Dan Reed Solo Acoustic Show Review
Tonight is going to be a bitter sweet experience. I’m visiting the The Greyhound in Nottingham but the venue has just announced it is to close after receiving notice of the doubling of their business rates from £32k to £64k a year; this is not a large building so with a limited income it will be difficult to pay such huge bills so it is going to be the bitter end of another iconic music venue.
On a more positive note, opening proceedings is local musician, singer/songwriter Daniel Hartshorn who warms up the already fairly packed crowd with a selection of his own songs along with some interesting versions of well known songs: Wishing Well, Superstitious, All Along The Watchtower to name a few. He is also rightly proud of his debut album and takes several opportunities to plug it, Teenage Years is a standout song and is more than a nod to Ed Sheeran before he finishes his set with a quirky cover of Will Smith’s Boom! Shake The Room.
The sweetness tonight is provided by 80’s funk-rock icon Dan Reed who has just completed a short tour, all dates of which were recorded and filmed. This included a show at the Trinity Church in Salford which I was unable to attend hence decamping to Nottingham. Tonight’s show is also an end-of-tour party and there is certainly a great atmosphere underway as the man arrives on stage unannounced, humbled by the reaction of the crowd.
I had the privilege of witnessing one of Dan Reed’s house concerts three years ago so I had a good idea of what is coming this evening, my expectations are high and I am not disappointed as this performance is a combination of solo songs as well as delving into the ‘Networks back catalogue along with the occasional cover.
Smile is a new song from his latest album and even though it has only been out a month he is delighted with it’s reach on YouTube and as he sings ‘Come on an show me that smile’ and thethe audience smiles with him at this intimate performance.
Opening up to requests from the floor it is no surprise that many of the shouts are for songs from the first Dan Reed Network album. Rainbow Child and Tamin’ the Wild Nights show his voice hasn’t lost any of it’s dynamics, power and emotion since those heady days in the late 80’s.
Make It Easy proves challenging for him on an acoustic guitar but he rose to it admirably. By this point it is clear he isreally enjoying himself, an infectious happiness that is reciprocated as it spreads across the room. Here Comes The Avalanche delivers a sense of urgency to proceedings but is balanced out with What Dreams May Come, originally written following the suicide of Robin Williams but is equally poignant with the recent deaths of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington.
Back to the ‘Network and Ritual is faultless as is I’m So Sorry. Towards the end of the show Reed is joined on stage with his tour manager Dario Nikzad playing electric guitar on Get To You.
The selection of old and new songs is as perfect as his voice, the emotion is palpable and his self-belief absolute. A simply stunning performance with not a single person leaving disappointed.
Words: Di Tunney | Photos: Anthony Firmin