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VINTAGE TROUBLE AND THE PRIMITIVE SOUL

March 31, 2017

 

Things happen at a Vintage Trouble show. Hot, sweaty things. Full of adult concepts.

 

Firstly, on stage, particularly via the sharply dressed, irrepressibly athletic front man/attention grabber Ty Taylor who is part testifying holy roller and part danger to life and limb, particularly his.

 

Then in the audience, where resistance is futile and a response – usually starting around the hips, working its way both down to dancing feet and up to bobbing head – seems automatic.

 

And finally, at home. Or if needs must, on the way home.

 

“It ends up surprising us to because people do end up going crazy and when we think it’s just another show people are going so crazy we think we have to at least outdo the audience,” says Tyler.

 

It is quite likely people go home from these shows a little, ahem, frisky, “otherwise,” says Tyler “we’re not doing our job right”.

 

Tyler’s chief collaborator, in the Los Angeles band which mixes soul, R&B and gut-kicking rock’n’roll, relocated Swede guitarist Nalle Colt says that their often rabid fans, who call themselves Troublemakers, “are always talking about that, the after parties and the friskiness”.

 

 

 

Tyler though would like to point out, much to Colt’s amusement and my scepticism, that “we never hear about that ourselves”. Of course not, perish the thought.

 

But maybe keep the thought at the back of your mind as it may explain why Colt’s preferred description for Vintage Trouble’s music is primitive soul.

 

Having lost the term maximum R&B to the Who 50 years earlier, primitive soul does capture some of the visceral pleasures of a Vintage Trouble performance.

 

Performances which can be traced back through misty history for Tyler (the “father figure in the band” Colt semi-jokingly says), Colt, the tall bassplayer Rick Barrio Dill and the hirsute dapper dan on drums, Richard Danielson.

 

If there is a rosetta stone or a turning point for all the band, no matter their quite varied backgrounds, it is the seminal live film of southern soul artists touring Europe in 1967, Stax/Volt Revue Live In Norway.

 

In front of audiences who swiftly abandoned European reserve, the likes of Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Arthur Conley, Eddie Floyd and the superstar bands the Mar-Keys and Book T & The MGs tore through sets as if tearing through clothing. Which they did also.

 

Last year Taylor wrote that watching that film “changed my life, my outlook on everything that I had done as performer and everything I wanted to do from that moment on”.

 

“Stax in Europe was the footage we were watching early on,” says Colt. “But also I think Ike and Tina Turner really connected with us, and Chuck Berry, Sam & Dave. That energy on stage was something completely out of control but so sexual. It was something that truly connected us all four.”

 

Tyler recalls that when they were recording their debut, The Bomb Shelter Sessions, Vintage Trouble all watched that Stax/Volt footage again and got fired up by “all the fever that was in that soul music” matched by the fervour of the performances.

 

For a band with disparate takes on life - “the only way to create fire is with friction,” says Tyler, and you need to have that collision of ideas – there was this common purpose.

 

“It ignited us,” he says. “We wanted to do the same thing. From the beginning, we were trying to hit it rawer every time and to try to make people feel deeper emotions than they would usually feel.

 

“And sometimes we think about that more than the actual songs – it’s about connection.”

 

 

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