Live Review: Dare, The Astoria 18th October, 1989


Mancunian act Dare are pretty new on the live circuit. Up to date they have headlined numerous club shows following an extremely successful support stint on the Europe UK tour.

Their debut album Out of the Silence caused quite a stir within the rock n' roll circles when it was released in the autumn of 1988. Noted for its classy harmonies and catchy hooklines, it gave many an AOR band a good run for their money!

It was an obvious that there was quite a 'buzz' surrounding their headline show at the Astoria as personalities and punters rubbed shoulders side by side.

"Hello London" was the cry as Darren Wharton's soaring keyboards seared the smoke stacks of dry ice surrounding the stage. Opening the proceedings with Abandon and Into the Fire, the band steamed along their rock n' roll ironing board with pensive precision, although marred by a bad sound courtesy of the mixing desk.

Matters somewhat improved during their third song The Raindance with its Springsteen-sounding hookline coming across razor sharp as the boys neatly slipped into gear. Darren's sweet-scented, low key voice pierced the PA precisely. Indeed, Mr Wharton and his "likely lads" have learned their stage-craft well, and now they feel considerably more rock n' roll!

Nothing Is Stranger Than Love, Heartbreaker, and I Can't Follow You Tonight immediately earned an appreciative roar from the crowd, as they gave the band the thumbs up! Songs which would all sound great on the FM network -- Radio One get your act together! It's a crying shame that bands of this ilk have to go overseas to get commercial airplay when Britain is a marketplace of prime importance. 'If music be the food of love -- play on!'

As memories of Thin Lizzy came to the fore, the band launched into Heart of Mine and King of Spades which were passionately dedicated to the late Philip Lynott. Calm and classy, cool and collective, Dare musically honoured their Irish roots admirably!

Runaway and new rocker We'll Rock Tonight ended the set as the band 'blew off their banjos' with their brand of media-oriented metalism. 

When the band were joined onstage by ex-Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham and an 'ozone friendly' Joey Tempest for their encores The Boys Are Back In Town and Don't Believe A Word the crowd naturally went ga-ga as they ploughed through the Lizzy classics.

Joey "opened his heart" as Scott slumped into the groove . . . Darren's 'delight' surprised everybody! Dare I say more!



Mark Crampton
Riff Raff
December 1989
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