Dan Reed - LIVE: Bannerman's Bar, Edinburgh 2015

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Snake Oil And Harmony Tour
April 3 (21:10 - 23:35)
Capacity 175

A few years ago at a music festival in England two artists who had been around for a few years met properly for the first time. They quickly realised that they had not only a mutual admiration for each other, but also got on rather well. Tonight Edinburgh got to see the fruits of that moment in what has been billed as the Snake Oil And Harmony Tour.

Featuring Danny Vaughn (Tyketto) and Dan Reed (Dan Reed Network), the pair played material from both their bands and solo careers together, with lots of stories in between songs. The night's 23 tracks in an over-two-hour marathon set captivated the good-sized crowd throughout. It started problematically when during the first song there was an electrical fault, but while they tried to work out if it was their equipment or front of house, they kept the crowd engaged with jokes and friendly banter. Dan Reed felt it was a moment up there with that kid leaving One Direction, before prompting Danny Vaughn went to walk off stage in disgust by threatening to do a solo Justin Beiber set, but he came back sharply when he realised he was about to walk into a wall. There was also an argument about Debbie Reynolds and whether they should give up and start a cult, and indeed a song made up on the spot for good measure.

Eventually it discovered that a cable was to blame, and they started the opening song Baby Now I again. For much of the night the two artists alternated, sometimes singing solo, sometimes together, and at times improvised adding parts as the mood took them. As Danny Vaughn explained, the "Harmony" part of the tour title is self-explanatory in the songs, and the "Snake Oil" is a reference to the early Americas where their so called medics would roll up and offer their cures to all, most of which as he put it were "bullshit", so he remarked that the in-between sections or chat would mostly be "bullshit". This was of course not true as the stories and interaction between them and the audience was what propelled this into something really special and memorable. For instance the Dan Reed track about the late Robin Williams (What Dreams May Come) was delivered with extra emotion as he dedicated in to the young people who had been murdered in Kenya recently, and pointed out the futility of it all. It also was in everyone's thoughts when he sang Brave New World with the lyrics "we learn to love, yet we love to hate".

Danny Vaughn also worked well, his voice still in excellent shape. Burning Down Inside was the first track of the night to get real communal singing going, and he was taking requests (some had been sent on his Facebook page), so he really worked hard to remember them all. Obviously the big Tyketto songs seemed to go down best as more people know them, and they have worked their way into the subconscious of fans of that genre, including a lovely version of Standing Alone started by Dan on the first verse then Danny taking over (along with most of the crowd). A surprise inclusion was Black And Blue from the 1986 Waysted album Save Your Prayers, which Danny declared that he wrote for his little sister Anna - which is apparently easy to prove as no-one else in the band had a sister with that name, and after a cover of Bruce Springsteen's My Hometown which worked very well, Vaughn played a track which he said was his attempt at wanting to be "The Boss" in Measure of A Man.

Finishing the last 20 or so minutes with big hitters including Dan Reed's "Get To You" and the Tyketto songs "Forever Young" and "The Last Sunset", Dan's cover of Dio's "Holy Diver" and a beautiful version of "Long Way To Go" as well as a very silly version of "I Was Made For Loving You" by KISS rounded of a fantastic evening. One of the most noticeable things over the night was the respect they had for each other. There were moments where one or other of the guys would add a little extra vocal melody or guitar part as the mood took them to try and enhance the song or atmosphere causing admiring looks and smiles from the other player; really supporting and encouraging each other. They were obviously having a blast, both relaxed and at ease in the venue. About an hour or more later they were still both chatting with fans, signing stuff and having photographs taken. Perhaps it is the small intimate friendly atmosphere that causes such good performances and easy going vibe, but it was truly a first class night with great songs and friendly chat.

“ captivated the good-sized crowd throughout ”

Setlist: Baby Now I / Is That All There Is / What Dreams May Come / Burning Down Inside / Rainbow Child / Remember When / Brave New World / This Is How We Say Goodbye / Only Love / Standing Alone / My Hometown / Measure of A Man / On Your Side / Soldiers And Sailors At The Riverside / Avalanche / The Touch of Your Hand / Ritual / Black And Blue / Get To You / Forever Young / Holy Diver / Long Way To Go / I Was Made For Lovin' You / The Last Sunset

Written by Tom Cornell
More: 2015, Acoustic/Folk, Gigs, Rock,

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