As an exercise in strategic marketing, the pairing of tonight’s special guest Dan Patlansky with the innovative stunt guitarist Joe Satriani has much to recommend it.
Where Satriani glides over the front ranks of the seated Hammersmith venue and then takes off into the stratosphere with an exhilarating set that mixes the new – ‘Shockwave Supernova’, ‘On Peregrine Wings’ and ‘Butterfly And Zebra – with the familiar – ‘Not Of This Earth’, ‘Luminous Flesh Giants’ and the enduring ‘Surfing With The Alien’ – Dan Patlansky cuts a more muscular presence, mixing beefy riffs with high octane rocking and a booming bass line that hits the solar plexus like a knockout punch.
Happily Patlansky has the chops to make the kind of prescient connection with JS’s ‘guitar heads’ that probably makes the 24 tour dates all worthwhile. He showcases a handful of impressive songs, big on chorus resolutions that bring a welcome sense of dynamics and contrast to an enveloping wall of sound.
That said, he starts uncertainly with an introductory crescendo that sits uncomfortably with the subsequent meandering slow blues instrumental ‘Drone’. The problem is it doesn’t really go anywhere, but he’s swiftly recovers with the suitable titled ‘Bring The World To Its Knees’, a riff led rocker with a defining solo that is shaped by dexterous use of his wah-wah.
‘Hold On’ is a refreshingly subtle groove, as he’s joined by his drummer on bv’s. The stage is bathed in an orange haze bringing a tangeable ambient feel to a beautifully constructed song. He takes things down to an old blues style whisper to earn himself the first of several whoops and hollers from the crowd.
He struggles slightly with a mumbled intro and too much volume on a new song ‘Stop The Messing’ and he repeatedly uses an annoying ‘check it out’ adjunct to his intros. This makes him sound nervous, which is curious given he’s used to playing 1000 capacity venues in his native South Africa. Yet there’s no denying both his technical ability and his intensity levels on the monster ‘Fetch Your Spade’, which he momentarily teeters on the brink of distortion but gains fresh impetus from another resolving chorus.
Photo: Steve Goudie
He’s palpably on a roll now and if Joe’s crowd is initially reserved, the collective cool dissipates on a closing triumvirate of songs that moves from the stadium rock of ‘Fetch Your Spade’, through the explosive funk of ‘Backbite’ – all incisive riffs, booming bass and tortured vocals – to the memorable finale of ‘My Chana’, which makes the kind of impact his power trio have probably dreamed about.
Photo: Steve Goudie
By slight of hand, Dan slips into Satriani’s psychedelic domain with dexterous use of foot pedals and fluid shredding. His post Hendrix guitar acrobatics are given a unique twist as he jabs the slumbering rock market in the ribs with a short, sharp set, high on energy levels, piercing riffs and glued together by a breathless performance that earns a rousing reception and a hatful of new fans.
If the name of the game is to stretch a niche market to your own ends, Dan’s success is surely evidenced by the lengthy queues at his merchandise stall.
Review by Pete Feenstra
Photos by Mark Hughes at MHP Studios (except where stated)
Pete Feenstra presents his Rock & Blues Show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Tuesday at 19:00 GMT, and “The Pete Feenstra Feature” on Sundays at 19:00
In his show broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on 10 May David Randall played a further selection of artists and albums included in the new Features series, “2020 Vision”.
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Featured Albums w/c 25 May (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 FM Synchronized (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 THE ROCKET DOLLS The Art Of Disconnect (indie)
14:00-16:00 BEN KUNDER Searching For The Stranger (indie)
Power Plays w/c 11 May (Mon-Fri)
THE MERCY KILLS Alone (Golden Robot Records)
DEAD REYNOLDS By Your Side (indie)
THE JAILBIRDS Watery Grave (Golden Robot Records)
ALI MASS & MICKY MOODY These Times (Last Man Music)
MASSIVE WAGONS Bangin In Your Stereo (Earache)
UDO We Are One (AFM Records)
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