||DAN REED NETWORK ARE JUST CHAMPION AT THE 100 CLUB
Dan Reed Network: 100 Club, London
14th March 2017
Words: Dave Bonney, Pictures: Eric Duvet
There aren't many people who would admit to going to a Rolling Stones gig just to see the support band, but that's exactly what happened the first time I saw Dan Reed Network way back in 1990 at Manchester City's old football stadium, Maine Road.
Fast forward twenty-six years to last June at the intimate and renowned 100 Club in the heart of London. Dan Reed Network were back after a hiatus that included the charismatic singer 'finding himself' living amongst Tibetan monks studying religions, a story happily portrayed personally by the man himself during a chance meeting at a gig by The Union and Voodoo Six in 2010, just prior to his first solo release which was recorded in India.
Tonight, with my funk levels getting dangerously low, I once again head off to a sold out 100 Club in search of a desperately needed top up, and with the job of preventing a total collapse entrusted to Mr Reed and Co, who are out and about still promoting their latest funktastic album 'Fight Another Day', I am indeed in good hands.
There's barely enough room to walk from one side to the other in this 350 capacity basement and I imagine it feels a bit like one of Dan's famed 'house' gigs. When the lights dim, the band walk through the crowd at the bar to get to the stage and to rapturous applause Dan announces they are going to start off slow and funky and with the intro tape asking for our attention, it can only mean one thing. We're all ears as the band break into 'Get To You' from the self-titled first album followed by 'Divided' from the the latest album and boy, this band are having fun.
Already drenched in sweat, the singer couldn't be any wetter if he jumped In the Thames and some of his moves would have finished David Haye off quicker than Tony Bellew managed at the O2 last week.
His interaction with the audience, making eye contact and pointing individuals out, makes you think he knows everyone personally and he probably does. This guy wrote the book on stage presence.
After Nathan James from Inglorious' 'glorious' cameo with Glen Hughes last month it was no surprise that he joined the band onstage for a blazing cover of the Kiss classic 'Rock N' Roll All Night'... superb.
With Dan exonerating bass player Melvin Brannon for a horrible back line buzz, he was allowed to stay and funk his way through 'Forgot To Make Her Mine', 'Seven Sisters Road' and 'Baby Now I'... damn, with his bass behind his head, this guys got more slap than Katie Price.
A medley of Hendrix (which had Brion James in his element), Kiss, Metallica, Frankie Goes To Hollywood - and there may have even been a bit of Kool And The Gang thrown in too - even had drummer Dan Pred clapping and with the singer telling us Dan used to listen to a lot of early Rush (no surprise judging by his playing) they threw a bit of the Canuck trio's 'Limelight' in for good measure.
With another newy in 'Champion' representing the latest album it was time to get back to some older classics, 'Stronger Than Steel', 'Under My Skin', 'Slam', 'Rainbow Child', 'Ritual and 'Cruise Together' and they even found time for a song from keysman Rob Daiker's solo album, 'All For A Kiss' and an acapella 'Long Way To Go' from 'The Heat' album.
All in all it was a fantastic evening, proving that a Dan Reed Network show is more than just a gig - it's an occasion. Here's to the next time and hopefully a bigger venue so more people can witness the magic.