Crammed into a hot and sweaty 100 Club on a Friday night, the evening’s entertainment was kicked off in fine style by British melodic rockers Vega.
Having seen them a few times over the years, I kind of knew what to expect. However, I was wrong……….the band kicked things up not one notch, but three or four! Vocalist Nick Workman‘s voice just seems to get better and better and he and the rest of the band were truly on fine form.
The enthusiastic crowd sang along to every track and the band could quite easily have performed for a couple of hours. They certainly deserve to be headlining Festivals in my humble opinion.
And so to the headliners, Dan Reed Network. I was fortunate enough to have seen them the first three times they visited these shores, including the awesome, more than capacity crowd gig at the sorely missed Marquee.
Dan Reed announced that they would be ‘starting slow’. This ‘announcement was said with a twinkle in the eye, the band launching into their performance with boosters firmly on full power.
We were barely into the set when minutes after I was chatting to Nathan James (Inglorious) in the crowd , he took to the stage for a ‘duet’ with Dan Reed & Co of Kiss track ‘Rock And Roll All Nite’. The crowd lapping it up, the vibe already firmly set that it was time to get into the groove and let the music take you along for the ride.
It’s wonderful to hear so many favorites live once again, from the superb ‘Get To You‘ through to ‘Cruise Together‘. The on stage banter and camaraderie of the band is something that makes you smile from ear to ear. Dan Reed announcing he’s Trump, and issuing an ‘executive order’ to guitarist extraordinaire Brion James to play some Steely Dan, Brion rising to the challenge with a rendition of ‘Rikki Don’t Lose That Number’ accompanied by Dan proceeding to eat his own t-shirt!
The crowd were actively encouraged to get involved, either singing along to ‘Seven Sisters Road’ or shouting requests.
We were treated to keyboardist Rob Daiker taking to the guitar to perform one of his solo songs, ‘All For A Kiss’, which I’ve got to say was fantastic, and just highlights the overflowing talent this band has.
You can tell the professionalism of a band by how they act when gremlins affect the sound or equipment. Strange buzzing caused Dan Reed to initially ‘accuse’ the master of the bass line, Melvin Brannon, of having a faulty amp. All taken in good jest and the vibe didn’t drop 1%, the crowd laughing along.
The highlight for me was ‘Champion‘ from their latest album ‘Fight Another Day‘. It caused the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up and reinforced the fact that the passage of time has done nothing to reduce the impact this band has, either recorded or live!
Overall, this is going to be a hard evening to beat this year, both bands giving us a performance to relish and remember.