Tyketto @ Newcastle The Cluny, March 16 2019

Danny Vaughn didn’t realise it at the time but the title of Tyketto’s second album was always destined to become the mantra for an unrelenting band of underdog brothers. Strength In Numbers has come to represent the very ethos of an act that continues to defy the odds: their longevity due, in large part, to the undying commitment of a rock and roll community that refuses to let the genre’s ultimate unsung heroes die.

Twenty-five years and four weeks since its release, this show was a timely reminder of Tyketto’s unfavourable status as a band out of time. By the time Music For Nations had picked up the rights to release Strength In Numbers, following Geffen’s decision to drop the Kevin Elson-produced record, grunge had a stranglehold and melodic rock was on the wane. Commercial success might have eluded Tyketto back then but the critical acclaim keeps on coming as the band continues to celebrate an album bursting with AOR intent and chorus-driven class.

Playing Strength In Numbers in its entirety was the natural choice following last year’s social media-driven campaign to mark the record’s 25th anniversary in style. Less obvious, but canny nevertheless, was the decision to mix and match the original tracklisting. Those who caught Def Leppard’s Hysteria shows before Christmas – replete with the momentum killing Excitable and Love And Affection – will understand why playing an entire album in its original order doesn’t necessarily make for the perfect live show. Tyketto, as they invariably do, got it just right. There was order in the disorder.

Why Do You Cry? – the song Vaughn wants his grandchildren to remember him for – preceded Rescue Me and the rousing title track. Ain’t That Love was juxtaposed with Write Your Name In The Sky and The End Of Summer Days segued into that single’s original B-side, and the deepest of deep cuts, Wait Forever.

There was ample opportunity to enjoy the beefy Big Money – from 2016’s Reach – and of course no Tyketto show would be complete without Standing Alone from the band’s stellar 1991 debut Don’t Come Easy. Sure, this was a celebration of Strength In Numbers but a capacity Cluny crowd was treated to a back catalogue full to bursting with pop rock panache.

Incredibly, it’s 28 years since Tyketto supported White Lion at Newcastle’s much-missed Mayfair and many of those early adopters were determined to enjoy another emotive night in the company of Vaughn, guitarist Chris Green, bass player Greg Smith, drummer and founder member Michael Clayton Arbeeny and keysman Ged Rylands. 

Mention of Geordie superfan Helen Latty – who passed away prior to this show – perfectly echoed the Strength In Numbers message. Vaughn held aloft a picture of the ‘fan who became a friend’ before dedicating tear-jerking set closer Standing Alone to a much-missed member of the Tyketto community. The sentiment was fitting and the performance just perfect.

It might be 25 years since the release of Strength In Numbers and 32 years since Vaughn and Clayton Arbeeny embarked on their melodic rock journey but the latter is already planning Tyketto’s 60thanniversary bash. Get that 2047 Cluny date in the diary now…like every year, it will sell out fast.