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PAT TRAVERS BAND/Dave Jackson Band
Boom Boom Club, 27 September 2012

Pat Travers, photo by Ken Hampson

Playing his first south London show for 5 years, Pat Travers doesn't look a day older than the last time round. With plenty of energy, drive and a powerhouse band to match his undiminished guitar chops, PTB rocked the house as if time had stood still in the mid 70's.

His audience also looked the part too, giving him a great welcome as the band built up a head of steam and inevitably climaxed with the call and response section of 'Boom Boom Out Got The Lights', a song given extra resonance because of the venue.

The key to Pat's durability seems to be his ability to survive changing musical fashions and to lock in with his rock solid loyal fan base that was out in force tonight. He dipped into his back catalogue for such hard rock favourites as 'Crash & Burn' and the raucous 'Snortin' Whisky & Drinking Cocaine', but he was equally at home when rocking the blues.

His new album is titled 'Blues On Fire' and it's an unlikely homage to 1920's Blues. In Pat's capable hands, the old material is dusted down, injected with a shot of venom, a coarse vocal growl and crunching riffs, as drummer Sandy Gennaro provides the pristine time keeping and relentless stick work.

As if to emphasise the fact that his take on the blues is far removed from any 'woke up this morning' clichés, he humorously shared the fact that, portentously, at least five of his blues sources went by the prefix 'Blind', as in Blind Willy McTell, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Boy Fuller, Blind Willie Johnson and Blind Arthur Blake etc.

Pat Travers, photo by Ken Hampson

Come the blues section, Pat brought fresh life into the stop-time Ray Charles classic 'Ive Got News For You' and he pleased the front row of guitar heads with a slide led 'Red House.'

He further explored some lightning twin lead guitar work with Kirk McKim on the tight as a drum 'Black Betty' - with more good time audience participation – and added some heavy boogie on 'Black Dog Blues'.

Pat's show relies heavily on dynamics and impact and he fits the bill admirably, right down to the slipstream created by the fan at the front of the stage. Given the high energy nature of the show you could just about forgive them the fact it was a short set. And by the time he took his final bow, Pat had given his all and looked like he'd gone the obligatory 15 rounds.

No real surprises then, but if you yearn for a full blown rock show that kicks your ass with passion, sweat, commitment and sterling guitar work, Pat Travers is still your man.

Early comers were treated to some high octane jammed out boogie by the excellent Dave Jackson band. Dave's brand of hypnotic boogie is crossover between the jammed out sensibilities of The Dead and the drone of early Hawkwind. As the title of his self penned anthem suggests, he's a 'Born Again Bluesman' but with a psychedelic undertow.

Review by Pete Feenstra

Photos by Ken Hampson

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