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Friday, March 18, 2022

Live Review: The Pat McManus Band, KK Steel Mill, 17th March 2022


Brings it home on St. Patrick's Day

KK's Steel Mill, Wolverhampton, UK/ 17 March 2022

On St. Patricks Day, 2022, KK's Steel Mill had a lil' bit o' Irish in 'em. The intimate, relaxed bar stage was the ideal place for the Mama's Boy as he joined the party for an electric gig that made everyone in the room cheer, drink and party in true Irish style. This was the perfect venue, the perfect band to do the Irish people's day justice.

Pat McManus is a veteran of the guitar. He has chops others only dream of and three piece set-up has always suited him best. Many of a certain age will remember Pat from The Mama's Boys. A sadly under-rated band from the Emerald Isle. It would've been easy for Pat to play the old MB songs (he did play the classic "Needle in the Groove" though of course!) and have an easy ride. 

That isn't his style though. With his bandmates Paul Faloon (Drums) and Plunkett McComb (Bass and Vocals) he ripped through a varied set of blues standards, rock songs, Bonamassa - style modern blues (like "Stone Cold Sober"), rock, instrumental and Irish music. There is sooo much talent in that man's fingers! His playing is fluid, clean and never over-fussy and his sense of rythm is perfectly matched by this band. They were tight and infectious in their energy and joy of the music they were performing.

At times, he is a traditional blues player such as on "Crossroads", other times a modern blues player ("Doomsday Clock") in the style of the late Gary Moore (a fellow Irishman) as well as a straight ahead rocker and traditional Celtic musician (even picking up the fiddle of a mesmering "Fairae Jig").

He easily moved from style to style as he charmed the audience, smiling all the time and got the audience in a party mood and singing away, especially on the cover songs. When he played instrumental guitar, however, the crowd watched those accomplished hands do magic. It was a brave man to cover "Parisienne Walkways" on St Paddy's but on the whole he did a great job. I counted the trademark feedback-harmonic stretching 30seconds. In a small venue - very cool!

Rounding off the evening, what else should he play but "Black Rose" and, in a fitting reminder of the world outside, the audience finished the night singing Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World".

Tonight, The Pat McManus band made Ireland proud. Nicely done, boys. CAG & AS.

Pat McManus website

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