Veteran rockers Dare are headliners at Rescue Rooms Nottingham tonight. Formed in 1985 by Darren Wharton, the keyboard player from Thin Lizzy. Other members of Dare on stage tonight include Vinny Burns (Guitar), Nigel Clutterbuck (Bass), Kevin Whitehead (Drums) and Marc Roberts (Keyboards). Over the bands 37 year existence there have been a whopping 18 musicians on the bands books and with 10 studio albums, the latest being Return To Eden which was released in 2022, Dare have a massive catalogue of songs to choose from to entertain the Rescue Rooms crowd tonight.
Starting with a couple of tracks straight off the Return To Eden album the band launch into Born In The Storm & Cradle To The Grave. Darren genuinely looked so happy to be on the stage, gesturing, waving and smiling to the crowd. Sacred Ground is the origin of the next salvo of songs which included Home, Until, Days of Summer I’ll Hear You Pray. At this point Darren forgot the words to Home and a quick witted crowd member shouted out to him “you wrote the song!” to the amusement of others around him. Darren’s interaction with the audience continued as Vinny effortlessly played a guitar solo at the front of the stage. Darren reached out to one of the fans who was filming the show on their phone and plucked the mobile from their hands, he then went on to film the other members of the band almost strumming Vinny’s guitar with the device. I’m sure the owner of the phone will be pleased with results of Darren’s filming skills.
Back to the latest album for the title track Road To Eden and Fire Never Fades and Darren has a bit more banter with the crowd. As he talked to the fans who had ventured up on to the balcony, he joked that the Rescue Rooms only had one balcony. He claimed the venue he played the night before had three and they were so high he couldn’t see the fans past the clouds!!
Dare performed Sea Of Roses and Silent Hills which are both off Beneath Shining Waters album. Before the next song Darren had a bit more fun with the crowd by suggesting he was in his forties but they weren’t having it. He decided to settle on fifty one and told the audience that the crowd the night before laughed when he told them. According to the never wrong ever Wikipedia he is sixty…..? This led into the introduction for the next song by Darren who was proclaiming the song is so old its from the bands Jurassic Park era where the band ventured into heavy metal. He was referring to Wings Of Fire from the Blood From Stone album which was released over 30 years ago.
Two songs from the Out Of Silence album, Abandon which had the audience dancing along and Into The Fire. This was followed by the last song of this part of the set Thy Kingdom Come and in the bands words they stated it was written because of the personal stresses they had experienced during the pandemic. Darren said it was a prayer to them performing it.
As there was a ten o’clock curfew the band didn’t have time to leave the stage only to return to perform an encore. Darren raised his microphone and asked the crowd what they wanted the band to perform. It was no surprise that the crowd shouted for a Thin Lizzy song and in this case it was Emerald. Darren suggested the band should play The Raindance and there was a shout off between the crowd and Darren. Darren asked “does it rain in Nottingham?” and the band went on to play The Raindance. Next song was King Of Spades which Darren dedicated to Phil Lynott. Last up in the three song encore is Return Of The Heart from the Out Of Silence 2 Album. The audience joined in with Dare in the choruses by singing along with the Whoa’s, getting louder and louder as the song progressed and more people joined in. Even the security in the pit at the front was dancing and singing along to the song by the end, even after the band had finished the security guy was still encouraging the crowd to sing along with the Whoa’s which is a site I don’t think I’ve ever seen before!
I remember years ago listening to the early material Dare had released and have to say the more recent albums were not even on my radar. I’m pleased to say that tonight’s selection of songs brought me up to speed on the quality music Dare are now producing. Their live performance tonight was a well oiled quintet of musicians with many years of experience under their belt. And whilst the lights were shining on all of them Darrens seemed to be brighter reflecting off his charisma. Great show guys look forward to seeing you again.
Born In The Storm – Road To Eden
Cradle To The Grave – Road To Eden
Home – Sacred Ground
Until – Sacred Ground
Days of Summer – Sacred Ground
Ill Hear you Pray – Sacred Ground
Road To Eden – Road To Eden
Everytime We Say Goodbye
Fire Never Fades – Road To Eden
Sea Of Roses – Beneath Shining Waters
Where Darkness Ends – Beneath Shining Waters
Silent Hills – Beneath Shining Waters
On My Own – Sacred Ground
Wings Of Fire – Blood From Stone
We Don’t Need A Reason – Blood From Stone
Abandon – Out Of The Silence 2
Into The Fire – Out Of The Silence
Thy Kingdom Come – Road To Eden
The Raindance – Out Of The Silence
King Of Spades – Out Of The Silence
Return The Heart – Out Of The Silence 2