Dare/Troy Redfern –

The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, Thursday 13th October, 2022

I had been looking forward to this concert ever since I had interviewed Troy to talk about his new album ‘Wings Of Salvation’. His playing and vocals have an aura of Southern Blues that make him unique.

Here at the Apex, he is playing a stripped back show with just the backing of Drummer, Finn McCauley. As soon as he hits the stage, his fiery fluid fretboard flows with fantastic force, as he launches into his all too brief 30-minute set. Unfortunately, the venue is well below capacity and it will remain so for Dare.

Our guitar gunslinger wastes no time as he shoots into action since he treats us to a display of virtuoso playing. The mighty Finn gives him as much backing as a drummer can, as his sticks continuously batter his equipment.

Troy certainly creates an impact on the crowd as he plays with powerful passion, I can’t wait to see how good this man is supported by his full band. This show is nothing more than a taster to showcase his sonic showmanship. I am sure he created an impact on all those who witnessed the event, at least with the final track ‘Sanctify’.

Speaking to Troy after the show he said, “I really enjoyed that one. It really felt like there was a strong connection between myself and Finn McAuley that night. A lot of what we do is improvisation, like the extended solo on the last song 'Sanctify'. If the sound is good on stage, you can get almost telepathic during the jams, which is one of my favourite aspects of the live show”.

Troy is a man for the future, check him out! Especially his stunning new album ‘Wings Of Salvation’.He is most definitely the guitar gunslinger from the wild west, The wild west of England!

I go back a long way with Dare, back to Hammersmith Odeon when they supported Jimmy Page in 1988 on the release of the simply stunning and one of the greatest melodic rock debut albums ever, ‘Out Of The Silence’.

They have released many records since with Vinny Burns embellishing with his flamboyant lead guitar. They have gone through a few stylistic changes and line ups incorporating Celtic influences along the way.

Live, Dare are always sensational with Darren always the focal point with his vocals and banter with the crowd, which is why I have never abandoned them. Tonight, at the Apex they are simply as good as ever! Their music cascading throughout, creating calm before the storm, the storm simply being the mesmerising sounds and smiles that illuminate the stage.

For me, the high points were and are always going to be the songs from ‘Silence’ though many will surely disagree. Darren was constantly telling stories, the most poignant being his memories of Phil Lynott which led into the ‘King Of Spades’.

He asked the audience in the balcony of this spectacular wooden venue are you with us? Then realised that there are two balconies! Before announcing, “This is the first time we have played here, we will be back. The staff, the venue and you are superb, we will be back!”

A quick mention of Bassist, Nigel Clutterbuck who looked like he was having a great time and whose playing and personality certainly caused an impression on my wife, judging by her beaming smiles

It is hard to pick out highlights from a show by these melodic superstars. Overall for me, it is simply a privilege to cover events like this. Events that are simply about the joy of music.

Review By Paul 'Rhino' Mace

Photographs By Paul 'Animal' Hampson