As a hot young thing hitting his prime – at the same time hair metal was hitting its peak – it’s little wonder Danny Vaughn was a popular fellow around the strip clubs of New York. Yet fast forward 26 years and it’s not difficult to imagine Tyketto’s youthful frontman having the same effect now.
Having somehow discovered the elixir of youth, delivering on his promise to stay Forever Young, Vaughn still boasts the stage presence, looks and energy of performers half his age. But here’s the thing: his voice just gets better and better.
As wingman Chris Green (Tyketto’s hot shot guitarist and the long-term replacement for Brooke St James) pointed out, without a hint of bias, Vaughn can still hit the high notes at a time when many of his peers are struggling to hit any. It’s true. But he’s also discovered a wider range of warmer notes that add depth and empathy to his band’s back catalogue at the same time as breathing fire into material from new record Reach.
It seems the title track from Tyketto’s critically acclaimed 2016 effort didn’t go down well with the powers that be at Italian label Frontiers. “They weren’t convinced,” revealed Vaughn as he pointed to a rather uncomfortable disagreement with his paymasters. The singer’s bullish response has been to play Reach live at every Tyketto show since but it might just be that his bosses have a point.
Of the new songs debuted here it was the least impressive. Reach simply wasn’t on a par with the emotive I Need It Now or the funky Big Money – both songs right at home alongside a familiar raft of fist-pumping anthems. The superb title track from 2012’s Dig In Deep allowed Vaughn to fully exercise those increasingly expansive vocal chords and Faithless, from the same record, set the standard on a night when the bloke behind the sound desk deserved his very own encore.
The Mark Hudson co-write Catch My Fall offered further proof that Tyketto have always maintained a breathtaking level of consistency utterly at odds with their relative lack of commercial success. Perhaps it’s the lack of big money that’s kept those creative juices flowing.
This was a set rich in rock and roll authenticity but hearing Vaughn belt out Standing Alone always feels deeply ironic. He never will be. Not for as long as Tyketto complement the old with the new and their charismatic leader continues to set impossibly high standards.