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Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 28, 2017    
 
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Dan Reed Network / Vega - The Ruby Lounge, Manchester (UK) - 14 March 2017

A mere ten days after seeing Dan Reed Network play the Live Rooms in Chester I'm now in Manchester, for the penultimate night of their UK tour. This is my first visit to The Ruby Lounge and though the viewing area only accommodates around one hundred people comfortably, the club has a nice set-up overall with a large seating area for those who want to enjoy proceedings in a more relaxed manner. Feedback from other shows on the tour has been favourable. The band seem genuinely enthused and humbled by the receptions they have received and that comes across when speaking to them during the post show interactions with the fans.

The support for all the shows on the tour has come from British Melodic Rock favourites Vega. They have a core fan base and there are always a number of shirts on display. The opening set is identical to the one in Chester and the energy levels are good. Lead singer Nick Workman elicits some hearty responses from the crowd as the set progresses and he is more than willing to get even those at the back of the room by the bar to take part. 'Stereo Messiah', 'Bring Me Back To Life' and 'Need Some Love Tonight' are easy to digest and are high-impact Melodic Rockers. Tom and James Martin certainly know how to pen a catchy song and even those in attendance that are unfamiliar with Vega seem impressed. 'What The Hell' and 'Get Your Hands In The Air' continue the trend and it is a nice gesture that 'Saving Grace' is dedicated to the headline act. Vega have become festival favourites in recent years and when you see them play live it is easy to understand why.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Dan Reed, Brion James, Rob Daiker, Melvin Brannon II and Dan Pred make a low-key entrance to the stage and the genial lead-singer begins by stating that the night's set-list will be based around Celine Dion's 'Greatest Hits'. For some unknown reason he picks on the Canadian songstress throughout the performance, in good humour at all times and certainly to the consternation of the rest of the band. Fortunately, nobody takes the opening statement seriously and when the PA declares "Class... Class... Can I have your attention please" everyone in attendance is in overly familiar territory. The sets have been changing constantly during the tour and the back catalogue has been plundered for a number of lesser known songs. Requests are taken from the crowd and the responses favour the more well-known Dan Reed Network album tracks and singles. 'I'm Lonely Please Stay' and 'Slam' are welcome surprise inclusions but when someone shouts 'Leave Your Hat On' an attempt is made but aborted after just a few bars. The most recent 'Fight Another Day' CD is represented by 'Divided', 'Champion', 'B There With U' and 'Infected', and they sit nicely next to the more established classics. 'Baby Now I' features an 'I Was Made For Loving You'/'Enter Sandman'/'Relax'/ Earth, Wind & Fire medley alongside a Funky bass solo from Brannon II. The on stage energy levels never dip and everyone seems to be enjoying the night immensely. Keyboard player (and new guy) Daiker is given a solo spot and his 'All For A Kiss' is both powerful and passionate and brings everybody back on stage towards the song's conclusion. It is hard to believe that some of these songs are now almost thirty years old as they come across as timeless and contemporary, bringing back fond memories of seeing the first time when I was an impressionable twentysomething. Ninety-five minutes passes in the blink of an eye and it is time to make a dash for the train.

I was fortunate enough to do an interview with Dan Reed during the promotional element of the 'Fight Another Day' release in 2016 and he was keen to stress that the Network were here to stay, writing and releasing new material on a regular basis. They really should be huge. They bridge a number of musical styles and genres and alongside some classy musicianship have some fantastic songs with which to display their talents. Dan Reed may be concentrating on solo material for a little while (catch him if you can) but when the full band return I'll be there... guaranteed.

Dave Bott


Dan-Reed Network - Live

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