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Dan Patlansky live at Dingwalls Camden

Dingwalls, Camden 13 April 2024

Venerated blues guitarist Dan Patlansky returned to Dingwalls to promote his latest album 'Movin' On'. The South African nearly missed his stop off in the capital after cancelling his two previous dates due to illness, even though his voice was still struggling and raspier than usual, being a trouper, he pushed on. 

Dan's live shows are certainly much looser than listening to an album. There are more improvisational break-outs with some singing interspersed. Given his laryngitis, he probably wasn't complaining about the chance to give his voice a rest between noodling; and neither was the audience.

Dan quite literally prepared us for a stratospheric night with 'Lift Off' - an energetic instrumental to warm up the band and the crowd. With the scene set, the toe-tapping opening track from his latest album, 'Red Velvet Suit' followed. The energy is already dialed up to an impressive 11 and it's maintained throughout the night, even in the slower moments.

'Who I Am' is a fierce statement of intent with more ballsy blues solos and powerful punchy vocals.

His latest album is a homage to the kind of music he grew up with. Fed on a diet of classic rock and blues from Hendrix to Stevie Ray Vaughn, the retro vibe is evident in his music this time around. He's also known for injecting some red-hot guitar sounds with a heavier, more contemporary bite, so it was thrilling to hear the fusions of different eras on offer tonight.

The title track from the album is inspired by his father's words for when things get difficult and life doesn't go to plan. The track shows things down and it has the redolence of Pink Floyd - another influence complete with echoey harmonies and pin-sharp guitar work.

Although Dan wears his influences with pride, his guitar work is slick, fast and flashy but very clean. His songwriting also stands tall alongside his fretwork. Speaking of which, Snake Oil City from the album 'Shelter of Bones' saw an incendiary bit of soloing that was an opportunity for longtime collaborators Andy Maritz (Drums) and Greg Van Kerkhof (Bass) to get behind the percussive attack of Dan's solo.

'Tell Me' featured a guest appearance from 16-year-old Rhys John Stygal who is nominated for the 'Jules Fothergill Young Blues Artist of The Year Award for the 2024 UK Blues Awards.

This moment descended into 100% pure blues jam before the set wrapped up. It's possibly these sorts of fast and loose moments of spontaneity that have helped Dan catch the musical ear of Bruce Springsteen and Joe Satriani. For those who like your blues unadulterated, look no further than Dan Patlansky.

Supporting Dan was Leoni Jane Kennedy: a talented young songwriter in the vein of Tasmin Archer and Brandi Carlile. Her guitar work is precise and her songwriting is poetic and often heartfelt. Tracks such as 'Different Kind of Woman', and 'Ammunition' are great examples of her talent. Look out for her debut album later this year.

Review Cathy Clark and Gerry Driver

Photos by Gerry Driver


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