Album review: THE PAT McMANUS BAND – Full Service Resumed

David Randall chatted to Pat McManus for his show ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio,  Sunday 3 October.  The interview includes tracks from the new album.

THE PAT McMANUS BAND - Full Service Resumed

The Store For Music [Release date 01.10.21]

Pat McManus is the genial Irishman who since the late 1970s has been ploughing that very rich furrow of Irish traditional music fused to classic rock, first with the highly regarded Mama’s Boys, then with ambient art rockers Celtus, and more recently as a solo artist.  His albums are always well produced and configured and in truth demand a much wider audience.

‘Full Service Resumed’ is what Pat did in his Lockdown, and it follows a rich vein of solo albums that started in 2007 with ‘In My Own Time’ following the demise of Celtus.

Pat can be seen as one of the true carriers of the Irish crossover flame – in terms of rock music – and in this context he is a younger contemporary of those other trailblazers Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy, and of course Gary Moore. Four bonus tracks revisit some of his career highs including the Moore tribute ‘Belfast Boy’.

So, the Irish fusion is never far away and also emphasised when he picks up the fiddle, especially in the live context.  But it is with electric guitar firmly strapped on that he excels and there are several great blues rockers here including the opener and climate-change friendly ‘Doomsday Clock’, ‘Long Haul Trucker’ (lyrically now very relevant),  ‘Bury Me’ (a wonderful plea from an older rocker!), and ‘Rock You’ (destined to become a live favourite).  Elsewhere there is the bluesy groove of ‘Jump Start My Heart’ and the bluesy grind of ‘Bang Bang’.

There is something in the Irish water system that produces strong lyricists and melody, or perhaps it is the Guinness?  Pat’s musical approach is always melodic and song based and amongst the highlights are the slow arpeggiated ‘Stone Cold Sober’ (a little bit Mooresque fused with Jeff Beck’s ‘Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers’) and an instrumental tribute to his late brother Tommy ‘His Soul Remains With Me’.  Here again he channels his inner Jeff Beck.

In truth Pat only needs to channel his inner Pat, a consummate musician who forty years on is still providing dynamic, energetic, and – most of all – inspiring music.  ****

Review by David Randall

Bands that time forgot…Celtus

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