Here we are again at this reviewer’s favourite venue “Bannermans Bar” to see Mike Tramp, fully electric this time. I have seen this man several times now including twice with the excellent Freak of Nature back in the early 90’s and always look forward to his visits.
I saw Mike last year here on his Acoustic Tour promoting last years excellent album Museum, so roll on a few months and Mike is back all electric with the excellent Lucer as his backing band promoting his new album Nomad.
The band kick off the night with White Lion’s “Hungry” from the Pride album – a great track to start off which shows Lucer have learned the tracks well for tonight. Mike is in fine vocal form; not as high as his early days with White Lion but the voice is still there and strong. We are treated to another from White Lion (“Living on the Edge” from the Big Game album) and these first two tracks still show how strong the White Lion songs were and still are.
Mike is in fine form, smiling all night, chatting between tracks about everything from the old days and other stories. This is a man very happy and comfortable in his skin and it shows with the way he talks and interacts with a very busy and warm Bannerman’s. A change of pace now with “Trust in Yourself” from last years excellent Museum album which really shows how his voice is maturing like a fine wine. His solo albums form most of his setlist these days and quite rightly as this is a man who writes and sings fantastically on his own, but who can still dip in and out of the past with ease. We move on to “High Like a Mountain”, the first from this years excellent Nomad album which, like the rest of his solo albums, is always a progression from the previous ones. Like Mike himself they constantly grow stronger each year and it’s always a pleasure to look forward to them getting released.
We move on again with White Lion to the Pride album with “Tell Me” and these tracks just sound so mature these days and never seem dated which is always the sign of a good song. Up next, “Revolution” from 2013’s excellent Cobblestone Street, followed quickly by the excellent “Who Can You Believe” from this year’s Nomad with Mike and the band in excellent form enjoying themselves and all looking so relaxed – especially Mike whose singing and playing is a joy to watch.
We roll on down “Cobblestone Street” with the title track off the same album which has a distinctly Springsteen/Tom Petty feel to it and is one of my favourite tracks of the night. A change of pace as we have “Little Fighter” from the Big Game album. There is a nice mix of solo and White Lion tracks tonight which goes down well with a crowd really up for the show. Another excellent track from this years new opus follows in the form of “Don’t Want To Wait Till Forever”, followed by “Better Off” from 1998’s Capricorn album. The first single from “Nomad” is next in the form of “Give it all you Got”, this again has a great Tom Petty vibe to it and an interesting video.
I feel like Mike has really come of age with Nomad. It is a real progression from the past two albums which sees him sounding so strong and the production is spot on. Another couple of “White Lion” tracks follow with “Broken Heart” from Main Attraction and a great version of “When the Children Cry” from Pride. The two hour set ends with the excellent title track to 2003’s “More To Life Than This”.
An absolutely fantastic night of Mike Tramp with Mike in fine form mixing solo and White Lion material, the chat during the gig and afterwards at the merchandise stand – a true gent. I have one gripe and it is a wee one: no Freak of Nature tracks, which is a real shame but he did explain that the current band could not do justice to the Freak tracks which is fair enough. But even the version of “What Am I?” that is on the Freak of Nature – Outcasts album would have fitted in I think. That is a minor and personal gripe and does not detract from what was a fantastic night of music from Mike and support band Lucer who doubled as Mike’s backing band.
- Living on the Edge
- Trust in Yourself
- High Like a Mountain
- Tell Me
- Who Can You Believe
- Cobblestone Street
- Little Fighter
- Don’t Want To Wait Till Forever
- Better off
- Give It All You Got
- Broken Heart
- When the Children Cry
- More to Life Than This