Dan Reed Network with special guests The King Lot
Wednesday 15th June 2016
100 Club, London, United Kingdom
I’ll be honest, the rise of Dan Reed Network was before my time so I was unfamiliar with their material and sound so when I was given the opportunity to see them live at the historic and intimate 100 Club nestled in Oxford Street I attended with no prior conceptions or thoughts.
The reason for this close-up affair was that this one-off UK show was part of their European album release tour for their first studio album in twenty five years entitled ‘Fight Another Day’. As soon as I entered the venue it was clear that this was ‘a show for the fans’ as I was surrounded by people wearing DNR shirts from previous tours who as I would later come to find out, knew every word of the songs.
One pleasant surprise was when Dan Reed himself appeared onstage to introduce the specially invited support band The King Lot. He was extremely complimentary about their material and it was overall a very classy thing to do. I had never seen The King Lot before but I’d read their name on promotional material for the rising rock band Inglorious as they had played some shows with them.
As TKL took to the stage for an acoustic set, they were well-received from the crowd in the packed venue. Having traveled from their hometown Bathgate, Scotland for the gig the band didn’t mess around and opened their stripped back set with ‘Let’s Get It Together’ from their debut album. Lead vocalist Jason Sweeney has a real presence with his voice even when his accent went a bit American at times and the acoustic guitar from Michael Fairbairn was well-paced on tracks such as ‘Addicted’ and ‘Telegram’.
Overall, The King Lot have pleasant songs that have elements of folk in them and I can see them playing to packed crowds for quite a while to come just like The Temperance Movement. For more information on the band visit their website here: http://bit.ly/1UAswFD
It was now time for DNR to take to the stage and the cheers were deafening when this five-piece arrived. The electronic intro music had a sort of jungle beats vibe which helped get the crowd pumped up for the set and during the slight technical glitch Reed apologized for ‘his country giving us Donald Trump.’
The band soon went into a rocky ‘Resurrect’ the sound of which reminded me of the popular touring show ‘Video Games Live’ as Dan Pred on drums had a heavy cymbal sound whilst guitarist Brion James had echoes of Thin Lizzy with his delivery.
‘Under My Skin’ featured a funky bass intro courtesy of Melvin Brannon II as the track encapsulated that iconic eighties vibe. However, it was new album track ‘Infected’ that was a set highlight as you could hear the influence of the late music icon Prince with the dirty groove and sparkly keyboards from Rob Daiker.
‘I Do It For Love’ was a fan favourite as each band member had a solo spot. There is absolutely no doubt that DNR aren’t talented musicians because they have been touring for a number of years and have honed their craft. The solos whilst technically well done, did drag a little bit I felt.
The full band sound of ‘Rainbow Child’ was electric with a tight rhythm section has the audience danced like crazy. ‘Better Come Back Baby’ was a catchy chorus as everyone sang it back to DNR with such energy and ‘Champion’ was an anthemic rock ballad as Dan Reed explained they were going to film a music video for it in Oregon in October 2016.
In conclusion, Dan Reed Network provides a healthy mix of rock, soul, funk and electronic music to enthusiastic crowds but because I wasn’t overly familiar with DNR’s previous work I felt a bit isolated as an audience member. I probably would see them again now that I have seen them live and understand them a bit more though.
Dan Reed Network’s new studio album ‘Fight Another Day’ is out now. For more information visit the band’s offiical website here: http://bit.ly/1XZwb2O
(Thanks to Peter and Dom at Noble PR for help with this review)