On record Dan Patlansky is quite superb but on stage, with a capacity crowd in his pocket from the off, he takes it to another level.

Almost no-one had heard of him in the UK until he supported Springsteen in his home of Johannesburg S. Africa and then started to make a great wave with his album ‘Dear Silence Thieves’. That led to his first full tour of the UK, culminating in a huge show at the Borderline in London.
Since then he has put out his next album ‘Introvertigo’ which got plaudits from all over and now a tour featuring a sold out show at the O2 Academy.

He opened with an extended instrumental jam ‘Drone’ showing off some of his guitar tricks and getting the excellent band warmed up before exploding into ‘Sonnova Faith’ and ‘Stop The Messin’.

His stage persona is extreme commitment. There is no relaxing and from 1st note to the last he is up front, veins standing out on his neck and pounding out those classic Blues riffs. But he is more than just a riffer – his music has real funk and groove to it as well and he couples that with stunning solos that actually go somewhere – not just solo for the sake of it.
Track after track with pounding drums and bass pushing him on and his vocals roaring out into the crowd.
He did a great version of Jimmy Reed’s ‘Bright Lights Big City’ and ‘Backbite’ had the crowd bopping (as much as they could with the space available).

He really is an exceptional live player and if you dig Blues/Rock he is a must to be seen.
Support was from the excellent Ash Wilson. I enjoyed him at the Borderline a couple of weeks back but this set was a whole other level. His playing is superb and he seemed to have no inhibitions playing with real fire.

All told, a belter of an evening – what live music is supposed to be about.

Picture by Laurence Harvey