King King with special guest Dan Patlansky
Thursday 19th May 2016
The Hawth Theatre, Crawley, West Sussex, United Kingdom
This show was the number six date of an 8- date UK for May 2016 which saw British blues rock titans King King headline a series of medium-sized venues up and down the United Kingdom including the main room at the O2 ABC Glasgow, Scotland.
However, this tour included a very special guest in the form of South African blues-rock guitarist Dan Patlansky whose live CV boasts support slots for ‘The Boss’ Bruce Springsteen in his homeland and highly skilled guitar shredder Joe Satriani who he opened for as part of the 2015 European Shockwave Tour. With new studio album ‘IntroVertigo’ just released, Patlansky had the perfect opportunity to showcase not only his new material but also his electric guitar mastery on reserved Crawley audience.
Walking onto applause, Patlansky was accompanied by a three-piece electric band which featured long-term bandmates Clint Falconer (bass) and Andy Maritz (drums) and a new addition of Dean Barrett (keyboards) and they went straight into instrumental opener ‘My Chana’ with such precision.
When Dan released his 2015 album ‘Dear Silence Thieves’ it was clear that he was a talented songwriter with the catchy ‘Backbite’ (which when I first heard it I thought he was singing ‘Oh my black Betty’s gonna save us all!’ and the beautiful ‘Hold On’ amongst the highlights.
At times Patlansky’s guitar had a buzzy tone but the band kept a real groove going into new track ‘Heartbeat’ and the audience were not expecting him to play a solo on the fret of the guitar but then he has always been full of surprises and curveballs when it comes to live shows.
It is important to note that Maritz and Barrett provided vocals alongside Dan which helped produce a clear sound especially during the rich organ sound. ‘Stop The Messin’ is a co-write with Falconer and is sure to be a radio favourite with the likes of Planet Rock due to the punchy and full on approach.
‘Fetch Your Spade’ sounded different to the previous versions due to the keyboard as it allowed the song to become a bit more three-dimensional in terms of delivery. ‘Run’ hits your ears like a freight train but I feel that Patlansky is vocally harsh on this song and if he is not careful it could affect his voice in the future.
Closing with ‘Backbite’ it was clear that over time it has become a funkier tune as he named all the band and gave them all a solo spot. ‘Quite right too’ I thought. He held the guitar like a gun in a very Wilko Johnson like fashion as he played the iconic Big Ben chime to the crowd.
In summary, Patlansky has a great team with him and a substantial collection of songs in his arsenal. Although he held his own and was a very sensible choice for this tour I think that his time in stadiums and arenas has meant that he feels that he has to be on the verge of shouting when it comes to vocal delivery. That isn’t always required though especially in a venue like The Hawth. Please understand that this is not so much a criticism but rather a bit of friendly advice regarding the maintenance of his voice.
He met fans after the set at the merchandise desk and was charming and friendly throughout. This is the start of his rise in the industry and it shows no signs of stopping.
Dan Patlansky’s new studio album ‘IntroVertigo’ is out now. For more information visit his official website here: http://bit.ly/1rr37TA
You can read our 20 Questions with Dan Patlansky here: http://bit.ly/1lHfXd5
You can also read our review of his new album ‘IntroVertigo’ here: http://bit.ly/1rNIjGB
After the interval the houselights went down, the King King banner was ready and the PA started to pipe out the rock classic ‘Alright Now’ by Free (an act that King King have been compared to in the past).
Arriving to cheers, the band took up their positions with lead vocalist and guitarist Alan Nimmo wearing his trademark red kilt and bassist Lindsay Coulson donning his usual sunglasses. Opening with ‘Lose Control’ from a previous album it was clear that Crawley was in for one hell of a musical ride.
Nimmo explained that they had played the venue a few years before when they were the special guests on John Mayall’s UK tour. It was that tour which helped not only put the band on the live blues map but also increased their UK fanbase. Bob Fridzema’s Hammond organ blends well with Wayne Proctor’s solid drums.
Nimmo made sure that he thanked Patlansky for joining them on tour as the crowd applauded. They then went into my favourite track ‘Waking Up’ which is taken from their third studio album ‘Reaching For The Light’ which is out now on Manhaton Records. The audience enthusiastically clapped along as Alan’s guitar cried out like a soaring bird.
The subtle keyboard intro on ‘Rush Hour’ was pleasant and allowed us to hear the smooth lead vocal as Fridzema switched to organ halfway through and he has such a great sense of tone.
A set highlight was without a doubt ‘A Long History of Love’ as the track is oozing with emotion and feeling and King King just ease into it and approach it like meeting an old friend; a complete loving and caring embrace. There was not a dry eye in the theatre after that triumph.
‘You Stopped The Rain’ was dedicated to anyone who had suffered because of cancer and it was a subject close to Alan as his older brother had a scare a couple of years back.
Halfway through the set, Alan explained to the crowd about his love of Frankie Miller and the band treated us to Miller’s ‘Jealousy’ which is a popular live track amongst the British blues community. He then explained that because of the intensive touring he needed to have vocal surgery in the summer. The audience were quite shocked by this but were on hand to provide a standing ovation after the song.
One of the recent singles from the new album was ‘Crazy’ which was dedicated to their sound engineer . Bob then was in Nimmo’s words ‘Unleashed’ and took off on a rip-roaring and fluid organ solo. Pure class.
‘Stranger To Love’ saw Nimmo play the guitar quietly in a silent venue before increasing the volume and when he sang without amplification everyone jumped on their feet.
Returning for the encore, it was clear that a fun evening was had by all and the crowd was huge when the band met fans afterwards for photographs and autographs. As we said our goodbyes to the band, dad told Alan in a friendly ‘way to look after his voice’ and he simply nodded in agreement.
Overall, it was an incredibly good value for money show with two performers of such high quality on the bill and on the success of this tour ,I have a feeling that we will see a lot more of this blues rock package tours hit our shores throughout 2016. Here’s hoping anyway…
King King’s new album ‘Reaching For The Light’ is out now on Manhaton Records. For more information visit their official website here: http://bit.ly/1TW0aHi
You can read our 20 Questions With King King here: http://bit.ly/1ZUGRkD
(All photos are credited to Laurence Harvey at Harvs Photos. Many thanks to Pete Sargeant, King King, Dan Patlansky and both Peter Noble and Dom Athanassiou at Noble PR for all of their help with this review.)