Spontaneous fizz, crackle and sparkle – along with superb musicianship – are definitely the order of the day on Dan Reed Network’s Fight Another Day tour.
With Special Guests, VEGA, storming onto stage in support with as tight a 45 minute set as anybody could hope for, the stunning range of Nick Workman’s vocals slice through The Chester Live Rooms like a recently sharpened scythe.
Marcus Thurston’s slick guitar work, Tom Martin’s thumping bass lines and Dan Chantrey’s immaculate percussion all add admirable depth, with numbers such as the superb White Flag from the band’s latest album, Who We Are, and the memorably lyrical Fade into the Flames standing out.
This is a band with swagger, with Workman using the stage to full effect, climbing on the stacks,
borrowing an iphone to film up close and extolling the packed audience into action with so much oomph it’s virtually impossible not to admire their stage craft and charisma as much as their music. This is a dynamic exhibition that’s sprinkled with the familiar yet sparkling with enough originality and guile to set the scene brilliantly for the main man.
Dan Reed is a master of his craft. A showman of some thirty years standing, every ounce of his gained experience is poured drop by drop into this magnetic, energised performance here with The Dan Reed Network. The cool Funk/Rock riffs supplied by Dan Pred, Brion James, Melvin Brannon II and Rob Daike are an absolute joy to behold, with Reed’s searing – often times quirky – vocal style enriching all that he touches.
With Resurrect kicking off proceedings, Reed prowls the stage his attention drawn to anything and everything that will bring him into closer contact with this sell out crowd. Seven Sisters Road is a dose of hot Funk that is as rich Game Pie on a chilled winter’s evening, whilst Mix It Up is it’s polar opposite; a cooling, soothing interlude during a stylistically eclectic set that is more or less chosen entirely by the audience itself.
This is a courageous move which, on more than one occasion, throw the band off a little and all of which is greeted by good humour and self-effacing ridicule amongst the performers. “You’ve just given up,” Reed chides Pred when the drummer provides a duff intro. Then with tongue firmly inserted into cheek he exhorts: “Just like Richie Sambora, man. You’ve given up!”
One number that is clearly preordained however is the magnificent Baby Now Don’t Fade from the band’s eponymous 1988 album. Peppered in the mid-section with a medley of classic numbers from the likes of Kiss, Metalica and, ahem, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, it is the magnificent Melvyn Brannon II bass solo that truly makes this stand out.
DRN are clearly energised, possibly amazed that their music still finds a collective warmth in its audience’s hearts some twenty-five years down the line, with the main man passing around the mic so that audience members can sing parts to the standard favourites such as Ritual and Stronger Than Steel. Then there are the new songs which bolster the catalogue, with Give It Love and the latest single from Fight Another Day, Champion, indelibly stamping its mark brilliantly on what can only be – hopefully – further DRN tours in future.
If Dan Reed Network Fight Another Day tour is headed for a venue near you, grab a ticket for what is a terrific – if unorthodox – night of music expedience that is sure to set your heart beating dangerously fast.
Dan Reed Network with Special Guests, Vega
The Chester Live Rooms
March 4th, 2017
Dan Reed Network March 2017 UK toour with special guests VEGA
Mar 5: The Globe Cardiff
Mar 7: The Cluny Newcastle (Sold Out)
Mar 8: Òran Mór Glasgow
Mar 10: The 100 Club London (Sold Out)
Mar 11: The Local Authority Sheffield
Mar 12: The Robin 2 Bilston
Mar 14: The Ruby Lounge Manchester
Mar 15: Rescue Rooms Nottingham