Ok confession time, I am pleading guilty to the charge of grand larceny, the offence, well I only paid £14 for a ticket for the absolute privilege of seeing the incendiary insane musical talents of South African guitarist Dan Patlansky.
Tonight’s show at The Borderline must have left the old place shaken to its very foundations such was the sheer power of the show. Never done this before but to attempt to describe the uniqueness of the show I am going to begin by describing the set closer the absolutely insane histrionics of Patlansky’s version of Voodoo Chile, an aural assault that consumed a full 15 minutes of the set. Wah Wah pedal immediately nailed to the floor as the crunching riffs ripped out over the groove heralding the first solo that erupted like seek and destroy weaponry, hands stretching the frets wringing out the sustained notes. The second solo utterly mesmeric as Patlansky held the guitar at the extent of its strap and away from his body, just the left hand tracing the strings dragging forth a tumult of notes. Then he tore it from the strap and forced it to arm’s length as though a demonic instrument as more notes flooded out before ending by jabbing the fret with one finger and then literally holding the damn thing by the top string but what came out was coherent and spellbinding. I could end there as this was a show in itself but that would be disrespectful to Dan and his band as the previous 70 minutes was equally impressive, a full repertoire of Blues Rock skills were in evidence through Patlansky’s effortless fluid playing style, his rich rasped vocal and the super solid groove laid down by the rhythm section.
Taking to the stage the power trio eased in to the doom laden instrumentation of Drones morphing in to the vicious snarling riffing of Backbite, the crunching rhythm section grind and the howled vocal. Pop Collar Jockey was so low down and deep it sounded almost primeval, the thunderous drum and bass lines coursing underneath Patlansky’s jack hammer riffs and full throated roar of a vocal. Dan is a Blues man at heart and that sparked like a flame on the slow burn Blues of Your War, the raw emotion of the lyric accentuated by the flickering restrained solo that rang out with absolute clarity. An absolute highlight for me was the iron fist velvet glove treatment afforded the sumptuous Hold On, the rhythm section melody lifting Patlansky to deliver a solo that took him and us to a different place, somewhere almost unworldly. From there straight in to the tripped out licks and throbbing groove and hammerhead riffs of Bring the World to its Knees. Only an Ocean followed by Madison Lane were as smooth and rich as silk the melody oozing out under the deep hurting vocal and on Madison Lane a truly aching bleeding solo that Patlansky took down to almost nothing before building it back layer by layer. So beguiling and evocative I just closed my eyes and let it all wrap itself around me.
And that brings me back to where I started. Another night another absolutely stunning performance and a show that will linger long in the memory bank, I am truly blessed to witness such sublime talent so frequently and at such close quarters. London’s Borderline then, the scene for Dan’s first real visit to the UK and having the honour of being the official launch of new album Dear Silence Thieves. All I can add is my thanks to the promoter that had the foresight and courage to bring Patlansky to these shores, just keep bringing him back soon please! Review by Nigel Foster
Boring bit… ©All images copyright me. All rights reserved. Use without permission will result in me being a bit miffed. If you do use a photo it would be really nice to get a Rockrpix credit somewhere if you can… you're probably musicians, you understand all this stuff.