Dante Fox – O2 Academy, Islington: 4 June 2012

In spite of owning their debut album “Under Suspicion” since shortly after its 1996 release, I have to admit that my knowledge of Midlands quintet Dante Fox (opening tonight for Night Ranger) has lagged somewhat behind the curve in recent times.

Fronted by the striking Sue Willetts and enthusiastic guitarist Tim Manford, the band took to what seemed like a tiny area of stage at around 7.50 pm, where they proceeded to treat us to a set of very enjoyable melodic rock. The songs were mostly drawn from the band’s second and third albums – “Fire Within” and “Under the Seven Skies”, respectively – with only “Lost and Lonely Heart” being aired from the debut.

Thanks to the generous roadie who later provided us with a set-list, here are the songs that were played:

The Last Goodbye
Under the City Lights
Lost and Lonely Heart
Firing My Heart
Goodbye to Yesterday
Breaking Me Down
Walking the Line
Remember My Name

The closing number was a very decent run-through of the 1981 Stevie Lange classic (that Limara used in its perfume TV adverts, back in the day). It made me wonder whether perhaps Dante Fox might have enjoyed some deserved commercial success had they ever decided to record and release a proper cover of this song as a single, backed with some original material.

So to sum up: a very nice set, played by a band that really seemed to be enjoying themselves, and an excellent warm-up for the main attraction that was to follow!


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