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Danny Vaughn / Rob Wylde Hot

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Danny Vaughn / Rob Wylde - Yardbirds, Grimsby (UK) - 30 May 2019

This was my first visit to the legendary Yardbirds in Grimsby and, arriving early, my wife and I managed to secure one of the few seats, set up near to the stage. Due to the close proximity, and as a mark of respect for both artists, I took the decision to leave my mobile phone in my pocket for both performances.

Midnite City frontman Rob Wylde took to the stage at eight o'clock with approximately forty fans in attendance, although that would more than double by the end of his forty-five minute set. It was clear from the offset that Wylde preferred to be bounding across the stage, fist pumping with a full electric band behind him, as opposed to sitting on a stool with just an acoustic guitar. However, without Pete Newdeck trying to out-sing him behind the drum kit (sic), Wylde got to highlight what a fine voice he possesses.

Personally, it's his song-writing which is his strongest attribute in my humble opinion, having the innate ability to write radio friendly, Melodic Rock tunes that Jon Bon Jovi used to be able to write and can only dream about doing these days. He showcased the latter with a nine-song set, two-thirds of which were taken from the last two Midnite City opuses. 'Can't Wait For The Nights', 'Ghosts Of My Old Friends', 'Summer Of Our Lives' from the self-titled debut, and 'You Don't Understand Me', 'Heaven's Falling' and 'Give Me Love' from the sophomore release 'There Goes The Neighbourhood'.

All these worked worked surprisingly well as acoustic numbers (always the sign of a good song), although I still prefer the full band versions. Sandwiched between the MC numbers were songs from other parts of Wylde's back-catalogue, Tigertailz' 'All The Girls In The World' and the classy 'Kings Of The World' and 'My Best Friend Is My Radio' from his Teenage Casket Company days. I'm ashamed to admit that before this evening I had never heard any of his TCC material, but I rectified that immediately after the show by purchasing the brilliant 'Still Standing' album. The spotlight literally was on Wylde, who at one stage looked like he could go blind and suffer from third-degree burns it was that bright. This did not prevent him from giving a first-rate performance. The sound was excellent and Wylde left his beautiful guitar on stage for Danny Vaughn to borrow during his set.

Vaughn took to the stage less than fifteen minutes later and entertained the expectant crowd for two hours with an eclectic mix of songs from throughout his career. These acoustic shows were to promote his new album 'Myths, Legends & Lies', although there was also plenty of Tyketto and Vaughn solo material on offer. Despite just being on his own with an acoustic guitar, Vaughn did not hold back with his vocals, which he told the audience was the result of losing his voice a few years ago when he thought he may never sing again.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The new songs brought a variation in both tempo and musical styles. 'The Shadow Of King John', written about the city of Limerick, was a Gaelic romp, whilst 'Kelly's Gone' was pure Country. I say "new" songs, as the Southern Rock of 'The Missouri Kid' was the first song he ever wrote, over forty years ago! (He's still obviously making his annual trip to "Xanadu").
There were some great songs included from his underrated solo albums, including 'Warriors Way', 'Haunted', 'Badlands Rain', 'Measure Of A Man' and 'A Million Miles Of Road'. 'Here's Hoping It Hurts' was dedicated to the shysters at Pledge Music, whilst one of the many highlights of the evening was Waysted lead singer Fin Muir joining Vaughn on stage for a stunning rendition of 'Heaven Tonight' that appeared on both of the albums 'The Good The Bad The Waysted' and 'Save Your Prayers'; a real hairs-raised-on-the-arms moment.

The stories about the songs and life on the road were compelling throughout; none more so than the one surrounding Spanish Metal band Burning Kingdom's 'I Will Fight No More Forever', inspired by the speech of Native Indian Chief Joseph, and one that always made Vaughn's wife, Melissa, cry.

The setlist was not pre-planned and 'Burning Down Inside' just seemed to appear from nowhere and got the venue rockin'! Vaughn asked for requests, jokingly saying he only did so as he knew what was coming. He amusingly said that Dan Reed was the "King of the requests"; not that he knew his songs any better, just he could wing it easier! Cue the incredible 'Standing Alone', one of the finest ballads ever written.

Towards the end of the evening, Vaughn requested a pint of Guinness that was duly supplied by my friend Scott Wardle, which gave him the opportunity to get in a request for his wife Steph, whose birthday it was; although Vaughn waited until the final song of the evening to dedicate the Tyketto classic 'Wings' to her.
I'm with Rob Wylde, in that I prefer the full live electric shows normally; however, there was something really special about this intimate acoustic show. A fantastic evening of entertainment from two incredibly gifted musicians. If you get the opportunity to see one of these shows, do yourself a favour and get yourself to a venue, you won't be disappointed.

Mark Donnelly

Thanks to Rob Wylde and Julie Bootland for assistance with the setlists.

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