At The Carling Academy 2, Newcastle, U.K., November 5, 2008

It’s been a long, long time since Dan Reed stood on a stage in Newcastle. In the early 90s Dan Reed Network opened for the Rolling Stones at St. James Park, home of Newcastle United Football Club, in front of a crowd of over 40,000 punters, winning over the notoriously hostile Stones crowd in the process with their infectious brand of Funk fueled Hard Rock.

Fast forward almost 20 years and Reed is back in the City on a more modest stage and minus his Network mates. In fact, it is just Reed and his acoustic guitar and no-one else as he embarks on a low key, one man acoustic tour of the UK to reacquaint himself with his fan base.

dan reedFeaturing a mix of new songs and reworked Dan Reed Network classics, Reed charmed the small but appreciative audience with tales of his travels in Tibet and Israel including the time when he sought out a Tibetan monk for some spiritual guidance but all the monk wanted from Reed was to teach him to sing Queen’s “We Will Rock You”!! What a great story which shows how the power of music spreads to even the remotest corner of the earth.

Reed’s new material is uplifting, containing messages of hope and positive vibes absent from the majority of music in today’s materialistic, self-centered world. Reed has clearly been inspired by Obama Barrack’s election to President of the USA and his hopes for a better world are reflected in his songs such as “Long Way To Go”, “Losing My Fear” and “Coming Up For Air”.

“Promised Land” tells of the futility of war over religion and the message is only dampened by the overspill of noise from the Dear Superstar gig downstairs in the main hall, which is a shame as this was a song of real beauty.

dan reedIt’s a difficult job performing a one man acoustic show but Reed maintains the momentum throughout with plenty of interaction with the audience. Reed also possesses a voice which is ideally suited to the more reflective material that he is playing at these shows and the strong melodies ensure that attention remains focused.

Of course Reed dips into his network days with a rearranged “Rainbow Child”, “I’m So Sorry” and “Stronger Than Steel” receiving the biggest cheers of the night.

With a new album, Coming Up For Air, featuring his new band, slated for a February 2009 release followed by a full band tour, this acoustic show proved to be the perfect taster for his new project.

Welcome back Dan. Don’t leave it so long next time!


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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