Concert Reviews

Tyketto / Dan Reed Network Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 30, 2016    
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Tyketto / Dan Reed Network - Club Academy, Manchester (UK) - 13 March 2016

Danny Vaughn and Dan Reed have had success with their 'Snake Oil & Harmony' acoustic tours together and developed a friendship that has enabled their respective bands to join forces on a co-headline tour. Tonight's Manchester show follows the Hard Rock Hell Festival in Wales and it seems some people have decided to extend their weekend despite the fatigue of the previous three days.

It is twenty-five years since the last album from Dan Reed Network ('The Heat') and though a new record is due to be released in June 2016, tonight's set concentrates on many songs that were once Rock club staples and MTV favourites. It is hot and sweaty in Club Academy and the scene is perfectly set as the band make an unassuming entrance and raise the hairs on the back of many a neck with the intro to 'Resurrect'. I am transported back in time and for the next hour, with the exception of one new song called 'Divided', sing every word as though I was in the shower with no one else around. 'Under My Skin' and 'Forgot To Make Her Mine' follow quickly without interruption and it is clear Reed and the guys are having as much fun as anyone in the crowd, despite the front-man's annoyance with a very small sound issue. The new song is next, blending in seamlessly with the older material and boding well for the highly anticipated new album. 'Rainbow Child' is the perfect showcase for guitarist Brion James and his soloing and subtleties are too often underestimated, because he is a great player. He is continually smiling and it has an infectious quality that somehow adds to the music and occasion. Dan Pred (drums) and Melvin Brannon II (bass) lay down a solid Funky bedrock, allowing the guitars, keys and vocals to weave magically in and out. Newest band member Rob Daiker (replacing Blake Sakamoto at the end of 2015) handles keyboards, enhancing the sound and filling the spaces when James takes a solo. 'Baby Now I' strangely includes a snippet of Kiss's 'I Was Made For Loving You' but nobody seems to mind and it just comes across as a natural deviation from the main song. 'Tiger In A Dress' gets the room moving as one and Danny Vaughn makes an appearance during the set closing 'Get To You'. One of the reasons behind DRN's failure to conquer the world all those years ago was that they could not be easily categorized and did not fall into a genre with a clear identity. The world needs to take notice. When the music has as much quality as this, a category means nothing. The band has its own identity.

As well as being twenty-five years since the last DRN album, it is also twenty-five years since the release of Tyketto's critically acclaimed debut 'Don't Come Easy' and to mark that anniversary they are playing it in its entirety on this tour, in reverse order. This is because, as Vaughn states before proceedings get under way, "if we play it in the correct order everyone will fuck off after the first song". The current Tyketto line-up includes Vaughn alongside original drummer Michael Clayton Arbeeny and "new boys" Chris Green (guitar), Chris Childs from Thunder – who Vaughn plays with in the Ultimatel Eagles – (bass) and Ged Rylands (keyboards). Some will moan at the fact Jimi Kennedy and Brooke St James are not in the band, but there is no doubting the calibre of Tyketto in 2016 and they too will be recording new songs for an album to be released later in the year. I have no doubt everyone in attendance knows 'Don't Come Easy' regardless of the order of the songs, so yet again I was singing every word and transported back in time. 'Sail Away', 'Strip Me Down', 'Nothing But Love' and 'Walk On Fire' come and go in the blink of an eye and yet again we are treated to a band enjoying every minute and performance wise everything was spot on. Vaughn's incredible voice has lost none of its power or passion and Green leaves very few lamenting the lack of the original guitarist. 'Lay Your Body Down' is ideal for audience participation (vocally of course) and then Reed appears to share vocals during a mesmerising rendition of 'Standing Alone' (one of those "I was there moments" for sure). 'Seasons' highlights just how well Tyketto blend acoustic and electric and from then on it is full-on dance-floor mania. 'Burning Down Inside', 'Wings' and the seminal 'Forever Young' sound as fresh as they did in 1991 and if anyone needed reminding how good Melodic Rock can be... The band return for an encore of 'Rescue Me', the set finishes and time begins to move on again.

I was twenty-five when 'Don't Come Easy' and 'The Heat' were released. For two hours I was twenty-five again and given the opportunity to re-visit songs I had not played for many years due to the number of new bands and new albums that come my way each month. It may be 2016 but both Tyketto and Dan Reed Network are still relevant and this is nothing about nostalgia. I will be back (and singing) for certain when either tour again.

Dave Bott

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