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Danny Vaughn & Dan Reed @ The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton – Wednesday 1st April 2015

posted 13 Apr 2015, 07:52 by Paul Woodward

Review by Woody

The concept behind this tour is basically to take two one man and his guitar storytelling shows which happening increasingly frequently lately and put them onstage at the same time. Now I’ve seen both Danny Vaughn and Dan Reed do their acoustic thing on many occasions and know this is something both artists excel at so it was a no brainer my ass was getting down to the Slade rooms tonight for what promised to be a unique experience.

This tour has been called the Snake Oil and Harmony tour and Vaughn informs us this title is based on the fact the pair would help each other out on their songs and provide harmony and the Snake Oil was about a bit of showmanship or as Vaughn puts it a little bit of Bullshit. I’ve seen Vaughn on many occasions with and without Tyketto and he always had a personable stage presence and can adapt to different atmospheres depending on the style of the show he is performing. So his humorous side which is highlighted tonight is no secret to me and he revels in the chance to relax, joke and have fun with his time on stage. That said the emotive and passionate vocal doesn’t disappear when he performs his songs but his stage banter with Reed allows him to showcase other aspects to his personality and performance.

Dan Reed has always come across live as a deeply thoughtful man who is all about the music and the messages that can be conveyed through it. So it was a real revelation to me just how funny this guy is in this very relaxed environment as he banters back and forth with Vaughn. His opening joke regarding his sadness to Zane leaving pop group One Direction is rewarded later in the night as an audience member passes down a present for Dan which to much laughter all round turned out to be a One Direction poster!

The set flowed fluidly between Vaughn and Reed as they traded lead vocals, banter and stories. Whilst the evening was very relaxed it never failed to entertain and the air was frequently filled with laughter. The set lists have changed from show to show so you never really knew what was going to come next. Vaughn even jested about him opening up request’s to his fans becoming a nightmare as there was so much variation in the requests, keeping everyone happy was not as easy as he first thought fully expecting most people to request the usual suspect songs.

They opened with the Dan Reed Network classic ‘Baby Now I’ and Reed punctuated the Network songs with songs from his recently released solo album Transmission – so from Reed’s songs we got ‘Losing My Fear’, ‘Brave New World’, ‘Closer’, ‘Stronger Than Steel’ and ‘Get To You’. I was really looking forward to ‘Rainbow Child’ one of my favourite tunes of his and he did a great job with it and made it really enjoyable even adding a bit of humour by changing a few words making it a little bit cheeky! Actually I think one of my favourite tunes from Reed was actually a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘My Hometown’, been very proud of my town and loving where I live makes songs like this really resonate with me and I really loved Reed’s version of this song.

Now in a potential riot moment Vaughn announces that Dan Reed was not only going to sing one of his songs but that song was to be ‘Standing Alone’. Now knowing how precious that song is to many I thought regardless of how talented Reed is that may rankle a few grumbles from the Vaughn die hards and was waiting for some boo’s thankfully the crowd tonight were extremely open minded and not only enjoyed Reed taking the song on with massive backing from Vaughn they also cheered and showed their love of Reed’s version of the song.

The Vaughn lead songs which reached from all over his varied musical back catalogue included ‘Traveller’, ‘Fearless’, Waysted’s ‘Singing To To The Night’,  From The Inside’s ‘Damn’ and ‘Suddenly’ which without doubt was one of my highlights of Vaughn’s material tonight, John Hiatt cover ‘Through Your Hands’ and of course the uplifting and crowd pleasing Tyke’s Classic’s ‘Wings’ and ‘Forever Young’ which saw the Wolvo massive in loud voice on backing vocals. Vaughn is and will always be one of my favourite live musicians he never fails to make you laugh and feel emotion. His passion and emotive vocals never fail to hit you and this unique concert tonight is another highlight in my gig going history.

The encore features a tribute to Ronnie James Dio when they play ‘Holy Diver’ and then Reed plays a song requested by Vaughn ‘Long Way To Go’ but Reed refuses to leave the stage without one more song from Vaughn so after a chorus of ‘The Last Sunset’ from the audience Vaughn puts his guitar back on and gives the crowd what they want. There is a great chemistry and harmony shown between Vaughn and Reed not just in their onstage banter and story swapping but also in how the back each other up on each song.

Reed mentioned that the Network are working on a UK tour with five potential headline shows on the cards later in the year so I’ve got my fingers crossed really hard for a Midlands date! They also stated that they had discussed a Tyketto and Dan Reed Network joint headline tour which I think would be a really explosive combination of awesomeness if that happens next year!

The Slade Rooms show saw the largest turn out of all the dates on the entire tour which is an obvious indication of just how popular these artists are in this region and they are probably the nosiest too! Not that I would be biased or anything! A fantastic night from a pair of real musical legends! Oh and if you ever bump into Dan Reed please remember to tell him your favourite song is ‘Tiger In A Dress’.