LIVE: Dan Reed – Bush Hall, London 07/05/09
You know it’s been a good night when you wake up smiling and with songs still buzzing around your head, and getting drenched in the rain on the way to work doesn’t dampen your mood … check out all the photos here.
Dan Reed returned to the UK last November after a 15 year absence. His previous stop in London was at a packed out Borderline last November. This time the venue of choice is Bush Hall – a larger venue, but still small enough to feel intimate. We arrive just as doors are opening, make a stop at the well-stocked bar and wander into the main hall. The current owners have done a lovely job of restoring and refitting the venue, and it’s a great setting for an acoustic gig, complete with soft lighting and chandeliers.
There’s no support act, and Dan makes a low-key entrance, walking onto the stage guitar in hand at around 8.30.
Tonight, the show starts in unpredicatable fashion with a snippet of the Wombling Song! “These guys have been recycling for 30 years!” This gets the show off to a good-humoured start, then he moves straight into ‘Cruise Together’ from 1989’s Slam. Dan mixes up the new material and the older Dan Reed Network songs, and tonight’s show takes on a different format to the rest of the tour, as at various points throughout the evening he’s joined on stage by two very special guests – guitarist Tommy Denander and vocalist Jeff Scott Soto. Both get a great reception from the already positive crowd, and give fantastic performances.
The music is interspersed with Dan filling the audience in on what’s been going on in his life between the Network years and the present day, and bringing us up to date with what the other members of the Network are doing. Dan himself has travelled a long and challenging road – leaving the music industry, getting involved in the nightclub business, dabbling with the darker side of the entertainment industry before deciding to clean up, and moving to Jerusalem where he became inspired to return to music and started writing again – ‘On Your Side’ being introduced as the first song written after making that decision.
For most of the set, Dan plays his acoustic guitar, but moves over to keyboards for just two tracks – Stronger than Steel, and beautiful new song ‘Candlelight’ (one of my favourites of the night). The stripped-down acoustic nature of the set really exposes the songs; the older material still holds its own admirably, but Dan’s songwriting has definitely matured, and his conviction about the positive effect of music shines through in every performance.
The party finally finishes with Get to You (again with Tommy & Jeff) and it’s a joy to see what a great time these three musicians are having on stage together. The night’s not over for Dan – he heads straight to the merchandise stand to meet and greet the audience, signing, chatting and happily posing for photos right up until curfew time.
With new album ‘Coming up for air’ available on pre-order and due out in October, Dan is due to return to the UK with a full band in November – all I can say is keep your calendar clear, and I’ll see you at the front!
She’s not you
Coming up for air
Halfway around the world
On your side (with Tommy)
Sacred Ground (with Tommy and Jeff)
Stronger than Steel
Long Way To Go (with Tommy)
Ritual (with Tommy & Jeff)
Brave new world
Losing my fear
All my lovin (with Tommy)
Get to you (with Tommy & Jeff)