Support: The King Lot
In December 1989 I took my first tentative steps into the world of live music. Not playing of course, I could never play an instrument, and nor could I sing. However as a 16 year old novice (in everything) I very quickly became bitten by the gig going bug. As I ventured to see Bon Jovi at the NEC Arena that December evening I had no idea what lay ahead. To this day though it remains one of my best ever experiences. The thrill of live music has stuck ever since. The support band that day were a group called Dan Reed Network and, although I knew nothing about them, they were to be the first band I ever saw live...and as a result I always remembered them. 27 years later I finally got to see them again.
The gig at the 100 Club is the last of a small batch of European shows the band is playing. Their new album, their first in 25 years, was released last week and these shows are in support of that. Despite Classic Rock only giving it a mixed review, songs such as Champion and Infected are as good as anything they have produced before. Both songs are played tonight and fit in perfectly in the surprisingly long set.
Seeing Dan Reed with guitarist Brion James, bass player (and destroyer of amps) Melvin Brannon II and drummer Dan Pred on stage is great but it is seeing them having so much fun that is a joy. Often when groups reunite they don't always look happy about it, old tensions can still be simmering just below the surface. With DRN though they sound great, look great and I haven’t laughed so much at a gig for ages. Old songs like Baby Now I, Come Back Baby, Ritual and Tiger in a Dress (or Lion Ass Bitch as Brannon calls it) take me back to my youth. Their most famous song, Rainbow Child, is sung with force from the packed 100 club but it is the funkier numbers which are most fun to hear. Also it can be pretty interesting to see a club full of rockers not quite sure how to move to any song that requires more than a jump or hands raised in the air. Rockers don't dance...or maybe that's just me.
New song Save the World (sung by James) marks a change of pace (as well as the beginning of the end of the bass amp) and shows off their versatility and the last song, Get To You closes the triumphant show. I would have loved to stay and have a drink and get a picture with the boys (as well as support band the King Lot who were also excellent) but we needed to get back. Maybe next time when they come back in March. One thing is for sure, crowd, like band, really do look happy to see Dan Reed Network back on stage. Long may the reunion continue.
Ticket: June 15th 2016
Ticket Price: £20.00