at Trillians, Newcastle, U.K., August 24, 2023

MIKE TRAMP (Live at Trillians, Newcastle, U.K., August 24, 2023)
Photo: Mick Burgess

Who was to know back in 1991 when Mike Tramp stood on stage at The Mayfair in Newcastle on the final night of their European Tour, that this would be White Lion’s last ever appearance in Europe. Not only that, but within six more shows, the band would be finished.

Guitar wiz Vito Bratta seeming disappeared into thin air but lead singer Tramp, brushed himself down and reinvented himself for the 90s with the hard hitting, criminally underrated Freak of Nature before heading down a more reflective singer songwriter route, excelling in whichever direction he chose to take.

Despite the musical twists and turns he’s taken over the 30 years or since they folded, it is still White Lion to which most people associate Mike Tramp and so it’s no surprise when Tramp periodically returns to the glory days of the late 80s/early 90s.

Joined by former Freak of Nature touring guitarist Marcus Nand, Tramp delivered a two hour show rammed with White Lion classics and deep cuts as well as some great between song banter about “the old days” including touring with AC/DC and words of advice from Brian Johnson and the horror of realising Appetite For Destruction was to be released on the same day as Pride.

It was the music however, that people came for and Tramp did not disappoint kicking off with a triumvirate of “Lonely Nights”, “Hungry” and “Tell Me” from their classic Pride release newly arranged to suit the set up with two electric guitars.

While most bands of that era sang about girls, cars and parties, White Lion tackled more serious topics such as child abuse, apartheid and environmental issues and Tramp told the stories behind their big ballad “When Children Cry”, “Little Fighter” and “Cry For Freedom”.

“Wait” was a genuine highlight and when Nand absolutely nailed Vito Bratta’s solo Trillians gasped in admiration. A swift cover of Golden Earring’s “Radar Love” preceded a beautiful and rather apt set closer “Farewell To You” as Tramp pledged a swift return with a full band next time.


  • 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.

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