Dan Patlansky at The Deaf Institute
Words and photos: Anthony Firmin
Following support slots with Joe Satriani and King King, Dan Patlansky is heading out on the road in the UK on a headline tour with a backing band from Hamburg, Germany, tonight we catch him at The Deaf Institute in Manchester…
Opening for him is Ash Wilson who has seemingly appeared from nowhere recently releasing his rather stunning debut album Broken Machine, how could talent this good have been kept so quiet for so long? But quiet is the wrong word as Wilson turns up the volume and rocks his blues machine here; Words Of A Woman is as mesmerising as it is beautiful and shows how good Wilson is, we have certainly not heard the last of this man.
South African guitar maestro Dan Patlansky comes on at 8:30 on the dot, seeming a tad early, but he has a lot to deliver over the next 110 minutes. Drone is a slow, quiet number which builds into something quite massive, it is almost a warm-up exercise before launching into his awesome latest single Sonnova Faith, quickly following it with Stop The Messin with its funky groove and gets everyone moving.
Describing Jimmy Reed as the 1960’s Justin Beiber is a bit insulting to Mr. Reed, albeit amusing at the same time, but a cover of Bright Lights, Big City delivers big time. It is about this time I start to realise how much tighter and in tune with Patlansky his band are, really bringing his song to life. And the man himself seems more relaxed and more into his music and this hot, sweaty, smoke filled room is perfect for him to deliver his high octane blues set.
Patlansky slows things down with Still Wanna Be Your Man, at one point things become so quiet that you could hear a pin drop, the audience remaining totally silent, fully appreciative and completely respectful of this master blues guitarist. ‘Miles and miles away…’ he sings at the end of the solo which sums up where I am as I drift along with his playing.
The call and return between Patlansky’s guitar and keyboard player Tom Gatza’s electric piano is wonderful to hear and we get back to the groove with some serious funky clavinet sounds in Backbite. This is the song that launched Patlansky in the UK and is getting those dancing feet moving again.
The melancholic encore of Loosen Up The Grip again featured another moment of total silence where you can hear him playing his guitar unamplified; he goes on to demonstrate some guitar playing histrionics with which to entertain the crowd. The final song, Fetch Your Spade, leaves everyone on a high.
With exceptional performances like this evening's, it is only going to be a matter of time before Mr. Patlansky is playing much bigger venues.