Dan Patlansky | Hammersmith Eventim Apollo | 11 November 2015
Photo credit: John Bull
Dan Patlansky pulls the strap off his guitar. It’s a sure sign that something spectacular is about to happen, even though the musician has already won over an audience of Joe Satriani fans.
The bluesman has shown off his soul-baring playing style with the moody instrumental that opens his 40-minute support slot. He’s underlined the depth of his songwriting talents with the widescreen epic ‘Bring The World To Its Knees’, a heartfelt paean from 2012 offering ‘20 Stones’ that features a couple of searing solos for good measure. He’s shown off his willingness to explore new sounds on the adventurous ‘Run’, an explosive, hard-rocking track set to surface on forthcoming album ‘INTRO-VERTIGO’.
The fragile ‘Hold On’ has exposed his gentler side, his perfectly poised vocal matched by a restrained solo that soars gradually, before falling back to near silence. Picking up the pace once more, the gritty brand-new ‘Stop Your Messing’ is a clear indication that the South African will continue to mine the rich blues-rock vein of his biggest UK hits: ‘Fetch Your Spade’ and ‘Backbite’. Aired back to tonight, the Planet Rock-playlisted tracks highlight his ability to write melodies that are impossible to ignore.
The dynamic ‘Fetch Your Spade’ ebbs and flows like Patlansky’s vocals which alternate between full-throated roar and delicate tenderness. And, built around a riff of AC/DC-sized proportions, the balls to the wall ‘Backbite’ is simply unstoppable.
So by the time he pulls the strap off his guitar, there’s not much left to prove. Except nobody gave Patlansky and his band — drummer Andy Maritz and bassist Clint Falconer — the memo. As the guitarist holds the Strat out in front of him, resting its base on his chest, they launch into an extended jam that’s equal parts showmanship and musical brilliance.
Patlansky quite literally coaxes sounds from the guitar’s body, uses his fingers to tap out notes on the fretboard, and evokes audible gasps from the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo audience, many of whom rush out to meet him at intermission. It’s likely they’ll now be fans for life.
- Dan Patlansky plays a full set at The Borderline on 5 December 2015. Tickets available here.