Review: Dare/Troy Redfern – The Garage, Glasgow

It seems like an eternity ago when British melodic rock stalwarts Dare announced their ‘Road To Eden’ UK tour, but finally, the patience of the hardcore Dare family (seems more of an appropriate description than simply describing them as “fans”) was rewarded when September gave way to the spooky month and the long-awaited twelve-date tour finally launched in Leeds. Making their way up the A1, Darren Wharton and company made a pit-stop in Newcastle for show number two, before popping back in the van for the quick journey North for show number three in Glasgow, and speaking to a few punters at the bar, it would seem several members of the aforementioned Dare family were joining them on this three-date opening leg of the tour.

Troy RedfernThe job of warming up the audience on the tour belongs to slide guitar slinger Troy Redfern who has just released arguably his finest album-to-date; ‘The Wings of Salvation’. No full band this trek, but Troy has powerhouse drummer Finn McAuley along for company, and the new material aired is perfectly suited for the guitar-drums format that rattles around the largest room in the multi-room city centre complex. It’s hard to imagine the foot-stomping ‘Sweet Carolina’ working half as well as it does without Finn battering the living daylights out of his kit (which is perched rather precariously at the edge of the stage, and on a few occasions loses a cymbal through his pounding work – well, drummers ARE paid to hit things for a living after all), and had it just been Troy playing solo then chances are that it wouldn’t have made the same impact. Such a fantastic glam stomp on this one and the drums complement it perfectly. Another new one, ‘Come On’, is tailor-made for a strong drum sound and is a perfect few minutes for Finn to showcase his considerable talents. The biggest area of growth displayed by Troy Redfern on ‘The Wings of Salvation’ is in the songwriting, and the vocals department; and ‘Dark Religion’ highlights both. With Finn using Timpani mallets, it’s quite an extraordinary few minutes of music and it’s clear to all that both musicians are relishing playing together, at times the pair are getting lost in the music as they play to each other almost telepathically. Redfern’s guitar playing? As blistering as ever during this short and sweet set, and a headline tour is hopefully on the cards, for new tracks like ‘Navajo’ are begging to be heard in a live setting.

Dare

As touched on earlier, there is a familial vibe to tonight’s gathering. Old friends are meeting up at the barrier and swapping war stories about tours of bygone times. Old tour T-shirts are proudly worn like a badge of honour. Arms are over the shoulder of the next person – and not in a forced way – as they sway in time to the music, high-fives are rampant, everyone has a story to tell and the romanticism of Dare’s music is providing the soundtrack. Admittedly, the opening twenty minutes or so are lost in the fog as the monitors are playing funny buggers and go on strike, ‘Born in The Storm’ being a rather appropriate choice as a set opener as the muggy sound causes problems. Even with the sound issues those on the barriers are still having a blast, and ‘Cradle To The Grave’ goes down rather well and it seems to strike a chord with many who are bellowing it back at the band. Guitarist Vinny Burns and bassist Nigel Clutterbuck are on opposing sides of the stage but both are struggling to hear anything coming through the monitors, and at one point it looks like the band might have to leave the stage while the issues are resolved, but thankfully this is not the case and perseverance wins through.

Dare

It’s a monster setlist in size, with something to suit everyone. The new studio album ‘Road To Eden’ is well-represented, with the driving ‘Fire Never Fades’ and the emotional title track standing out in particular, and the ever-smiling Wharton talks about how the song deals with everyone struggling over the last few years but coming back out the other side stronger. The timeless ‘Every Time We Say Goodbye’ from the seminal album ‘Sacred Ground’ is a poignant tribute to those no longer with us, and again the power of music shines through as this one particularly strikes a nerve with so many in the crowd. Delving further back, ‘Wings of Fire’ from 1991’s sophomore album ‘Blood From Stone’ is further proof if required of just how underrated a guitarist Vinny Burns is, and at times he really does make it look effortless. And going even further back, how about ‘Return the Heart’ and ‘Into The Fire’ from 1988’s debut ‘Out Of Silence’ to stir the blood?

If you are planning on catching Dare on this tour, you will need some stamina as it is a long set, and you’ll also need some lung power as singing along is mandatory. After a brief pause, Dare resume their tour with the following dates in October:

Bury St Edmunds Apex – Thu 13th

Nottingham Rescue Rooms – Fri 14th

Bilston The Robin – Sat 15th

Shoreham Ropetackle – Fri 21st

Southampton 1865 – Sat 22nd

Bristol Fleece – Sun 23rd

London Islington O2 Academy – Thu 27th

Manchester Academy – Fri 28th

Newbury Arlington Arts – Sat 29th

Ticket information here.

All images – credit Dave Jamieson

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