At The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., November 8, 2018

DAN REED NETWORK (Live at The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., November 8, 2018)
Photo: Mick Burgess

After seemingly disappearing off the scene for a while when the Dan Reed Network went on an indefinite hiatus after their 1991 album, The Heat, Dan Reed sought solace in a Tibetan Monastery only to be coaxed back into music by a Monk asking to be taught Queen’s We Will Rock You. Such is the power of music.

Dan Reed has been more than making up for lost time. Whether it’s his solo acoustic shows, the Snake Oil and Harmony duo with Tyketto’s Danny Vaughn or with the Dan Reed Network, Reed has been a busy man.

Since reuniting on New Year’s Eve back in 2012, the Dan Reed Network have slowly but surely been building on what they had achieved in their early days. Hard touring, great support slots with the likes of Extreme and a first studio album in 25 years with another due for imminent release, all point to a bright future ahead. What’s best of all is how much fun they look like they have on stage.

There’s no “us and them” at a DRN show as Reed spends as much time up against the crash barrier with the crowd as he does on stage. Pre-conceived setlists fly out of the window as calls for Make It Easy were duly obliged and when Reed jokingly called out Melvin Brannon II for a mistake, they did the ending again and nailed it. No wonder Booker T has enlisted Brannon for his touring band.

Some shows can be a little serious but there’s something so addictive when musicians are clearly enjoying themselves as Baby Now I was elevated into an extended Funk jam incorporating such delights as Let’s Groove by Earth Wind and Fire, Metallica’s Enter Sandman, Kiss’s I Was made For Lovin’ You and Frankie’s Relax all seamlessly linked without missing a beat.

Champion from their latest Fight Another Day album saw Reed at his most reflective, with his warm, smooth emotive voice pulling at the heartstrings before Tiger In A Dress brought the tempo right back up.

With the curfew fast approaching there was still time for the Tribal Funk of Ritual and the groove and hook heavy Get To You which had the whole place dancing. A rather wonderful a cappella version of Long Way To Go featuring a spirited four-part harmony was the musical equivalent to the sportsman’s warm down before Reed and his band headed out into the crowd for a beer and a chat. If only all concerts were this much fun.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • 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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