Tonight Cardiff is in for a treat a double helping of scintillating guitar work over two different complexions. Opening with lyric driven blues/roots Tristan MacKay with his percussive acoustic. Tristan lays down a blues riff on the guitar, melded in with folk and roots. The short set exploring Wire and Wood both the guitar and his latest critically acclaimed album. The title track was included, it being an homage to the salvation he found in his guitar during his teenage years. He is a busker that has found his vocation and the third album he promises will be really special.
Tristan and Dan are like a British Summer – the calm, warm cloudless skies with Tristan’s lyrics the clouds that always appear on the horizon. The tension rises, the humidity rises and then the violence of the power of a thunderstorm and lightning flashes of brilliance that is Dan Patlansky full of electric energy. Wow what an array of sounds the manipulation of wood and wire makes in the hands of these skillful practitioners.
Dan produced a set of full-on hefty blues-rock of the highest quality. The guitar work was breathtaking from the first note to the last, highly charged, emotional one-hundred percent full-on that excited enchanted and amazed the crowds at The Globe tonight. Everyone present was hot, the room was sweltering and the guitar and vocals made the temperature rise even higher. Tonight we were treated to an object lesson in how to manipulate the six-strings whilst maintaining the perfect shape and control for hefty blues-rock.
Opening with an instrumental Drone which builds the tension as it leads into Sonnava Faith from the superb album Introvertigo. The vocals soared above the guitar and the band adding textural contexts to the power of Dan’s lyrics. The set wasn’t all about hefty chords as Dan adds Loosen The Grip a ballad that cools the heat down and Dan’s gruff, emotionally charged vocals take centre stage with ‘Old Red’ his trusty guitar playing to the voices tune. His battered, bruised and beautiful guitar is given a rest as he moved onto the slide-dominated Heatbeat on his shiny white Strat. Dan has the capacity to squeeze every ounce of energy, emotion and power out of every single number, making the hairs on the back of your neck stand out.
Back to “Old Red” with a slow blues number the music shows that there is nothing introverted about Introvertigo. Stop The Messin’ is superb, no wonder it is having lots of radio play on Planet Rock, and then as the set reaches its climax we dip into Dear Silence Thieves with Backbite and Fetch Your Spade. Dan is delighted that we have turned out to hear his music thanking us, the appreciation is all from us. Completing the set My Channa, those who are seeing Dan live for the first time had no idea what guitar antics they were in for. Dan manipulates every part of the guitar; his fingers explore every part his right-hand dancing up and down the frets in a complex choreographic amazing ballet. Whilst, his left-hand was an acrobatic display then, the left and right joined together high on a fret in a gavotte of modern rock. There was more to come visually absorbing and tonally charged Dan was in control as the set closed with one finger holding the guitar high, but not as loud and high as the applause and cheers of an audience that wanted more. The encore of two more amazing numbers closed a night where Dan turned guitar playing into a pure art-form.
Tonight was launch night and a chance to hear Dan Patlansky playing live in London before his mini UK tour, at The Borderline, London a new venue for Bluesdoodles. First though we must not neglect the charismatic acoustic performance of Tristan MacKay, a performance juxtaposed to the rocked up blues to follow. This was an opportunity for Tristan to give us an insight into his current albumWire and Wood. The chatter quietened as Tristan picked up and struck his acoustic guitar and the evening’s live music began with You Win Again, with the lines “…love is a game, only the foolish play…” – and just like quiet at a gig is a wistful dream no wonder Dan Patlansky’s album was calledDear Silence Thieves! This short opening set Tristan used effectively chatting with the audience about his motivation and inspiration for his lyric driven modern acoustic blues and the music certainly sold the album as one that will be at the top of the blues charts for a while. We heard Million Little Things – about those things you shouldn’t love about a partner featuring his skills as guitarist and the wonderful use of the percussive sound that can be created using the wood of the guitar combined with his vocals and stage presence this was a great warmer for the act to come as the last notes of Lullaby For Layla faded away. The anticipation was now high as the crowds continued to file down the stairs and find a space in the crowd in front of the stage.
Opening with Drone, the sound that his guitar makes is full of fizz, clarity of notes there is nothing drone-like about his playing that from the off was mesmerizing and as the evening progressed it was a demonstration of blues infused rock guitar playing as he used every part of the his Stratocaster to shape, bend and move the notes to a different sphere Dan Patlansky hits the borderline running.
Tonight though was about the launch of Dear Silence Thieves in the U.K. so the set list was dominated by the tracks from this fantastic studio produced album. Dan THE a guitarist, proved he is one who can produce the goods live as well, making the sound full of the emotional charge gained from performing in front of a crowd under the hot lights the band were steaming. Backbite that many will of heard courtesy of YouTube, was the first to be given the live treatment and the volume went up and the guitar licks bite you between the ears, yes there were hooks for the lyrics that Dan’s gruff vocals to create a whole sound. It was the guitar that was king as he made those strings dance to his tune this was blues foiled with boulders of rock that gave them that heavy feel that lingered on the air and gave the rhythm section the space to reinforce the depth of the sound Dan can create with his six strings and a few pedals.
Dan introduced Pop Collared Jockey and the interaction between the stage and the crowd was assured as he told the background to this track, but it was Dan who showed us the real depth of this dirty blues track that starts off with its sweet opening riff luring you into the edgy lyrics as the guitar gets dirty and moody, augmented by a simple but effective rhythm section that added to the texture and tone of this almost acoustic style that is in fact electric rock/blues. That then opens up to full on electric with a driving riff. This clever manipulation of tempo and volume is a trademark of Dan who uses it effectively on a number of his self-penned tracks tonight. We had slow blues, wild blues, rock and an acoustic Feels Like Home giving the boys a chance for a breather; and clever blues on Only An Ocean which was first recorded in 2006 but fits snuggly in this album, the guitar creates the movement of the ocean the ever-changing currents, swell and mood sometimes benign others full of stormy anger. The tonal shapes and colours were created by turning the guitar volume down to a whisper the tide has receded, the volume goes up and up the ocean returns with a discordant howl almost like a the song of a Whale , the guitar and rhythm section pick up the pace and the ocean is back in all its glory.
The solid rhythm section provided the rock upon which Dan could let everyone know just what he is capable of with his Stratocaster in his hands. This was further underlined with a display of guitar fireworks on his take on Voodoo Chile that Jimi Hendrix would have sat back and admired, playing with one hand no hands and the guitar at arm’s reach this was a showman in action we wanted more and he obliged with a two-track encore finishing with a reprise of Backbite. Everyone here tonight were definitely bitten by the guitar and vocal talent that is Dan Patlansky, a guitarist that eats his guitar and spits it back out and one not to be missed.
The only minor dampener on the evening was that the “Silence Thieves” who the album launch was all about were all around the borderline tonight.
2. Backbite *
3. Taking Chances *
4. Pop Collar Jockey *
5. Your War *
6. Hold On *
7. Only An Ocean *
8. Feels Like Home *
9. Hash Place / Bubble
10. Madison Lane *
11. Voodoo Chile
YORK, FIBBERS – THURSDAY 30thAPRIL 2015 Tickets: £13.20 / 24 Hour Box Office: 0844 478 0898 Book Online: thegigcartel.com Address: 3 Toft Green, York YO1 6JT
STOCKTON MUSIC LOUNGE – Friday 1st May Tickets are £3 in advance plus booking fee or £5 on the door
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21-d Yarm Lane, Stockon-on-Tees, TS18 3DR
GJ’S – WANDSWORTH – Sunday 3rd Mayrd May Charity Event for Save the Rhinos
All tickets: £10 (£4 goes towards the Save The Rhinos charity)
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Book tickets online from: www.braai365.com
89 Garratt Lane, Wandsworth, South London, SW18 4DW
PORTSMOUTH, THE CELLARS – MONDAY 4th MAY 2015 Tickets: £13.00 Book Online: musicglue.com Address: 56 Cromwell Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, PO4 9PN
BRISTOL, THUNDERBOLT – WEDNESDAY 6th MAY 2015 Tickets: £8.75 Book Online: bristolticketshop.co.uk Address: 124 Bath Road, Bristol, Avon, BS4 3ED
POOLE, MR KYPS – THURSDAY 7th MAY 2015 DOUBLE HEADLINE SHOW WITH LAURENCE JONES Tickets: £5.00 / Box Office: 01202 748 945 Book Online: mrkyps.net Address: 8a Parr Street, Poole, Dorset, BH14 0JY
Joe Satriani November 2015 UK Tour – with special guest Dan Patlansky
Manchester o2 Apollo Sunday November 1
Birmingham Symphony Hall Monday November 2
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall Tuesday November 3
Sheffield City Hall Wednesday November 4
Cardiff St. David’s Hall Thursday November 5
Southend Cliffs Pavilion Saturday November 7
Bristol Colston Hall Sunday November 8
Portsmouth Guildhall Monday November 9
London Eventim Hammersmith Apollo Tuesday November 10
Tristan Mackay’s second album Wire and Wood builds on the success that this talented, charismatic singer song writer has been achieving since in 2010 when he was discovered busking by Grammy award-winning producer Martin Leavan. Since that life-changing day he has gathered around him friends in the music industry and a phalanx of fans ensuring that when crowd funding for this album he raised twelve thousand pounds in two weeks.
Wire and Wood the title shows how the guitar is an extension of his soul, the instrument is part of his body, and he uses it as the instrument to emotionally support and enhance is melodic tenor vocals.
He has been compared to Mark Knopfler, John Myer and Jeff Buckley, the reality is this is a young independent man who is ploughing his own style and it is a furrow that you will want to follow. Every track on the album is powerful, not in a loud way but as a message that fits many a mood and is a gentle tonic to the trouble, stressed or worried mind. The title track Wire and Wood is about a battered loved, and cherished acoustic guitar and like many tracks on the album can be heard whenever you get out and see entertaining soft spoke Tristan live. Black Sheep has a cheeky guitar intro, we all have been naughty at times but it is Tristan who can encapsulate falling off the family tree into a melodic song full of gentleness and that honesty gained from acknowledging what we have all done in the past.
Ending the album with Lullaby For Layla, is perfect with its gentle goodnight in this soothing song encapsulating in under two minutes that raw emotion of overwhelming love that he has for his new born daughter.
My favourite track is A Kind of Blue, with its jazz undertones thanks to brushing up the jazz on the drums and an intimate atmosphere is created so that you feel he is singing just for you. This is the track that you just want to sit back, take a sip of a drink and let the sound which is dipped in musical honey sooth the stresses of the day away.
Tristan is a wordsmith, the lyrics are poetry in their own right the guitar accompaniment adds that living dimension like a river flowing through your veins so that you really connect to this true singer/songwriter who crosses the spectrum of music the bottom line is it is very, very good and speaks to you on very many levels.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD NINE doodle paws out of TEN ….
You Win Again
I’ll Be Your’s Tonight
If I Told You
Wire & Wood
The Wine & Me
A Kind Of Blue
Two Of A Kind
This Old Heart
Lullaby For Layla
<a href=”http://www.komedia.co.uk/bath”>Komedia, Bath is a new venue for Bluesdoodles, and the theatre that at one time was a cinema was very majestic, the only tiny gripe was it was all seater, and as the seats downstairs had been carefully placed there could have been a standing area for the audience members who would prefer to stand. Opening the evening Tristan MacKay, a talented young solo acoustic artist who delivered a series of self-penned numbers that like many singer/songwriters straddle blues/folk. Tristan played an excellent set, delivered with aplomb and using his melodic voice to good effect, despite the level of noise from the audience arriving to see the main act of the evening. His banter between songs was good so we all got to know this young man a little bit better; including that Tristan was hailed from Devon and started his musical career busking in the small town of Tiverton, moving on to Leeds – larger but definitely colder! This combination of an easy, friendly manner with great guitar playing and singing at times reminded me of Marcus Bonfanti, which is no mean feat. Tristan has one CD under his belt and a second due to be recorded very soon on his label ‘Battered Hat Records‘; appropriately named as a battered hat is worn by Tristan on stage. Tristan though has a clever trick up his sleeve which he used with a light touch the use of the loop to bring additional layers of sound and at times deeper or different tone to the rendition as demonstrated on ‘Wire and Wood‘, adding a percussive timbre to this great song. The all too short set was mainly his own compositions, his cover of John Mayer’s ‘Gravity’ was not the first song you would associate with an acoustic act, but once again with the clever use of loop pedal, he achieved 3 or even 4 layers of sound. Tristan finished the all too short set, with a personal song ‘Lullaby for Layla‘ composed for his soon to be expected baby daughter; a beautiful song for what is a precious experience for this young man. The set was entertaining, inventive and the use of acoustic and electric guitars, depending on the song made this an impressive and popular with the audience support for the much-anticipated Robben Ford following after a short break.
Robben Ford Band, a four piece, opened up with a funky number, ‘Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky‘, with Robben producing his trademark stunning tone from his Gibson 335. With immaculate timing and note perfection, combined with sublime accompaniment provided by a trio consisting of Rich Peterson, Keys, Tony Moore, Drums, and Brian Allen, Double Bass. It is the pure strength and talent of these three musicians that provides Robben with real freedom to sell his wares and boy can he play his guitar, with a unique blending of precision and passion. Tonight’s show was an opportunity to showcase his latest album, Bringing It Back Home, including, ‘Birds Nest Bound‘ written by Big Joe Williams which is a slower tempo classic blues and, as they all play a solo piece, there is a jam feel demonstrating that the band really knows how to listen to each other; and ‘Oh, Virginia” the only Ford authored tune on the album is a pretty romantic ballad delivered in a laid-back soulful way; with the emotional line, ‘ hard times hunger on’ with the band in perfect balance, creating layers of scintillating harmonies, with the growl of the bass, mellow chords from the organ, crisp sharp drumming and then the crowning glory Robben’s faultless guitar and voice that blends the emotion of the song and the instruments together. The show is an evening of changing tempo’s and origins, making every track delivered interesting and keeping the audience really engaged. The sounds produced were very modern, funky blues with a generous twist of jazz, the guitar licks were delightful, including subtle changes that were mellow and so relaxing, the breaks were never too long and always relevant to the song and the other musicians came in on the beat every-time. Robben started the gig off on a high note and the playing just got better and better as he and the band relaxed and played themselves into the zone; one of the highlights had to be his rendition of a traditional gospel tune which as he told us, we recorded it and called it ‘On That Morning‘, yes in this instrumental the guitar dominated, not in an aggressive way but through the purity of sound produced with the interlude of drum and bass, then Rich on keys joined in it was simply beautiful music, which was as sweet as a nut, pure pleasure, which was reflected in the warm applause, and amidst all this Robben quietly re-tuned his guitar and carried on no dramatics, no techie to assist, no this was professional musicianship and stage craft at the top of the tree. Robben’s, nephew Gabriel is a songwriter and drummer for Little Feat, wrote ‘Too Much‘ from the CD Truth and this saw a change of guitar as the Gibson SG was bought into action, providing a harsher edge to the sound which suited the track perfectly. This was a long set with no break for Robben who was upfront playing his heart out; then from Supernatural, ‘Nothing and Nobody’ written in collaboration with Mick MacDonald, the whole band was on stage; and then Robben left the stage and the trio remaining played on; then Rich left and the keys fell silent and a drum and bass duet was played, demonstrating the strength of the rhythm section without doubt the heartbeat of the Robben Ford sound; and then Brian left leaving the stage to the sole domain of Tony Moore, who produced a a drum solo that was full of finesse, no crash bang wallop solo but one rising to a crescendo of absolute drumming power… wow what an interlude; and then the rest of the band came back on picked up the beat and carried on playing!
The whole gig was a jewel box of shining gems, every note was played and showcased to deliver the ethos of the songs, wow, this is going to be one of the gigs of 2013, an encore was demanded and they obliged with ‘Fool’s Paradise”, then all too soon it was the end, like me I am sure many in the audience wanted the music to go on and on.