Gig review: TYKETTO/DAN REED NETWORK – Manchester Academy, 13 March 2016

TYKETTO - Manchester Academy, 13 March 2016

It seems that we all gain from an event like HRH AOR: it means that some of the bands tag a few gigs either side.  In this case, Tyketto and Dan Reed Network teamed up together for a unique pairing, as they had done pre-HRH in Sheffield.

If Tyketto never quite capitalised on their 1991 debut ‘Don’t Come Easy’, Dan Reed Network had, by that time, already released two best selling albums and toured with Bon Jovi.  Both were scuppered by the onset of grunge in the 1990s.

Fast forward to recent times and both bands have been making low-key comebacks although sometimes overshadowed by their respective frontmen’s love of the acoustic.  This also helps explain a further tour in May when Danny Vaughn will team up again with Dan Reed for a series of more stripped down gigs.

DAN REED NETWORK - Manchester Academy, 13 March 2016

Dan and the Network are currently readying a brand new album – ‘Fight Another Day’ – and their last tour proper  was in October and a definite highlight of 2015.  Perhaps still in the mindset of HRH, the set tonight came in at just under the hour.  Economical, maybe, but perfectly formed nevertheless.

The sound was particularly good, with Rob Daiker’s keys nicely lifted in the mix.  Inevitably a greatest hits set, and with a new song thrown in for good measure, the excellent ‘Divided’.

DAN REED NETWORK - Manchester Academy, 13 March 2016

When it comes to groove, it doesn’t get much better than DRN.  With the excellent sound mix the subtleties of Brion James’ rhythm playing could be detected with lovely little touches throughout.

‘Cruise Together’ was quite wonderful with Daiker’s keyboard swells a highlight behind the insistent rhythm and frenetic guitar figures.  ‘Baby Don’t Fade’ degenerated into a glorious retro pageant with ‘I Was Made For Loving You’ and ‘Relax’ thrown into the mix for good measure.

But the gig was topped with another favourite ‘Tiger In A Dress’ which came out tonight as fresh and incisive as it ever did.  The band will return later in the year for a more extensive set of dates and we can’t really wait.

TYKETTO - Manchester Academy, 13 March 2016

Tyketto now feature two-fifths of the original band – Michael Clayton (drums) and Danny Vaughn – joined by Ged Rylands (keys) and Chris Green (guitar) and – deputising for Jimi Kennedy – Thunder’s Chris Childs.  They are soon to record their fifth studio album but tonight focused on their classic debut which also gets a welcome reissue this summer.

TYKETTO - Manchester Academy, 13 March 2016

Vaughn’s comment that they were going to play the album in reverse order “otherwise you’ll all b—r off after the first track” merely underlined that ‘Don’t Come Easy’ although a solid offering is best known for the anthemic ‘Forever Young’.  If anything, songs such as ‘Sail Away’ and ‘Burning Down Inside’ sounded much better live – infused with Vaughn’s engaging delivery and a band really rocking.  Vaughn comes over as a cross between Joey Tempest and Iggy Pop, a fine showman as much as a vocalist/songwriter.

It may seem strange that bands like Tyketto and Dan Reed Network might garner greater appreciation 25 years on, but it’s probably more an indictment of modern music and a lack of decent – and enduring – songs.  In truth both bands’ music was made for FM radio and sadly that doesn’t really exist either with regard to rock music.  As such, the new songs aren’t seeping into our consciousness and collective memory.

As we worked towards the inevitable finale, via the excellent ‘Wings’, the sheer exhuberance of ‘Forever Young’ also underlined that if one song has defined a band it also provides an enduring premise for much of the audience.

TYKETTO Setlist: 1. Love To Love 2. Sail Away  3. Strip Me Down  4. Nothing But Love  5. Walk On Fire  6. Lay Your Body Down  7. Walk Away  8. Meet Me In The Night  9. Standing Alone  10. Seasons  11. Burning Down Inside  12. Wings  13. Forever Young Encore: 14. Rescue Me
DAN REED NETWORK Setlist: 1.Resurrect 2. Under My Skin 3. Forgot To Make Her Mine 4. Divided 5. Rainbow Child 6. Make It Easy 7. Baby Now I 8. Cruise Together 9. Baby Don’t Fade 10. Tiger In A Dress 11. Get To You

Review by David Randall
Photos by Darren Griffiths

David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.

Archive review (Tyketto, July 2015)
Archive review (Dan Reed Network, October 2015)

Josh Taerk’s latest Sunday Session was streamed on Sunday 17 July.

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