Dan Reed has a good idea of what fans want from a DRN show.
“They’re expecting to have fun and to let loose, groove a little bit. Danny Vaughn from Tyketto told me: ‘It’s the only time you’ll see a bunch of white people groovin’ their heads like a bunch of black people’,” he laughs.
“It’s really about cutting loose, shaking out all the negative energy in your body, and having a bombastic, fun time with the band.”
The feeling’s mutual, admits the singer ahead of a March UK tour.
“We seem to enjoy every show and feel that it’s as good as our last one,” he reveals. “We give so much energy – and we’re covered in sweat by the end of the shows – that we never feel like: ‘Oh that was OK, we can do better next time.’ Instead it’s more like: ‘We gave 110% and hopefully people felt it.’”
Reed as the frontman is vital to making that connection with the audience and, spending much of each show jumping around the stage like a man half his age, he’s more than up to the task.
“I grew up listening to bands like AC/DC, where Bon Scott was just an insane frontman; and Led Zeppelin with Robert Plant and his hair and his unbuttoned shirt and that microphone cable; or The Who with Roger Daltrey spinning his mic around in the air; and David Lee Roth doing splits in the air and karate kicks. All that stuff was entertaining to me, so I grew up with a healthy dose of it and I have that in part of me,” Reed says animatedly.
“The best show I ever saw in my life was Prince and there wasn’t a second on stage when he wasn’t entertaining for some reason,” he continues. “But I think you could also be the best frontman ever without moving an inch, just standing up there singing with your heart and soul.
“I hear Thom Yorke from Radiohead is insanely shy or something like that; you had Kurt Cobain who had issues with being a rock star, and yet they’re some of the best rock stars we’ve ever had in the world.
“If you’re honest with your intention up there and you sing with your heart, people respond to that.”
They also respond to hearing the songs they love, performed the way they remember them – which is exactly what Dan Reed Network aim to do.
“I like playing them the way they were on the old records. I think it calls back this nostalgia of that time period for both the band and the audience,” confirms Reed.
“I think it’s fun – it’s a lot of fun hearing those old keyboard sounds and to play the songs exactly the way they were in the old days. It also forces me to push myself, because some of the old songs are quite high and 25 years ago my voice wasn’t as beaten up as it is now,” he chuckles. “So I really enjoy the challenge every night to try to hit those high notes.”
Standing strong between those high notes of classics like ‘Rainbow Child’ and ‘Ritual’ are powerful songs like ‘Divided’, ‘The Brave’, and ‘Champion’ from last year’s comeback album ‘Fight Another Day’.
“People are expecting some soul,they’re expecting some funk, some rock. They want anthemic choruses, some songs about the world and some songs about life, love, and sex,” says Reed of writing the new Network songs – which deliver just that.
“When we finished recording and were putting together the new setlists, we thought: ‘Let’s pick the five songs that speak about what this record is about and the five songs that fit into the set.”
So although Reed loves ‘Reunite’, it’s yet to make its live debut “because it’s the least Network song on the record”.
“But I think we might break it out on the next tour and see how the audience respond – if they all go to the bathroom or to the bar, then we’ll know we fucked up,” he grins broadly.
But a response like that is highly unlikely; Dan Reed has a good idea of what fans want from a DRN show.
DAN REED NETWORK ‘FIGHT ANOTHER DAY’ MARCH 2017 UK TOUR (book online at www.danreed-network.com)
Wednesday 1 March: Level 3 Club, Swindon
Friday 3 March: Warehouse 23, Wakefield
Saturday 4 March: Live Rooms, Chester
Sunday 5 March: The Globe, Cardiff
Tuesday 7 March: The Cluny, Newcastle
Wednesday 8 March: Oran Mor, Glasgow
Friday 10 March: 100 Club, London
Saturday 11 March: Local Authority, Sheffield
Sunday 12 March: The Robin 2, Bilston
Tuesday 14 March: Ruby Lounge, Manchester
Wednesday 15 March: Rescue Rooms, Nottingham