Dan Patlansky Live – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, 21/11/2018
Dan’s tour is an extension of the earlier one this year in which he promoted his brand new album ‘Perfection Kills’, Live is a collection of songs that have been put together to build on an EP that’s been available for a little while. Tonight sees the opening leg of the UK tour and features songs now put together to form a much overdue ‘Live’ album.
Patlansky has the accolade of being known as a guitarist’s guitar player, and this is abundantly clear as you listen to the conversations going on around as we wait to get into the venue. Talk of alternate tunings and the reason he turns his ‘cab’ around resonate along the queue.
With a slightly later than normal doors time, it gives folk a chance to get home from work and out for the night. This means there is a decent crowd for the opening act, Manchester based ‘Gorilla Riot’.
This 5 piece dirty rock’n’roll blues machine have an exciting sound, helped by having 3 guitars driving the music although I would have liked to have heard a single coil quack amongst the mix as the sounds did get muddled up with humbuckers being the order of the day. Front man, Arjun Bhishma, gave a great account of himself lyrically, his voice sounding strong but again a little muddied in the mix, especially when stood at the back of the room; could this just be lack of sound-check time due to late arrivals forced by heavy traffic?
Anyway, the all too short set went down well with the assembled crowd as they waited for the headliners.
Walking on stage in an understated manner, no sunglasses or suit here, Dan is greeted with cheers from the aficionado’s in the crowd. Let’s make no mistake, Dan is a guitarist’s guitarist. He has placed in the top 5 of numerous guitarist polls, has toured with the likes of Springsteen and Satriani and has regularly toured the UK and mainland Europe.
Hailing from South Africa, this delightful young talent is both humble and enthusiastic about his standing in the music industry.
After the opening instrumental, ‘Love City’, we get Johnny, the first from his new album ‘Perfection Kills’, launched early this year. The crowd respectfully hush as the great man starts to sing, his voice has that slight rasp that echoes his playing in that it drips with the blues, his genre of choice.
The guy is totally mesmerising in every way, a subtle touch, a delicate vocal and when he unleashes the inner beast, it is a controlled, yet magical, animal that simply blows your mind as it massages your aural senses with complex riffs overlaid with simple but dynamic string bends. A deft swoop of the volume has the guitar crying with swells that drip with honey such is the thickness of the sound and the mastery of his instrument. One thing that’s evident is that every note plucked is played from the heart, each note, each arpeggio is written across Dan’s face as he draws every last note from his finger tips in his journey through each and every song.
The stand out song of the night for me is the slow blues number ‘Big Things Going Down’ from the album ‘Move my Soul’. Brought back to the front by its use in a recent you tube video where it got over 1,000,000 ‘likes’ in the first month. A song I was not familiar with, but wow it’s an excellent showcase of just how good Dan is. The subtle swells played on his battered yellow ‘62 Strat are almost church organ like, prior to going into a subtle solo where it’s more about the spacings and what’s not played than what is!
With a back line that includes Tom Swann on bass guitar , complete with dad dancing moves, keyboardist Tom Gtz and Drummer Jay Bone. Dan gives each member of his band an introduction then steps aside and allows them to shine, Gtz at one point is on his feet, hair flailing as he knocks hell out of his keyboard to everyone’s enjoyment.
Dan has got a point to make and in doing so proves just how good this humble South African is. A fan refers to him as a Bonamassa with character and soul, something that sat a bit awkward with Dan as he sees Joe as an influence, but he took the compliment graciously. Dan deserves success and to be filling bigger venues, he has the back catalogue, he has the charisma, charm and looks and bloody hell can he play!
Get and see this guy at the soonest opportunity you’ll be amazed!
Words & photographs: Manny Manson