Dan Patlanky’s UK debut is a de facto showcase for his ‘Dear Silence Thieves’ album. His fiery guitar playing and lived in vocals illuminate his best songs such as ‘Hold On’, ‘Only An Ocean’ and the non-album highlight ‘Daddy’s Old Gun’, and helps him overcome a slight problem with the pacing of his set.
It was always going to be interesting to see how Dan would transfer the big production values of the album to his live show. And while his guitar playing successfully searches for intensity on the riff driven funk of ‘Backbite’, he temporarily loses momentum on a succession of songs that have a sluggish mid-tempo feel to them. Given the crowd’s unfamiliarity with the material, he has to work that bit harder to win them over.
But he rallies confidently to connect with his audience via narrative driven songs and his own refreshingly understated approach to being a guitar hero.
Having jocularly explained the meaning of ‘Pop Collar Jockey’, he launches the band into a bone crunching groove, topped by some rasping phrasing that perfectly mirrors his disdain for the song’s subject matter.
He explores a delicate touch and tone on the SRV influenced intro to the explosive blues ‘Your War’, and makes the most of a tremulous guitar figure and the enveloping chorus of ‘Hold On’.
The sludgy tempo and slightly distorted riff of ‘Bring The World To It’s Knees’ is less successful, as the set cries out for an uplifting moment. Curiously, the previously rock solid rhythm section also lose their way slightly, as the bass player seems to be following Dan rather than locking in with the drummer.
Given the circumstances, ‘Only An Ocean’ is in danger of losing its impact, but Dan remains unflustered and recovers magnificently with some tightly wrought licks that leads him into a stop-time, uplifting hook. The stirring resolution brings due recognition from the crowd.
He switches to acoustic for a hypnotic ‘Feels Like Home’, and explores delicate dynamics on the emotive, quiet-to-loud melodic sweep of ‘Madison Lane’.
By the time of the crowd pleasing and psychedelic stunt guitar version of Hendrix’s ‘Voodoo Chile’, you’ve almost forgotten the earlier stodge.
He encores with the tub thumping, Pearl Jam influenced ‘Fetch Your Spade’, another DP song with an unexpected break, and he rounds things off triumphantly with a reprise of the kick ass funk of ‘Backbite’. Job done.
Review by Pete Feenstra
Photos by Mark Hughes (MHP Studios)
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Pete Feenstra celebrated his 300th show in October 2019. Pete heads up a five-hour blues rock marathon when “Tuesday is Bluesday” from 19:00 GMT. Listen out also for his interview-based Feature show on Sundays (20:00 GMT)
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