Fireworks

Dan Reed Trio Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     October 02, 2018    
 
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Dan Reed Trio - Jacaranda Phase One, Liverpool (UK) - 22 September 2018

This series of Dan Reed Trio dates would have passed me by had I not checked Dan Reed's website for another reason. The venue was a new one to me, but as Liverpool is just a twenty-five minute train journey away (I'll come back to that), it was impossible to pass up. My partner works in Liverpool so was able to purchase the tickets, informing me in the process that Phase One was a little different to the venues we were used to.

Arriving early gave me the chance to catch up with Dan Reed for half an hour (that interview will be featured in the next issue of Fireworks) before the show and, as ever, his enthusiasm for what he does was very infectious. The venue itself was, in essence, a record (vinyl) store/coffee shop with a stage in the rear. The size afforded a very intimate atmosphere and though there were only thirty or so people in attendance, Dan Reed and the guys (Bengan Jonasson on bass and Robert Ikiz on drums), as they always do, performed as though they were standing in front of thirty-thousand.

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The material was picked from Dan Reed's solo catalogue alongside some classic Dan Reed Network songs. The format allowed for some extended workouts ('Ritual' and 'Get To You' especially) and some loose arrangements of favourites and lesser known songs. The sound was pin-sharp and though Dan Reed is no lead guitarist, he did throw some cool shapes and pulled some mean faces as he played the riffs. His vocals were fantastic and the relaxed mood generated a great vibe. Dan Reed's recorded solo material comes across as quite laid back but takes on a new lease of life when performed live. 'Avalanche' hit a lot harder and the more poppy 'Closer' and 'Smile' even had some bite. 'Sacred Ground' and 'Signal Fire' benefitted from the "plugged in" approach and highlighted just how differently the same song can sound with a fresh take. Naturally we got 'Rainbow Child' and 'Tiger In A Dress', but the version of 'Stronger Than Steel' was sublime and there were goosebumps abound as I tried to match the singing.

Ninety minutes passed in the blink of an eye and I'd have loved to have stayed after the show, and I certainly would have if it weren't for the fact industrial action and unreliable train times meant the last bus home dictated the schedule. Right now, the rail problems and extensive roadworks in and around cities are causing many problems getting to gigs, but I'm so glad I got to see a prestigious artist show that talent and great songs are always just that, whatever the surroundings.

Dave Bott

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