Every once in a while, you get to experience one of those rare ‘I was there’ moments.
Dan Patlansky recently made his first visit to the North of England as part of a tour in support of the critically acclaimed Dear Silence Thieves album. Tonight it feels like the audience at Fibbers in York are a collective of those in the know or those who have heard about Dan on the grape vine. Members of the audience ask one another, “How did you discover Dan?” All were interested to know each others story.
The audience is intimate. However, whether Dan is playing to 65 people or 65,000 opening for Bruce Springsteen, it doesn’t change his professional approach to the show. There are whispers around the venue, as members of the audience compare the show tonight to Joe Bonamassa’s first visit to the UK.
Patlansky takes to the stage with a spellbinding instrumental intro simply titled “Drone”. Typically you would find an artist would close out the show with their most notable track, but not Patlansky who launched straight into “Backbite”, the track to which most of the audience were most familiar with being his latest single and instantly won over the audience.
Dan leads into some slowly building blues in the shape of “Your War” before digging deep into his back catalog with the incredible “Daddy’s Old Gun” from his 2012 album, 20 Stones. Dan’s set tonight is predominantly from his latest offering including the likes of the slide guitar monster “Pop Collar Jockey,” funky acoustic number “Feels Like Home,” and the phenomenal “Only An Ocean” during which Dan exhibits incredible control bringing the volume down to the point where you could hear a pin drop in the room.
Over the years it has become customary for guitarists to grapple with the music of Jimi Hendrix, it’s almost become a right of passage. Tonight Patlansky covered “Voodoo Chile.” However, this was not just any ordinary cover, it was a lesson in guitar mastery. There were no vocals, but it didn’t matter; Dan made his guitar sing. Exhibiting so much passion, intensity and flare in his playing it was as if he was channeling the great man himself, his eyes closed as he almost becomes one with his trusty road worn Fender Stratocaster.
The look on the faces of those present spoke volumes, they had just witnessed something very special indeed. Dan closed out the evening with the opening track from his 20 Stones album “Bring The World To It’s Knees.”
We had to see if this was just a one-off, and subsequently caught up with Dan at a last minute show at the Music Lounge in Stockton the following evening. On arrival at the venue, it appeared that familiar faces from the previous night in York were present again. Patlansky is amassing quite a following, fans traveling from far and wide to see him play and once again he delivered.
Dan Patlansky returns to the UK later in the year as a special guest to the legendary Joe Satriani. Exciting times lay ahead for the South African guitar virtuoso.