Live Review : Tyketto + Kane'd @ Academy Club, Manchester on March 10th 2019

It’s a cold Sunday night tonight in Manchester, so I was quite surprised to see a venue that was not only within a few tickets of being sold out but also full of people right from the start. This meant tonight’s support act, Kane’d, had a job to do to win over those audience members who weren’t familiar with them, and I have to say they did it rather well.

Do you know Kane’d? They are a 7-piece band from South Wales with no less than 3 frontwomen who also happen to be sisters. They’ve been around on the pub/club circuit for a few years now, playing a brand of hard rock that is somewhat unique due in a great part to those 3 complementing voices. The sound for the first couple of songs was a little muddy tonight which was a shame as guitarists Jack and Harry are pretty solid and they did start off somewhat lost in the mix. Initial audience reaction was a little “meh”, possibly because of this? Someone must have poked the guy on the desk though, as within a couple of songs things settled down and after that, it was crystal clear. With songs such as “Wasted”, “Hey, Hello”, “I Won’t Bite, and the rather lovely ballad “I’ll Bring You Home” the band showed some maturity to both their writing and playing compared to previous times when I have seen them, and it didn’t take long for them to have the audience onside and giving them some great feedback. They play hard driving rock with some very nice guitar riffs, there are catchy singalong choruses and the whole thing is tied together nicely by those complementing vocals. This band is definitely on my “ones to watch” list!

On to headliners Tyketto. I started the evening trying to think of a word or short phrase to describe this band, but somehow it just didn’t come to me. This current tour is a homage to their “difficult” second album ‘Strength In Numbers’, released 15 years ago this year, and the setlist basically comprises the whole album with a few other songs thrown in for good measure. The first thing I noticed was that the intro was personalised to the city – a nice touch which raised a cheer before the band even took to the stage. Danny Vaughn also advised that this whole tour is being recorded for a live project due for release later in the year, so watch out for that.

On to the music. ‘Strength In Numbers’ had big shoes to fill being the follow-up to 1991’s epic debut ‘Don’t Come Easy’ so naturally the band decided to abandon their previous hair-metal stance and this album was a lot more laid-back. Several of the songs have that jangly west-coast vibe that’s reminiscent of Danny’s great heroes the Eagles, but there’s also some groovy funk-rock and of course occasionally they still rocked out! Between songs Danny gives us some of the tales behind the making of the album, explaining that the first album had been a deliberate attempt to write big anthems but on this one he wanted to show more versatility and experiment with different musical styles.

As well as the album tracks there were a few surprises – a song called ‘Wait Forever’ didn’t make it onto the album but was the b-side of the ‘Summer Days’ release. This tour is actually the first time this has been played in 25 years, and it turns out to be a typical Tyketto song with a catchy chorus, fantastic guitar solo from Chris Green and a beat that just makes your head nod and your toes tap all by themselves. This was followed by a special version of ‘Wings’ from the first album that featured guest vocals from the three Ms Kane and was performed in a country and western style. The extra harmonies made it extra-special, and if I’d been wearing a cowboy hat I would have waved it! A variety of genres is displayed in the next few songs. There is blues, and rock, and ballad, and more rock until the title track seques effortlessly into Tyketto’s “THAT song” and the main set closer is of course ‘Forever Young’, much to the delight of the packed-out house.

Personal gripe here though, yes I know it’s your favourite song and you probably proposed or whatever, but people – put your phones down and bloody dance to this, will you?! A brief introduction to the band members and the encore consists of an all-out rocking version of ‘Reach’ and finally one of the ultimate power ballads ‘Standing Alone’. Danny says that may be an odd song to end a rock concert on but no, we all need an opportunity to wave our arms and sing along, right? Those guitar notes hit you right in the heart, every time. So as I make my way out into the cold, sleety Manchester night I think again for a word to describe Tyketto, and I’ve got it now. Heartwarming, this band has you leaving the venue encased in a glow of warm happiness.

Words and Photography by Jo Crosby