Tonight was my first time seeing one of Dan Reed’s solo shows. With his band, Dan Reed network the shows are full of energy, but his solo material is quite different.
Tonight’s sold out show was at the lovely St Pancras old church, just behind St Pancras station. It’s a lovely place, and for a solo acoustic show it was a perfect choice in the same way the Union Chapel is for larger capacity shows. The acoustics in there were lovely and with several rows of seated fans plus more standing at the back, Dan Reed came out and quicky got down to work, playing his acoustic guitar and singing.
Solo acoustic shows can be tricky as it’s quite easy for the audience to get bored unless the performer is good at interacting with the audience – good songs alone aren’t enough. Happily Dan Reed is an excellent performer and laughs and jokes with the audience and picks out certain people at times.
After starting with a few songs that he’d chosen, including a James Taylor cover (Fire and rain), he then started to ask the audience what songs they wanted to hear, which was a nice touch and helped keep the audience engaged. Of course playing audience requests when you’ve got quite a few songs for them to choose from carries risks as we found with one song when he got most of the way through it before stopping as he couldn’t remember the rest of it. That was an isolated instance though as he remembered every other song people asked for.
There was another cover later on – Elvis Presley’s “I can’t help falling in love with you”, but it was his own songs that I preferred, particularly as with many of them such as “Jerusalem sky” he didn’t just do the song, he first told us a bit about the background to the song. It was more an “audience with..” type of show with all the stories and talking bits and that really made it feel special.
Dan Reed’s solo shows are a lot more laid back and the songs more introspective but I’d definitely recommend going to one of the shows as Dan is such a great performer that he keeps the crowd engaged and entertained through the whole show, and with the show lasting almost 2 hours that’s a great night.