At O2 Academy, Newcastle, U.K., November 4, 2016

Y&T (Live at O2 Academy, Newcastle, U.K., November 4, 2016)
Photo: Mick Burgess

Quite how support act Praying Mantis didn’t quite hit the heights that their obvious talents deserved is something of a mystery. Their debut Time Tells No Lies sailed along on the euphoric resurgence of British Heavy Metal spearheaded by Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Saxon at the turn of the ’80s but added a huge dash of melody and harmonies to the mix. Maybe it was the revolving door of singers passing through their ranks that denied them of their unique identity. Whatever it was, it’s a shame that they didn’t quite live up to that promise but that may well be about to change. With new singer John Cuijpers joining original members, brothers Chris and Tino Troy, their current album Legacy has class stamped right through it.

With Cuijpers voice nodding in the direction of the great Ronnie James Dio, his powerhouse performance during their short opening set certainly caught the attention as Fight For Your Honour stood proudly alongside the vintage Captured City while Believable showed some strong vocal and guitar harmonies.This was a commanding and classy show that will hopefully kick start a renewed interest in the band.

Californian Rockers Y&T are one of the most consistently impressive acts on the touring circuit today. While other acts from the late ’70s and ’80s have struggled to maintain their momentum, limping from show to show with ever diminishing returns, Y&T have no such problems.

Every year they return to the UK for a run of shows and every year their fans come back again and again. It’s easy to see why. Frontman and lead guitarist Dave Meniketti still bubbles with enthusiasm and his passion for the band is clear. Y&T also possess a catalogue choc full of great songs. In fact they have so many great songs that they can afford to leave out such favourites as Hurricane and Open Fire and replace them with others of an equal calibre.

Meniketti also knows how to give the fans value for money. There is no insipid 65 minute sets of running through the motions with Y&T. For nigh on two and a half hours on a Friday night in Newcastle Y&T went full tilt from the second On With The Show kicked things off in appropriately up-tempo style.

The absolute classics that must always be played were all present and correct, peppered throughout the set to ensure the momentum never dipped meaning Mean Streak and Black Tiger flew out in the first half while I Believe In You, where Meniketti’s fret-searing climax won an ovation and Rescue Me brought the show to a crescendo.

There were no slouches with the rest of the set either with Dirty Girl, Midnight in Tokyo and Winds of Change, touchingly dedicated to original drummer Leonard Haze who recently passed away, all hitting the mark.

Meniketti’s affection for Newcastle is genuine. The Geordie crowd embraced Y&T at an early stage in their career and a blast of a handful of Y&T songs could always be guaranteed to fill the dancefloors of the Rock clubs of the North on any given night. This affection even extended to the writing of I’m Coming Home, which developed as a tribute following an evening where illness robbed Meniketti of his voice as the Newcastle crowd literally took over. He has never forgotten that and neither has the crowd. When someone shouted out for Squeeze, Meniketti duly obliged with guitarist John Nymann handling vocal duties. A storming Forever being the last of the gold plated classics, was the perfect way to round off a cracking evening by a band that never, ever fails to deliver.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.