Touring compatriots Dan Reed and Danny Vaughn take their stripped back Snake Oil and Harmony show on the road once more as part of their largest tour to date.

This being now the third iteration of the pair’s intimate acoustic tour, and as such, this run will take Reed and Vaughn into mainland Europe and Scandinavia for the first time together. Tonight Dan Reed and Danny Vaughn make a welcome return to Tyneside, performing in front of a packed out audience at The Cluny in Newcastle.

This room and venue hold a special place in the hearts of both Reed and Vaughn, having been performing here as solo artists and with their respective projects the Dan Reed Network and Tyketto for many years. Subsequently, the show has an almost homecoming feel to it, with many friends and fans gathered this evening to witness their return. This, in turn, creates somewhat of a special atmosphere inside the room which propels both artists on throughout their marathon two-hour set.

The beauty of Snake Oil and Harmony is the format of the show, which takes the shape of an intimate songwriters circle, whereby both Reed and Vaughn each delivers numbers from their vast bodies of work whilst adopting a round-robin approach to performing. There is no real defined setlist, the show is no holds barred, and without the aid of a safety net. Both Reed and Vaughn respond to numbers performed by one another and also skillfully read the audience as they collectively shape the direction of the show. 

What people tend to forget is that most songs start off as ideas jammed out and developed on an acoustic guitar. Tonight, the fans in attendance at The Cluny in Newcastle got to hear a set packed full of Dan Reed and Danny Vaughn classics and deep cuts in their rawest possible form and most likely in the format to which they were conceived.

Have you ever wondered what one of your favourite songs is really about – what caused the songwriter to put pen to paper? Fans often pour over song lyrics searching for the hidden truth behind a track they like, often without ever getting to the bottom of the true meaning. The art of songwriting lends itself to tracks so often being left open to interpretation. Tonight, the Geordie fans of both artists were able to hear the stories and the inspiration behind these treasured songs first hand. Each song in the set being interspersed with insightful stories and light-hearted and witty banter.

Fan favourites such as “Rainbow Child” and “Champion” by Dan Reed Network along with “Circle The Wagons” and “Wings” by Tyketto result in huge singalongs from the Newcastle crowd.

However, one of the great things about these shows is the fact that each artist has the freedom to be able to include songs which they may not necessarily perform often, if ever before. Reed chooses to debut a beautiful new song titled “Piece of Home”, the song being so fresh that it evolves as it is aired onstage. Likewise, Vaughn performs an untitled piece which had only ever been played live twice prior. During the course of the show, no stone is left unturned.

The penultimate song of the night is an incredible blues harp infused rendition of “Lay Your Body Down” by Danny Vaughn before Dan Reed closes out the proceedings with the funk-rock classic “Get To You”.

Snake Oil and Harmony as a project seems to have evolved since it’s inception. The pair informs the audience that they have written a song together titled “Where The Water Goes”, which is, of course, included earlier in the set. The next logical progression is a studio album together and judging by the response Reed and Vaughn receive in Newcastle, this is definitely something the fans would like to see happen in the not too distant future. We eagerly await what the future holds for this harmonious collaboration.

Dan Reed
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Danny Vaughn
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Event Date: 22-Feb-2018

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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