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Y&T, The Garage, Highbury, London
13 October 2012
autumn jaunt is now a fixture in the classic rock calendar, incredibly
this being the eighth year in succession that the seasoned Californian
hard rockers have toured the UK. But they are in no danger of
overexposure as, after being initially slow to fill up, a healthy sized
crowd packed the Garage for their early start.
Dave Meniketti, at nearly 60, is still a formidable trouper, curly hair
flowing behind him as he puts his heart and soul into both his singing
and incendiary lead guitar playing.
Brad Lang, with a typically Californian look of wasted elegance, now
fully bedded in as successor to the still missed Phil Kennemore, the
band, completed by drummer Mike Vanderhule and second guitarist John
Nymann are a well drilled unit and were done full justice by a spot on
sound at the venue.
was billed as marking the 30th anniversary of 'Black Tiger', yet despite
opening with the title track and later showcasing the epic 'Winds of
Change' the album did not feature as prominently as I expected.
usual mix of Y&T classics were present: the extended jamming from
both guitarists that winds its way through 'Dirty Girl', the first number
to really get the crowd going, no nonsense rockers like 'Mean Streak' and
'Hurricane', and 'Midnight In Tokyo', given a slightly different arrangement
with the first part slowed and stripped down somewhat.
played 'Rock n Roll's Gonna Save The World' had me wondering why it never
took off as an arena anthem in the mid eighties.
brings the same crowd back every year- and some to multiple gigs on the
same tour- is the way they vary the set to dip into the lesser known
parts of their lengthy back catalogue.
occasion those dusted down included 'Hard Times', 'Rhythm or Not' from
1987's 'Contagious' recalling the days when they viably tried to jump on
the sleaze rock bandwagon; the infectious seventies riffing of '25 Hours
a Day' from their very first album when they were still known as Yesterday&Today and
'Gimme the Beat', a surprisingly good song from
'Endangered Species' one of their 1990's albums that passed the world by,
A trio from
most recent album 'Facemelter' - 'Shine On', 'Blind Patriot' and most notably
'I'm Coming Home', a galloping romp in classic Y&T style - also now
nestle comfortably in the set.
still much missed and Dave dedicated his Gary Moore-like instrumental
'I'll Cry For You' to him, while John stepped into the breach for the late
bassist's traditional turn at the mike for Squeeze.
flowing fair hair, a throaty voice and big smile, he took to the
frontman role to the manor born and it did occur to me the band might
make more of him in future. Dave shone on the epic 'I Believe in You', yet
as his lengthy solo, losing none of its fluency as he played ever
faster, drew a huge cheer from the crowd, the modesty with which he
received the acclaim was touching.
third year running, Jeff Scott Soto was in the house and brought on to
energetically lead the band through Forever, which saw pockets of
pogo-ing breaking out at the front, Jeff showing some man love to Dave as
he tore into more solos and a rather chaotic on stage atmosphere with
support band The Jokers joining in.
Sadly with a
10pm curfew, 'Summertime Girls' was omitted from the set and there was
time only for the one encore, the place going crazy to their best known
song 'Rescue Me', with Dave's solos managing if anything to eclipse the
There are no
frills to what Y&T do - just a tight classic rock band playing good
songs with a hard working yet fun attitude. They seem to love the UK and
with shows exceeding 2 hours and of this quality, the fans will return
year after year. Mark off October 2013 in your gig calendar now.
photos by Andy Nathan
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