All’) from 2005’s ‘From the Inside’ and even treated fans to an airing of ‘Jenny Doesn’t Live Here Anymore’ from 1997’s Flesh and Blood project he did alongside AOR legends Mark Mangold and Al Pitrelli. Tales, stories and anecdotes accompanied each song, which for completists and long-time fans of Vaughn’s work only served to flesh out the music a little and add in some context and flavour.

Perhaps the funniest story of the evening involved Vaughn’s recruitment into Waysted in the mid-80s and the effect it had on original vocalist Fin Muir, who Vaughn is now, ironically, friends with! A little colour around the band’s support slots with Status Quo also brought a smile to many faces in the crowd as did the stunning rendition of ‘Heaven Tonight’ from Waysted’s fantastic 1986 album, ‘Save Your Prayers’

Tyketto’s ‘Strength in Numbers’ album was represented by ‘Catch My Fall’ and ‘Why Do You Cry’, the latter really coming to life with its Bluesy, Memphis style vibes perfect for this acoustic setting. The ‘Reach’ album – which Danny believes is Tyketto’s best album – got a nod too, with a cracking ‘Circle the Wagons’ being played to a very receptive audience.

Danny Vaughn has always been open and honest about his battles with depression and tonight was no exception. He described how he has ‘spiral days’ and how writers block can be both a symptom and a cause of depression for him before playing a terrific version of ‘Lifted’ from 2007’s ‘Traveller’ album. Hearing him talk about the biographical nature of tracks like ‘Soldiers and Sailors on Riverside’ and ‘The Voice’ was also very intimate and both tracks were delivered with the requisite amount of power and soul by a vocalist with a confidence and style that is humble and appreciative of both his talent and his roots.

The evening ended with two songs from Vaughn’s recent ‘Myths, Legends and Lies’ album. ‘Seven Bells’ is a Folk-tinged anthem very much ‘of the sea’ and that came across loud and clear whilst a rousing, Gaelic-tinged ‘In the Shadow of King John’ provided an uplifting end to the main set. There was a brief moment of worry that Vaughn’s most iconic song, the anthemic ‘Forever Young’, Tyketto’s biggest and best moment, might not have been requested by any of the fans out of complacency, before Vaughn sat back down and we all had a jolly good sing along to a song that hasn’t lost any power or potency over the last 31 years. Those opening chords still have the power to make me feel 20 years old, no matter where or what format they are played in.

This was a fabulous deep-dive evening into the life and career of a musician who has championed rock music for nearly 40 years now. A fascinating, rollercoaster of a career told in song to warm up a cold December night. Danny Vaughn is, and remains, one of my favourite vocalists of all time and even at 61 years old, that power and that mischievous glint in his eyes can still hold a crowd. Now, all we need is to see Tyketto back out on the road again in 2023 – dates are on the way folks, keep your eyes peeled.

Danny Vaughn
Credit: Linda Bodis

Setlist: 1. Is That All There Is? 2. Nothing But Love 3. Last Man Standing 4. Jenny Doesn’t Live Here Anymore 5. Beautiful Goodbye 6. Circle the Wagons 7. Why Do You Cry 8. Damn 9. Catch My Fall 10. Lifted 11. Nothing At All 12. Heaven Tonight 13. Soldeirs and Sailors on Riverside 14. Handful of Rain 15. The Voice 16. All Along the Watchtower 17. Seven Bells 18. In the Shadow of King John 19. Forever Young Date: December 6th Venue: The Robin, Bilston, Wolverhampton

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Danny Vaughn burst onto the music scene in the mid 80s as vocalist in Waysted, a hard rock band put together by legendary bassist Pete Way but it was his own band, Tyketto, that really cemented Vaughn’s reputation as one of the genre’s best...Danny Vaughn - Wolverhampton, UK - Live Review