Concert Reviews

Mike Tramp / Lucer Hot
Written by Central Electronic Brain     December 17, 2015    
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Mike Tramp / Lucer - The Cluny, Newcastle (UK) - 19th September 2015

It's not every day that a Rock star compares themselves to an exotic spice – "I'm the one that you take out every now and then when you want something just a little bit different," he joked. That analogy sums up where Mike Tramp is musically at this stage in his career. He may not play the sort of music you listen to every day, but now and then it just fits the mood.
With new album 'Nomad' closing a trilogy of albums released over a three year period marking Tramp's musical journey from Hard Rocker to mature singer/song-writer, a journey that has been a long, sometimes painful, sometimes thrilling trip from his roots as a Danish teenager who left home to seek fame and fortune in the America.

Tramp's last few tours have seen a stripped down acoustic approach, but for this tour he returned to a full band set up being joined by the up and coming Danish trio Lucer, who really worked for their money; firstly as support then as Tramp's band for night.

He may have sold shed loads of records and headlined arenas in the 1980s with White Lion before casting off the spandex and big hair for the more Grunge-infused Freak Of Nature in the 1990s, but Tramp is clearly far more comfortable in his skin as just himself.

An energised and enthusiastic Tramp promised a mix of old and new and delivered exactly that, but with a difference. Opener 'Hungry' from WL platinum seller 'Pride' was radically reworked to render it almost into a new song. 'Tell Me' and 'Broken Heart' had similar reconstruction work and sounded all the better for it. The essence of the songs remained but there was no desperate attempt to recreate former glories. Maybe there's a few bands out there that could take a leaf out of Tramp's book.

Tramp clearly bears no relation to his 1980s peers and his music is as far removed from Mötley Crüe, Ratt and Poison as is humanly possible. His lyrics paint a vivid picture touching on family life, the perils of drug abuse and even the sinking of Greenpeace's 'Rainbow Warrior'.

Not only does Tramp possess a voice that can carry a soaring melody and bring those lyrics to life, but he has mastered the art of storytelling and between each song he told tales from the road in such a way that an alternate career as a stand-up comic beckons if he ever tires of music.

Tramps solo work has more in common with Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen than the Hair Metal of old and the uplifting 'Better Off', 'High Like A Mountain' and 'More To Life Than This' are the sound of an artist looking forward, not back. Tramp's evolution as a song-writer and performer have kept him relevant and musically vibrant and 'Nomad' is just one more step on that journey and after a highly entertaining two hour show, the crowd had been taken on one thrilling ride.

Mick Burgess

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