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Y&T / Federal Charm http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/a8/c4/5f/Y-and-T-Live-Thumb-38-1513538323.jpg Hot

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Y&T / Federal Charm - Picturedrome, Holmfirth (UK) - 11 November 2017

This evening Federal Charm made their tenth appearance at the legendary Holmfirth Picturedrome. Coming from Stockport, this must have felt almost like a hometown gig. The Picturedrome is an unusual venue in that due to its location, the audience is normally equally split between the Rose counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire. Fortunately, there's no war, and the atmosphere, as always, was electric. This was my first time seeing Federal Charm who took their ten song set from their two albums released to date – 2013's 'Federal Charm' and 2015's 'Across The Divide'. Their brand of Blues Rock went down well with the capacity audience, many of whom had obviously seen the band live before. Federal Charm has a tight rhythm section of L.D. Morawski on bass and Josh Zahler drums alongside impressive guitarist Paul Bowe and vocalist Tom Guyer whose gravelly tones were ideal for this genre of music.

As the houselights dimmed and the taped intro to 'Black Tiger' started, the crowd went wild as Y&T hit the stage. The sound levels and mix were as good as it gets and it made for an even more enjoyable evening. The set consisted of twenty-two songs, dating back to 1981's seminal 'Earthshaker' opus to 2010's 'Facemelter' album, the latter the last studio album to be released by the band. There was even the inclusion of two songs from the 2002 'Meniketti' solo album – 'Lay Me Down' and the brilliant 'Storm'. The only minor disappointment was that there was no room for any songs from the awesome 'Ten' album; however, one cannot really complain when a band plays for two and a quarter hours.

Look at a list of most underrated bands in history and Y&T are sure to be close to the top. The reason for this is based on a release of some fine albums, particularly in the eighties, and the ability to always put on a terrific live show. Tonight was no exception as they concluded the recent leg of their tour, this being show number twenty-seven. There was absolutely no sign of weariness from the band and I am sure that if was not for the venue's curfew then Dave Meniketti and his cohorts would have played for over three hours.

The atmosphere was tangible from the get-go and every song was greeted with a reaction often only reserved for bigger bands and their classics. Of course, Y&T have classics of their own and with each one of 'Dirty Girl', 'Mean Streak' and 'Winds Of Change' the noise levels of the partisan audience just got louder. The latter was very poignant as Meniketti dedicated to the three sadly, departed original members of Y&T; Joey Alves, Leonard Haze and Phil Kennemore. Meniketti, the only surviving original member, is naturally the star of the show, although it's humbling to see him give so much credit to the past and present members and the set allowed for solos from them all.

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'I Believe In You' was worth the admission price alone; Meniketti must be up there with the likes of Steve Lukather as the best singer/guitarist/song-writer on the planet, and at sixty-five years of age he shows no sign of slowing down.

Those who have read my reviews in the past know that I am rarely enthusiastic with regards to drum solos, however, this evening it provided a deserved respite for Meniketti and also was not at the expense of any essential songs in the set.

The tongue-in-cheek 'Barroom Boogie' was as entertaining as ever and preceded 'Squeeze' where Nymann took lead vocal duties. 'I'm Coming Home', only Y&T song played that was not written in the eighties (n.b. the Meniketti solo album was released in 2002) brought the main set to a close, two hours after the band had hit the stage. Conscious of the curfew, Meniketti thanked the crowd yet did not leave the stage but simply requested what songs the crowd still wanted to hear. They had three in mind and, despite the curfew time, he was determined to play three, which they had been playing on other parts of the tour. He was thrown a bit of a curve-ball when someone screamed 'Open Fire'! Undeterred, he played the opening verse and chorus before launching into 'Midnight In Tokyo', ably accompanied by several hundred avid fans. 'Rescue Me' continued the encore momentum before the set was closed with not only my favourite Y&T songs but one of my all-time favourite Rock songs full-stop in 'Forever'. As a teenager, I had an air guitar play-list of which 'Forever' would always be the final song. Thirty-five years since I first saw the San Franciscan band and they show absolutely no signs of giving up – simply sensational.

Mark Donnelly


Y and T Live

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