GIG REVIEW – DAN REED NETWORK
Currently on a short UK tour to promote the recently issued 2 CD set “Anthology” (a mix of greatest hits, b-sides and alternative versions), our London Guitar Academy reviewer Paul Wood caught the 80’s US rock funk band at the O2 Academy in Islington.
There was a pretty good crowd of DRN devotees at the Academy and the band didn’t disappoint with a barnstorming show packed with songs from their original triple album salvo of “Dan Reed Network”, “Slam” and “The Heat”.
All 5 members of the classic DRN line up were back in tow – Dan Reed on vocals, Brion James on guitar, Melvin Brannon II on bass guitar, Dan Pred on drums, and Blake Sakamoto on keyboards.
Check out the funk rock guitar attack of Brion James on “Baby Now I” (not to mention the audience vocal participation!)
And here’s the band blasting through “Come Back Baby”
Part way through there was a crowd shout for “Taming The Wild Nights” which Dan Reed said they hadn’t rehearsed but would try and play (“what key are we going to play this in guys?” “who remembers the start?”). They made it through the first verse before closing the song down. Here’s the one verse clip posted on Youtube:
After this, an onstage quip from Dan Reed of “If we played all these songs you are shouting for, we’ll be here all night” produced one of the loudest cheers of the night.
This was followed by Dan Reed saying (to another loud cheer) “I know, we’ll do the first verse of all of them!” This was followed by one verse renditions of “Mix It Up” and “Lover” before the band returned to the original scheduled set.
Here’s the band (and the audience again!) performing “Ritual”:
For the encores the band came back (Dan Reed wearing a horse’s head which he said he had found backstage and quickly took off!) and played “Tiger In A Dress” before closing the set with an a cappella style rendition (all of the band upfront on stage with their arms locked together) of “Long Way To Go”
All of the band members were clearly having a blast and there was a suggestion that they are thinking of recording new material for a new album in the near future.
This was their first set of UK dates since reforming to play at the Enchanted Festival (Stock, UK) in 2013.
The Enchanted Festival was their first UK appearance for 20 years and here’s footage of “Get To You” from that show:
If you want to catch Dan Reed later this year he will be playing a solo set at the 2nd Enchanted Festival on Saturday 11 October 2014.
Blasts from the past
Here’s the original promo video for “Long Way To Go”