Dan Patlansky - LIVE: Borderline, London 2015

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Dear Silence Thieves Tour
April 27 (20:40 - 22:10)
Capacity 200

South African Dan Patlansky's appearance at the historic Borderline represented his first full UK show in his 16-year career after a handful of promotional appearances, and kicked off a 20-date European tour.

The London date coincided, not by accident, with the UK release of his latest album Dear Silence Thieves, which came out in South Africa in 2014, serving as the perfect opportunity to showcase the songs from that disc.

As Dear Silence Thieves is Dan's first album to gain an international release, squeezing in fan favourites from his older albums wasn't really relevant, which enabled him and his power trio line-up of bassist Clint Falconer and drummer Steph Nortje to play nearly the entire new album in a 90-minute set, adding in just two of his other songs.

Patlansky is a man who apparently has a facial expression for every note on his fretboard, and the way he plays, it's something which doesn't seem unreasonable. To no fanfare at all the trio walked onto the stage, plugged in, tuned up, and went straight into a non-LP intro instrumental they call Drone just to warm everyone up. And straight away he demonstrated his all-action style, immediately peeling off bluesy solos for a good three minutes before starting the first song proper, Backbite, which also opens the new album.

The riffiest tracks from Dear Silence Thieves, along with Bring The World To Its Knees from his 2012 album 20 Stones, excite fans in a live setting the most, and for songs like that the grooving riffs and a blazing solos do most of the work on their own, but Patlansky never once rests on the laurels of the material. One of the most expressionful players around, he plays every song like it needs livening up, even when it doesn't. Add to that his powerful, husky vocals, and he's one of the most engaging bluesmen around.

The only other slots in the main setlist not afforded songs from the new album were a jam spot for Falconer and Nortje titled Hash Palace/Bubble, Daddy's Old Gun, also form 20 Stones, and an astonishing cover of Voodoo Child (Slight Return) which featured no vocals at all, as Patlansky phrased all of the vocal lines on his guitar before turning the second half of the song into an insane workout culminating in his suspending the guitar by its strings while he manipulated the feedback.

That ending alone exhausted everyone to the point where an encore of Fetch Your Spade, the only groove-riff track from Dear Silence Thieves to have not been played yet, and a reprise of Backbite really didn't need adding, the job was done. But they did it anyway. Patlansky is a showman, a great singer, and a hell of a guitar player. He has everything, and this run of shows, the new album, and the support slot on Joe Satriani's UK tour in November should cement his place on the international blues circuit if any justice is to be done.

“ plays every song like it needs livening up, even when it doesn't ”

Setlist: Drone / Backbite / Taking Chances / Pop Collar Jockey / Your War / Hold On / Bring The World To Its Knees / Only An Ocean / Feels Like Home / Hash Palace/Bubble / Madison Lane / Daddy's Old Gun / Voodoo Child (Slight Return) // Fetch Your Spade / Backbite (Reprise)

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2015, Blues, Gigs,

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