Melody Maker November 25, 1972

by Pete Matthews

MAN TOPPED the bill at Hampstead’s Westfield College last Friday and played a great set, but for many the highlight of the evening was Patto. Back from their American tour, their act has tightened up with the inclusion of some new material by other writers, although the old craziness is still very much in evidence. They also had a guest along, sax-player Pete Davey, a nice experiment for a group that has stuck together with the same personnel for so many years.

They kicked off on the rocking "San Antone," which gave Olly Halsall a chance to flex his fingers on guitar, moved through a couple of numbers off their second album and then eased into "Dear Landlord," Patto slipping behind an electric piano and Ollie handling a surprisingly strong lead vocal before Patto started harmonising – again, something they haven’t done much in the past.

"I Got Rhythm" off the new "Roll ‘Em, Smoke ‘Em" album hit a funkier groove, the perfect lead-in for "Singing The Blues on Reds," a James Brown-flavoured opus that showed that Clive Griffiths on bass and drummer John Halsey have few equals as a totally sympathetic rhythm section.

The new "Sausages," Ollie on vocal again, preceded a fine interpretation of Randy Newman’s "The Dream I Had Last Night," Patto tinkling the keys again before he leaped up to the mike to belt out the "heavy" number – "Loud Green Song." What could follow? Why, the acappella Pattettes led by "Hernia" Halsey, who harmonised their way through "Strangers In The __ing Night" – a 5/4 musical jest – "Soley, Soley" and "Stairway of Love," interrupted by constant yodels from the audience.

The Golden Truss Award for effort beyond the call of showbiz duty may yet be theirs.


Note:  This review is for the November 17, 1972 gig at Hampstead's Westfield College.  You can probably guess what "___ing" in "Strangers in the ___ing Night" is.  It begins with an "F", and by inserting that word into each phrase of the song is how they made it 5/4.


[Return to Top of Page]