South African born blues guitarist Dan Patlansky is comparatively unknown in the UK, although he has an extensive back catalogue of material and has certainly attracted the attention of music critics worldwide. His latest recording Dear Silence Thieves was voted Number 1 Blues Rock Album in the World by Blues Rock Review USA. Beating out competition from artists such as Joe Bonamassa and Rival Sons, there must be something about him. Patlansky’s talents were obviously recognised by Bruce Springsteen too when he received the honour of being asked to open for the New Jersey institution during his recent South African stadium tour.
An afternoon spent in the company of Spotify (other online streaming services are available) reveals Patlansky’s playing to be sublime – the technical skills of Gary Moore allied to a touch, feel and delicacy that Moore only rediscovered when he ditched playing Murder In The Skies and ‘found’ the blues. Dan’s show at London’s venerable institution The Borderline on 27 April coincided with the UK release of Dear Silence Thieves and was hotly anticipated by a very full crowd who had already got the message.
Before the main event, we were treated to a short but highly engaging set of solo acoustic guitar from singer/songwriter Tristan Mackay. Mackay had a very likeable rapport with his audience, detailing songs about family breakups, personal breakups, A&R rejection letters and inconvenient births of offspring during album recordings. The songs were great and he deserves to go places. I hope he does.
After a short break, and to a ripple of polite applause, Dan Patlansky and his band made an understated entrance to The Borderline stage. And then everything changed. If Mackay’s brief was to gently caress the ears, it’s clear within the first few bars of Patlansky’s set that his remit was to blow them away. Opening instrumental Drone was followed by single from the new album Backbite – it’s infectious riff crashing off the walls of the venue like an over-enthusiastic bowling ball. Sporting a Stratocaster that looked so battered Rory Gallagher might have considered giving it a makeover; Patlansky proceeded to wring every last measure of emotion out of his instrument and in so doing took the Borderline audience with him on a journey through some of the most explosive blues-edged rock music I’ve heard in a while. His guitar work was matched by a gravelly vocal that suited the music just fine.
But it’s not all full throttle. Patlansky’s music is seemingly designed to exploit his skill at controlling dynamic range and he effortlessly moved from wildly aggressive to gossamer tender within the same song a number of times. He even found time to break out his acoustic guitar for Feels Like Home, giving his excellent rhythm section (and our ears) some respite. If you really want to know if you’re in the presence of guitar greatness, watch the practitioner play an acoustic. Those notes ringing clear, precise and fast had Patlansky passing that particular test with flying colours.
As this date coincided with the release of his new album, Dan was unapologetic about giving us a good dose of it. All bar Windmills Of The Sea was played from Dear Silence Thieves and there were only brief excursions to his other recorded works. One particular highlight however, was an exceptional instrumental version of Hendrix’s Voodoo Chile. If you’re a fan of this kind of music, you’ve probably lost count of the number of times you’ve heard interpretations of the original and my heart isn’t always lifted when I hear the opening strains of wah-wah – but this was something else. Full of emotion, you could’ve rung it out and taken a bath in it. For much of the rendition, the guitar was taken off and held at arms length whilst layers of sustain and feedback enveloped the audience. It seemed Patlansky could make his instrument sing just by looking at it. This piece of theatre quite rightly closed out the main set and the band exited stage right to ringing applause.
After a brief lull, they returned and hit us with Fetch Your Spade from the new record, neatly segueing into a tasty reprise of Backbite and we had pretty much gone full circle. Patlansky quickly departed and that was that. A truly brilliant night of quality music from a man who you get the feeling knows he’s probably a guitar God, but is modest enough to prefer not to keep being told it.
After this brief tour, Patlansky returns to the UK in the Autumn to support Joe Satriani – a sight no self-respecting fan of incendiary guitar music will want to miss. I certainly won’t.
Photography & Live Review by Simon Reed. Dan Patlansky – The Borderline – 27/04/15
Simon has his own great site here: www.musicalpictures.co.uk
You can see the whole shoot here: http://rockshot.photoshelter.com/gallery/Dan-Patlansky/G0000hvuCme5XXU0
DAN PATLANSKY APRIL/MAY 2015 UK TOUR DATES.
THURSDAY 30th APRIL 2015
Tickets: £13.20 / 24 Hour Box Office: 0844 478 0898
Book Online: thegigcartel.com
Address: 3 Toft Green, York YO1 6JT
STOCKTON MUSIC LOUNGE
Friday 1st May
Tickets are £3 in advance plus booking fee or £5 on the door
Book Tickets Onliine from EventBrite.co.uk
Tel: 07891 343 534
21-d Yarm Lane
Stockon-on-Tees, TS18 3DR
GJ’S – WANDSWORTH
Sunday 3rd May
Charity Event for Save the Rhinos
All tickets: £10 (£4 goes towards the Save The Rhinos charity)
Tel: 075 4917 8401
Book tickets online from: www.braai365.com
89 Garratt Lane, Wandsworth, South London, SW18 4DW
PORTSMOUTH, THE CELLARS
MONDAY 4th MAY 2015
Book Online: musicglue.com
Address: 56 Cromwell Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, PO4 9PN
WEDNESDAY 6th MAY 2015
Book Online: bristolticketshop.co.uk
Address: 124 Bath Road, Bristol, Avon, BS4 3ED
POOLE, MR KYPS
THURSDAY 7th MAY 2015
DOUBLE HEADLINE SHOW WITH LAURENCE JONES
Tickets: £5.00 / Box Office: 01202 748 945
Book Online: mrkyps.net
Address: 8a Parr Street, Poole, Dorset, BH14 0JY
Joe Satriani November 2015 UK Tour
with special guest Dan Patlansky
Manchester o2 Apollo Sunday November 1
Birmingham Symphony Hall Monday November 2
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall Tuesday November 3
Sheffield City Hall Wednesday November 4
Cardiff St. David’s Hall Thursday November 5
Southend Cliffs Pavilion Saturday November 7
Bristol Colston Hall Sunday November 8
Portsmouth Guildhall Monday November 9
London Eventim Hammersmith Apollo Tuesday November 10
Ticket hotline: 0844 888 9991, Book online: ticketline.co.uk