Mike Tramp @ Audio, Glasgow Mar21

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Mike Tramp @ Audio, Glasgow

Mike Tramp @ Audio, Glasgow
It has been two years since I last saw Mike play due to the gig in Glasgow last year being cancelled at the last minute. The last time I saw him it was just around the corner in The Classic Grand and I saw just Mike, an acoustic guitar and some funny stories about lycra. To say I was looking forward to a full electric set is an understatement.
When you go and see Mike live you always know you are in for a good show but tonight I think I may have seen the best performance I have witnessed from him in a long line of gigs and a number of bands going all the way back to 1991. That is not down to just Mike as the whole band played their part in this story.
Everything Mike does is straight from his heart and soul and if there is a more humble man on this planet I have yet to meet him. He is also one of the hardest working guys on the circuit, you just have to look at the amount of material he has released over the years and when you listen to his latest offering “Maybe Tomorrow” you know he is not a man living on past merits.
His set tonight spans his whole career and when you listen to the older songs on show tonight you know what a career he has had. As the band open with “Better Off” the first thing that hits you is Mike’s voice, man has he still got it. The texture and power is there to hear and it grasps you during the quieter moments and he knows how to pull on your heartstrings. I am not afraid to say I had a tear in my eye on more than one occasion tonight. That is down to his heartfelt lyrics and his beautiful nature.
The first time I done the manly, shit is anyone looking? quick, wipe away that tear was during Mike’s approach to selling merchandise( yeah, how could that happen I hear you ask). Mike strolled to the front of the stage clasping a vinyl copy of his latest album and proceeded to tell a story that took me back through the decades to my childhood. To the days when I was a teenager and would head off to the record store on the day my favourite bands albums and singles were released. He told the story that many of us in that hall knew all too well, how we queued up outside our favourite shops(mine was 23rd Precinct in Glasgow), how we bought the item, raced home, closed the door and played it through our massive stereos and speakers until we knew those songs inside out. How we read every inch of the album cover and inner sleeve, we read the lyrics, the stories, the acknowledgements and we stared at those photos. By the time he had finished telling that story I wanted that back, I hadn’t realised how much I had missed it and how much a part of my growing up that was…and it worked, the merch stand after the show was packed.
The first indication that tonight was to be very special was “High Like A Mountain”. What we get is a reworking of the song and what turns out to be every song from White Lion and Freak Of Nature era. This was sheer genius, to hear the songs you grew up with being twisted and remoulded by the very person that wrote them was just heaven to watch. It gave such an amazing take on tracks like “Little Fighter”, “Lady Of The Valley” and “Broken Heart”. For me the absolute winner though was Freak Of Nature’s “What Am I”. This band and those two albums were so unfairly overshadowed by White Lion. For me those are probably Mike’s finest albums, they told a story after leaving White Lion and it was if he had a new lease of life and was able to drop the ties that bound him. If you have never heard these please search them out.
The next time Mike hit me a huge thump on the heart was as he introduced, then played “Cobblestone Street”. He told us how he wrote the song about his home and what it meant…but for me it meant something completely different. I bought the album when it came out in 2013, I had moved away from Scotland 13 years earlier and that song hit me hard as I was struggling with whether I should pack up and move back home. That song brought everything home to me and I ended up moving back home the following year. So strong is Mike’s story telling it has an effect on peoples lives.
At this point I didn’t think the show could get any better but as we got to the encore and we had a slowed down, reworked version of “Radar Love” it overshadowed everything and that was something I will never forget. It was just sheer brilliance.
Mike thank you for the music, the memories and your honesty. Until the next tour take care and keep on rocking.
Images and Review Ritchie Birnie
It has been two years since I last saw Mike play due to the gig in Glasgow last year being cancelled at the last minute. The last time I saw him it was just around the corner in The Classic Grand and I saw just Mike, an acoustic guitar and some funny stories about lycra. To say I was looking forward to a full electric set is an understatement.
When you go and see Mike live you always know you are in for a good show but tonight I think I may have seen the best performance I have witnessed from him in a long line of gigs and a number of bands going all the way back to 1991. That is not down to just Mike as the whole band played their part in this story.
Everything Mike does is straight from his heart and soul and if there is a more humble man on this planet I have yet to meet him. He is also one of the hardest working guys on the circuit, you just have to look at the amount of material he has released over the years and when you listen to his latest offering “Maybe Tomorrow” you know he is not a man living on past merits.
His set tonight spans his whole career and when you listen to the older songs on show tonight you know what a career he has had. As the band open with “Better Off” the first thing that hits you is Mike’s voice, man has he still got it. The texture and power is there to hear and it grasps you during the quieter moments and he knows how to pull on your heartstrings. I am not afraid to say I had a tear in my eye on more than one occasion tonight. That is down to his heartfelt lyrics and his beautiful nature.
The first time I done the manly, shit is anyone looking? quick, wipe away that tear was during Mike’s approach to selling merchandise( yeah, how could that happen I hear you ask). Mike strolled to the front of the stage clasping a vinyl copy of his latest album and proceeded to tell a story that took me back through the decades to my childhood. To the days when I was a teenager and would head off to the record store on the day my favourite bands albums and singles were released. He told the story that many of us in that hall knew all too well, how we queued up outside our favourite shops(mine was 23rd Precinct in Glasgow), how we bought the item, raced home, closed the door and played it through our massive stereos and speakers until we knew those songs inside out. How we read every inch of the album cover and inner sleeve, we read the lyrics, the stories, the acknowledgements and we stared at those photos. By the time he had finished telling that story I wanted that back, I hadn’t realised how much I had missed it and how much a part of my growing up that was…and it worked, the merch stand after the show was packed.
The first indication that tonight was to be very special was “High Like A Mountain”. What we get is a reworking of the song and what turns out to be every song from White Lion and Freak Of Nature era. This was sheer genius, to hear the songs you grew up with being twisted and remoulded by the very person that wrote them was just heaven to watch. It gave such an amazing take on tracks like “Little Fighter”, “Lady Of The Valley” and “Broken Heart”. For me the absolute winner though was Freak Of Nature’s “What Am I”. This band and those two albums were so unfairly overshadowed by White Lion. For me those are probably Mike’s finest albums, they told a story after leaving White Lion and it was if he had a new lease of life and was able to drop the ties that bound him. If you have never heard these please search them out.
The next time Mike hit me a huge thump on the heart was as he introduced, then played “Cobblestone Street”. He told us how he wrote the song about his home and what it meant…but for me it meant something completely different. I bought the album when it came out in 2013, I had moved away from Scotland 13 years earlier and that song hit me hard as I was struggling with whether I should pack up and move back home. That song brought everything home to me and I ended up moving back home the following year. So strong is Mike’s story telling it has an effect on peoples lives.
At this point I didn’t think the show could get any better but as we got to the encore and we had a slowed down, reworked version of “Radar Love” it overshadowed everything and that was something I will never forget. It was just sheer brilliance.
Mike thank you for the music, the memories and your honesty. Until the next tour take care and keep on rocking.
Images and Review Ritchie Birnie

Mike Tramp

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