Home Gigs Gig Review:The Big 30 Tour, Gun, Dan Reed Network and FM, Rock City, Nottingham 15.12.2019

Gig Review:The Big 30 Tour, Gun, Dan Reed Network and FM, Rock City, Nottingham 15.12.2019

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The achievements of these 3 bands cannot go without being celebrated and this triple headline tour is one hell of a way to celebrate it.

Rotating the ‘headline’ spot each night keeps it interesting and tonight at Rock City first up is GUN. ‘Taking On The World’ is a cracking and ageless album and to hear the songs played live sprinkled with some of their other memorable tunes is something pretty fine.


Opening with ‘Better Days’ those on the barrier immediately started singing along and just didn’t stop for the whole show. ‘Feelin Within’, ‘Something To Believe In’ sounded smooth as Dante’s vocal carried effortlessly.

He does have such a rich tone to his voice which is in contrast to Jools’s soaring riffs. Paul McManus is a relentless in his drumming, it holds everything together as Andy Carr and Tommy Gentry do so much more than make up the numbers.


Andy’s backing vocals fit perfectly with Dante’s lead and tommy’s guitar skills transfix you as he takes the lead in parts. I always think of Gun as having a very commercial sound especially on songs such as ‘Shame on You’, and when you throw in the covers like ‘Word Up’ and ‘Fight For Your Right’ which actually closes out their set, it is a party atmosphere that sets the room bouncing – fists aloft and loads of smiling faces.


I’d have liked them to stick to the order of ‘Taking On The World’ but it isn’t a big issue as the set did fall together very nicely.

DAN REED NETWORK are renowned for their album ‘SLAM’ and the huge influence it played in music at the time of its release.


It crossed so many boundaries from traditional classic rock to this funk, groove ridden masterpiece that it became.

Opening with Dan singing an acapella rendition of ‘All My Lovin’, his almost serene vibes emit from the stage but then this boundless energy takes over as the band join him for ‘Make It Easy’ and the funk begins.


Dan is so visual but so is Brion James on guitar, his dreads whipping through the air as he melts into one with his guitar. Melvin Brannon Jnr has to be admired for the groove he gets from the bass especially apparent on ‘Slam’, cut him through and I’m sure he’d bleed grooves all over the place.

Dan is one of the best drummers in the business and watching him play in such a composed and effortless manner draws your attention, does he ever break into a sweat even? Not to be outdone by the showmanship of Dan, Melvin and Brion, Rob Daiker can be heard even if not so clearly seen tucked away at the back of the stage, the keyboards adding in so much to the music.


Slam’ has so many fabulous songs and one which saw the biggest cheer of the night has to be ‘Rainbow Child’, the lightness of it drifts around the room as people sway and sing along. Magical.

Back to the out and out funk feel of the rest of the set including ‘Doin’ the Love Thing’, ‘Stronger Than Steel’, ’Under My Skin’ with smoking hot grooves and memorable melodies. Closing out with ‘Seven Sisters’, even this die-hard FM fan was interested to see just how to follow that!


Need I have even let that thought cross my mind? Nope.
Smooth, polished, professional and bloody marvellous, that’s how you follow that.

Tough It Out’ is a massive album in anyone’s opinion. Each song timeless and so well known.

Battle jackets adorned the front row against the barrier but with the familiar FM logo across the back instead of the more usual array of Motorhead, Priest etc .


So many metal heads and hard rock fans have a love for this band. They should have been huge however circumstances and times conspired against them and it was not to be, but lucky for us they reformed some 12 years ago now and it has been a staggering few years for the band.

The songs sound fresh, the injection of live energy always brings each track to life. The flood of bass from Merv, the sparkling of keys and fills from Jem, the smooth swing and effortless drumming from Pete and the vigour of the riffs from Jim enhance the incredible vocal talent that is Steve Overland whose own guitar skills cannot go unmentioned.


The dual guitar harmonies and the 3 and 4 part vocal harmonies are so tight it’s unreal. They play the songs from ‘Tough It Out’ in order and hearing ones they haven’t had on their regular set for a while is just a dream, ‘Don’t Stop’, ‘Bad Luck’, ‘Someday (You’ll Come running), a favourite of mine, as is ‘Everytime I Think Of You’ and hearing them back to back gives me goose bumps.

That voice! A fabulous fandango of guitar, melodies, catchy chorus’s and “Yeah, Yeah’’ and “ Whoa, Whoa’s”, what’s not to love?


Finishing with a couple of extras to bring things up to the allocated 1 hour and 5 minutes ‘That Girl’ and the much more recent ‘Killed By Love’ fitted perfectly.

What a fabulous night of music. The three bands fit perfectly together. The fans happy to watch each one, no one moving other than a few changes of barrier frontline. It was an extravaganza of melodies for the ear drums and one which rebooted your brain late on a Sunday ready to face the week ahead.


That is if us old ones can drag our abused muscles from arm waving, bouncing and swaying from our beds on Monday morning.

Review & Photography by Lindsay Smith for MPM



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