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Robin 2, Bilston
Saturday 12th March 2016

Ian Sutherland

ian sutherland


West Lothian trio The King Lot have been working hard recently and building up a reputation as a solid melodic rock outfit. This results in gigs like tonight where they get invited to drive three hundred miles from home to show a packed crowd of Tyketto fans what they're all about.

Front man Jason Sweeney is all smiles and fun between songs, doing his cheeky chappy buy our t shirts routine and the smile doesn't disappear during the songs either as he sings his heart out and shakes the venue with his strident bass lines. Their modern take on melodic rock comes across like it means business as well as fun and rock and roll.

Their songs sound solid and meaty throughout and the frequent road work has left them tight and professional so they manage to make the melody stand out too. They can rock it up when they want to but there are three part harmonies and memorable choruses aplenty as well.

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The way they end their set is designed to stick in the mind too, with Sweeney and guitarist Michael Fairbairn leaving their instruments feeding back against the amps and exiting the stage allowing drummer Chris Gillon to pound the proceedings to an end.

The King Lot

The theatrical edge is fine but it's their music that made an impression in the end and they went down very well indeed. The future looks bright for these guys.

The passage of time is a scary thing. It's twenty five years since Tyketto released their classic debut album 'Don't Come Easy'. Hard rock aficianados are well aware that this is a classic album of the genre damned by bad timing as soon after its release the tidal wave of grunge swept that style of music off the radio and MTV playlists.

Enough of a hard core following remains that there have been sporadic reunions by the band in the 2000s and now prior to recording a new album they are doing some dates to commemorate the anniversary of that debut.

Probably in deference to the fact that the album's opening track 'Forever Young' is the band's anthem they have elected to play the album in its entirety but in reverse order so 'Sail Away' gets proceedings under way.

The band are such experienced guys now that they easily do that relaxed but tight vibe which comes from so many years playing together. Guitarist Chris Green is the the new kid on the block and the only one who has dressed to impress. His rock and roll attire, flowing locks and fine playing get a lot of attention but most eyes are on front man Danny Vaughn, the real star of the band.

A consummate front man with a likeable charm and presence, his vocals have in no way diminished over the years and he easily hits all the notes on these songs which he originally sang so long ago.


Of course it's the songs which are the stars of the show too tonight and all the old favourites are welcomed warmly by the crowd. A couple of single B-sides are thrown into the middle of the set as an additional bonus but it's when they get to playing the latter half of these classic songs that things get really special.

From the spine tingling version of the emotional 'Standing Alone' with superb vocals from Vaughn through huge crowd singalongs on 'Burning Down Inside' and 'Wings' to a final, epic, anthemic climax with 'Forever Young' it is a union of great songs, a band to do them justice and a crowd with a real connection to it all.

An encore is inevitable and a mixture of newer songs goes down very well indeed but it all feels slightly anti climactic after what has gone before. The unusual choice of playing the songs from 'Don't Come Easy' in reverse order was totally vindicated by how the set worked tonight.

It was a fitting tribute to a classic album but also a sign that there is plenty of life left in these guys yet.

The King Lot:
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