I remember from a looonnngg time ago someone writing in Kerrang (when it had just started going fortnightly too!) that you only had thirty seconds to prove to an audience at the Marquee that you would be worth hanging around for.
Well, last night at the Arches in Glasgow Dan didn't need thirty seconds – it was like being at a Very Big Party at his place: everyone already seemed to know him, call him a friend, know his music old and new with sound approval of both and even better, they knew the words for that essential sing-a-long that is part of rock music tradition.
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So, a massive welcome from the audience and straight into some old Dan Reed Network – 'Mix It Up', 'Stronger Than Steel', new songs 'Rush', 'I Don't Mind' and the impression so far is that the new music sits within the rock genre comfortably – it clearly has a guitar orientation however it doesn't matter if Dan is playing guitar or keyboard – his main instrument is his voice.
Yes, the voice we all knew and loved from the DRN era is still as distinctive only its stronger, deeper, has a clearer range, is versatile and moves from growlesque blues to a rocking resonance that is quite humbling as it does not really need any musical support at all.
It's mesmerising, complete and people around me are commenting on this. It is good to see the old DRN music applauded but even better that the biggest cheers are for the new music.
On to 'Rainbow Child' (big cheer) 'Lover', '99 Lashes' (about the violence we inflict on one another), 'All My Lovin'' (sob), 'Closer', 'Signal Fire' where we hear some definite funk/rock blending (this is the title track of the new CD due out in autumn), 'Candlelight', 'Let It Go', 'End Of The World', 'Long Way To Go', 'Ritual', 'Get To You' and 'Brave New World'.
Dan chats about DRN songs, his new music, with some of the stories being about his time away from music and his addictions, he chats about his enduring friendships with DRN members, his travels around the world and his strong sense of social conscience.
It is clear - he is playing us his music, he wants us to understand what has led to its creation and his privilege to introduce it to us.
We listen, we cheer, we might even need hankies and its all fantastic. By now we are at twenty songs and it's the encore so Dan asks the audience which songs they want? Accordingly advised that we would like 'Coming Up For Air' (and not 'The Chicken Song') we all rock a little longer.
By now you may be feeling you have missed out on some fantastic music and a great night. I think you might have too so just to help you feel a little better I have included some music links here, especially for you.
Coming Up For Air
All My Lovin'
Brave New World
After the show Dan hangs out, signs autographs, chats, has photographs taken and eventually thirty minutes later when about twenty people are still left to chat with he suggests moving along to the bar.
My advice – check out his website http://www.danreed.com to hear his new music and also check out his tour dates page. If you are near a gig go and see him, make sure you have money for drinks at the bar and hang out at the back of the queue.
Dan Reed will be writing a monthly column for MetalTalk.net starting next month!