Winger have had more than their share of knockers in the past. In the early 90s they were blasted on an almost weekly basis by cartoon misfits Beavis & Butt-head; members of high profile rock bands weren’t any kinder with their childish jibes, while the music press were often too quick to write them off in the face of a changing musical tide. Such things surely would have hurt, but it doesn’t change the fact that the first three Winger albums are top-notch melodic rock affairs – albums that have aged better than those of some of their peers. Nor does it change the fact that Winger were – and still are – a superb live act.
In their original lifespan, the Dan Reed Network left the world three albums of superb funk rock. Poppy yet sophisticated, the band’s best work – though very of the period in which it was conceived – remains much loved by their cult of fans. During those seven years, the band also released a string of should’ve been hit singles, though rarely troubled the charts. Why DRN never really made it past cult status is a mystery – a multiracial act with a magazine-friendly image; backing from a major label; a tour with The Rolling Stones…surely they should’ve had the world on a plate. Most importantly, though, they had those songs: so accessible, so hooky and yet so overlooked. Following their split in 1993, frontman Dan Reed ventured into with acting, appearing in a Red Shoes Diaries production and a couple of other things (including a self-written movie named ‘ZigZag’, which may or may not have started life as a project called ‘The Ocean’) and also owned a nightclub. He dabbled with music, too, recording an album with Adrenaline Sky – including members of defunct funk-rock band Maggie’s Dream – and later released solo works, though nothing quite hit the heights of the Network’s peak.
‘Kunst’, the eighteenth studio release from KMFDM, is one of the best of their long career. On 20th April Real Gone had the opportunity to catch the band during their UK visit to see how well the new material fit in with their live set, when the cult industrialists headlined a four band bill.