Dan Owen - Cardiff Moon Club Review - Unique Lullaby
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Dan Owen - Cardiff Moon Club Review

- Tuesday, 22 September 2015. to read...
Doors opened, the crowd flooded in and the floor was full.

 Local Blackwood hailing South Wales duo Into The Ark took to the stage. Immediately warming to the audience with confident performance talk and bringing us into their first song of their set. Showcasing from the beginning their well worked harmonies and integrated lyrics. The crowd gained a quick reception to the boys. The first track with its well written carefully collated lyrics and beautiful acoustic accompaniment set this Welsh duo apart and onto something a little stronger. After some more banter the Blackwood boys led us into the next track of the evening. Dane’s vocals slightly verging on a Kooks style chorus, brought us nicely into more well worked harmonies and lovely acoustic riffs before leading into the third song of the set, standing out with a fantastically covered, Bob Marley classic ‘Is This Love’, showcasing both Dane and Taylor’s strong vocal ranges again bounding off of each other to re-create this Bob Marley classic in true ‘Into The Ark’ style. The audience were captivated by this and had the room of all ages singing and joining in to this Marley’s time-honoured record. Two boys, two guitars continued through the night to the end of their set. A great ending to the set with strong vocals and a lovely melody. This dynamic duo did their business and did it well, in warm up to the headline act of Dan Owen. The wittiness, confidence and talent of this emerging Welsh duo definitely did not disappoint and are definitely worth a listen and a live view. They also love their press attention and looking forward to gaining more followers as they tour venues across the UK this month, and I quote “we’re doing pretty well, we’ve had out debut on the front page of the Rhymney Times newspaper”

Next brings us into the headline act of the evening. Standing in a gig in 2015 you do not think you’ll be escorted back to a blues gig in the 1960’s but Dan Owen does that very thing and he does it well. Kicking off his set with foot stomping ‘The Walking Blues’. I must say I was taken a back from the strong vocals and the gravelly tones which this boy eludes through his voice. Getting the audience dancing and away from the still stance, they were immediately drawn into this fast paced set. After showcasing these young Bob Dylan vocals mixed with the grittiness of Bruce Springsteen we were brought further into the 60’s vibe with the use of a melody on the harmonica and the twang of the acoustic guitar, mixed with his mature voice and blusey vocals, brought you into contact with these interesting and well written lyrics before emotionally evoking empathy with the audience and myself in his third track of the night. Bringing us in closer to understanding Dan, he told us the story of training to be a carpenter in college and his fellow carpenter friend who sadly passed away. This thought provoking track brought us closer into his world and through cleverly created and crafted themes throughout the song a story was told. Lyrics such as “he grew up with a hammer in his hands” and “keep you’re eye on the nail” metaphorically collected an emotional output and was evoked further with the bluesy guitar riffs and cut throat vocals creating this intriguing ballad.
The talented song writer no doubt showcased further with his similar songs such as ‘Parachute’, ‘Drowning Man’ and his released single ‘Fall Like A Feather’.  This song in particular holding interesting themes and delivered so gently and meaningfully evoking emotions again but in the sense of a lost relationship. Later in the show he clued us into a new EP he has coming out very soon, playing a track ‘Splinter’ from this. Intriguing us into what this talented young artist has to offer in his next release. Following the range of emotions throughout the set we saw some interesting fast paced songs also, a song in particular about avoiding the fact one day we will all die but with upbeat and fast dancing riffs to disguise the inclining meaning to the song, to finishing with an explosive performance of ‘Little Red Rooster’ formerly performed by legends such as The Rolling Stones and Howlin’ Wolf “and now me” as Dan jokingly put it. We were all blown away by the energy he exuded in this performance with an effortless top harmonica performance and
energetic, eccentric guitar plucking it sure was an explosive end to this wonderful set. With interesting themed songs alongside great lyrics and a mature polished voice, this is a set for all ages and music lovers, combining strong song-writing and exciting melodies creating a truly interesting a different show.

Thanks to Orchard Entertainment for putting on a great night. 

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