@ Newcastle Trillians, November 25 2009
This gig would have been inconceivable a decade ago but thanks to the long overdue revival of all things glammed up and hairy, the one and only Davy Vain rolled back the years in front of a boistrous and adoring crowd.
Those who claim one of prettiest boys of the late 80s scene has become a bloated parody of his former self should revise that opinion. And fast. Looking fitter than a bunch of blokes half his age and with the old pipes still in ear piercing form, Vain is a frontman quite capable of delivering unfinished business in some style.
Rattling through the pick of the tracks from major lable debut No Respect, and backed by a band loving every minute of their stint in front of Newcastle’s demanding fans, the in-form vocalist reminded those present just why his band was such a hot property back in the day.
That the onset of grunge vanquished Vain before they ever reached their peak is a hard luck story glam rock bands the world over will gladly tell. But Davy isn’t interested in tales of what might have been – he’s back out there doing what can still be done.
So Free Now saw the guitar turned up and Vain’s vocal toned down but the revised mix set the standard for truly blistering final half hour. 1000 Degrees saw grown women break into a cold sweat and the anthemic No Respect was simply stunning.
Throughout a gold standard set the debate raged among certain fans as to whether the title track of the band’s brilliant debut was the definitive vain tune or whether set closer, the awesome Beat The Bullet, had the edge. The unbridled joy which met the first few chords of the latter settled the argument and reminded everyone present just why these boys were MTV darlings back in the day.
Since 2005 Vain have been steadily rebuilding their reputation as one of the essential hair metal bands of an era devoted to excess. These days it’s the music, more than the image, which strikes a chord. And the music has never sounded better.