Dan Patlansky With Special Guest Ash Wilson

Tuesday 2nd May 2017

O2 Academy 2 Islington, Islington, London, United Kingdom 

Richard Bolwell

If you enjoy listening to guitar soaked blues rock and were in London on a mild spring evening in May than this headline show by South African axeman Dan Patlansky with Lincolnshire’s Ash Wilson as special guest must have been tempting.

This evening at O2 Academy 2 Islington (upper room) was completely sold out as both acts have a growing following both in the UK and abroad. Ash Wilson’s set used a different rhythm section from his recently released album ‘Broken Machine’ and gave a slightly different slant to his material. The trio format meant that Wilson had to work a tad harder to put his songs over. Mixing tough songs with more reflective numbers showed reasonable range. His singing is clear but at times has a nasal timbre and he balances this with guitar work that blends crisp chords with vibrant solo passages.

The sometimes over forceful drumming effected the subtlety of delivery and provided with an aggressive element. ‘Peace & Love’ featured a solid bass line as the sound from his Fender Telecaster reminded me of material by British blues outfit The Hoax. In fact, one suspects that the latter band were a huge influence on the young Ash Wilson. Therefore, it is not surprising that Hoax guitarist Jesse Davey features on his new record.

As Wilson’s dad watched proudly from the merchandise stand, his funky guitar on ‘Out Of Time’ was more in the vein of the legendary Nile Rodgers of Chic than say Stevie Ray Vaughan as he proclaimed “You can dance to this one!”

It is important to note that Ash does like playing that American West Coast guitar style which the guitarists guitarist Robin Trower plays with such ease.  A well-executed set that showcased both Wilson’s musical and songwriting skills to a packed crowd of music loving punters.

After a short change over, Dan Patlansky walked onstage with his three-piece German band (Felix Dehmel (drums), Jonathan Murphy (bass) and Tom Gatza (keyboards) as the crowd gave them a warm welcome.   Instrumental opener ‘Drone’ set the scene as his well-drilled riffs flew out of his guitar with strong precision. His set list of thirteen songs was a healthy mixture from both his latest release ‘Introvertigo’ and his extensive back catalogue.

“Time for some old school blues!” Dan shouted before breaking out into a Jimmy Reed cut. The keyboard solo had an extremely churchy vibe which complimented his concentrated notes from his trusty battered 1962 Fender Stratocaster.

‘Heartbeat’ was not about the classic 1960s ITV police drama series but rather an energetic guitar romp that was technically flawless but compared to the summery beast of a track ‘Bet On Me’ lacked punch.   It was frustrating that during Patlansky’s journey into ‘slow blues’ some members of the audience felt  that now was the perfect time to chat about their attire for the evening (especially the man wearing the feathery black top hat who spoke loudly about his headgear at length. He looked like he had come from a Morris dancing festival sponsored by Iron Maiden!)

I am unsure about what effects and pedals Patlansky uses but at times his sound was extremely Hendrixy. I wonder if he has ever used any gadgets made by the great Roger Mayer? If he hasn’t, then I think he would definitely be in for a treat!

‘Backbite’ is a live favourite which confirmed in its opening chords that this London venue was on his side. The band was fluid and consistent as they took turns soloing and whilst the overall sound was powerfully delivered I would’ve liked to have heard a more acoustic side to this South-African export. The reason for this is that Dan Patlansky has performed sold-out acoustic shows in his native country and the balance of this with his signature heavy blues rock could’ve provided an evening of light and shade material.

In conclusion, a loud evening for fans of this genre unlikely to convert the merely curious. But for the already converted, this show was just what they wanted; a passionate live guitar adventure.

Glenn Sargeant


Ash Wilson
Ash Wilson
Dan Patlansky
Dan Patlansky
Dan Patlansky

Feature Image Credit: Richard Bolwell

Photo Credits: Richard Bolwell and Laurence Harvey 

Dan Patlansky’s new studio album ‘Introvertigo’ is out now. 

You can read our full review of ‘Introvertigo’ here: http://bit.ly/1rNIjGB

For more information visit his official website here: http://bit.ly/1rr37TA

Ash Wilson’s new studio album ‘Broken Machine’ is out now. 

Read more about Ash Wilson here: http://bit.ly/2jpDbox

For more information visit Ash Wilson’s website here: http://bit.ly/2iNyO5Z

Dan Patlansky