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DAN REED, Union Chapel, London
5 March 2010

Wow, what an amazing venue. A beautiful chapel with the audience sat on pews in the main hexagonal part of the chapel - the band perform just in front of the pulpit. The acoustics are very good and the candles/dimmed lighting all add to the ambience. You even have an ice cream seller - very rock 'n' roll. Various artists have played here before including Francis Dunnery (It Bites), Thomas Dolby, Dave Matthews and now it's the turn of Dan Reed, as he plays a full band gig.

But first we have Ben Montague, whose debut album is out in April and he was simply stunning. Backed by a keyboards player and a drummer, well he had a snare drum and tapped a beat on his tea-chest seat.

His single 'Haunted' has been single of the week recently on Radio 2's Ken Bruce show and it is moving slow burner. The other songs were more upbeat pop rock and he even threw in a cover of Seal's 'Crazy'. A great talent to watch out for.

Straight after came the author of 'Heart of the World', BBC Journalist and film maker, Alan Ereira. He did a short talk about the plight of the Kogi tribe, who live in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Columbia. The Kogi are one of the last untouched indigenous tribes on earth and he has been visiting them for more than 20 years.

The Kogi are very concerned at the way the world is heading with climate change and rapid depletion of the world's natural resources. It made for an informative and thought provoking interlude.

Dan Reed took to the stage to a rousing reception and he was backed by a five piece band including Tommy Denander, a guitarist who has played on many, many albums including ones from Radioactive, Spin Gallery, Paul Stanley, Stan Bush and many more.

Dan Reed seemed to be having a great time on stage, which was certainly true of the audience who loved the older songs like 'Ritual' and 'Get To You'. 'Rainbow Child' was amazing, totally different to the album version and in a gesture which shows just what a humble, honest man Dan Reed is he dedicated the song to a couple in the audience whose son had died at just eighteen years old and had only been expected to live to the age of ten. One of the older tunes that really touched a chord was Dan playing piano on 'Stronger Than Steel'.

There is a new album coming in May via Townsend Records and the new songs aired tonight like 'Losing My Fear', 'Promised Land' and the pick of the bunch, 'Coming Up For Air' bode well for the album.

Quite simply a moving and enjoyable concert helped in part by the venue. Dan Reed has faced down his personal demons and is now quite possibly at the peak of his musical powers. He's back in the UK in May so go see him and the band, who each add their own bit of magic to the proceedings.

Review by Jason Ritchie

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