Melody Maker, May 12, 1973

by David Rudland

Last Sunday's performance by Mike Patto and several of his friends, at the Torrington, North Finchley, proved to be more than a modest epitaph for his band now sadly disbanded.

Mike Patto was joined by Bernie Holland (ex Patto, lead guitar), Clive Griffiths (ex Patto, bass), John Halsey (ex Patto, drums), Boz (ex Crimso, bass), Mel Collins (ex Crimso, reeds), Ian Wallace (ex Crimso, drums), Andy Gee (Ellis, lead guitar), Zoot Money (Ellis, keyboards), Eddie McHenry (drums), Tim Hinkley (ex Vinegar Joe, keyboards) and Marc Charig (cornet).

This veritable Who's Who of British rock musicians succeeded in dispelling several myths.  Firstly they proved that accomplished rock musicians can busk with some astounding results a an accolade normally reserved for the jazz fraternity and, secondly, that a dozen well amplified rock musicians, playing in a small room, can get an audience jumping without totally destroying the membranes of the inner ear.

The presence of three drummers was musically unnecessary but they certainly enhanced the spectacle which, if well promoted, could have filled the Empire Pool, Wembley.

It was also a treat to hear Marc Charig who would undoubtedly gain a great deal more public acclaim if he devoted more time to this type of music, rather than engaging in the constant struggle to pursue his avant garde jazz calling (though I'm not so sure it's avant garde any more).

It is a great relief to hear, albeit on rare occasions, that among the morass of bands currently purveying instrumental and vocal monotony and cacophony, there is still a nucleus of musicians who haven't lost sight of one important criterion for playing publicly   entertaining the public. DAVID RUDLAND

Note: Review is for the May 6, 1973 (Sun) gig at the Torrington in Finchley, London.  Ollie Halsall did not participate.  Probably more appropriately dubbed a Dick and the Fireman gig than a farewell Patto gig.


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