|Melody Maker November 25, 1972
CAUGHT IN THE ACT: PATTO
|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.
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