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Pat Travers - 'Live At Rockpalast - Cologne 1976' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     January 11, 2018    
 
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It might be old but I haven't heard better this year.

There was a time, a few decades ago, that rarely a year went by without Pat Travers touring the UK and appearing at Reading Festival. Virtually any UK Rock fan knew of Travers in the late seventies and early eighties, but as Blues got overtaken by the Hair and Glam Metal of the mid-eighties, Travers returned to the US, only to visit occasionally.

When 'Live At Rockplast – Cologne 1976' dropped into my inbox it was like meeting an old friend. I must confess it has been so long since I last listened to Travers that I only remembered 'Boom Boom' and 'Rock And Roll Susie', but by the time I'd got to fourth track in, 'Feelin' Right', the big question on my mind was why is Travers now not one of the stadium-filling royalties of Rock? His guitar playing is superlative, Bluesy, groovy and choppy; just listen to the noodling and chops on 'Need Love' or the Rocking Blues riffs on 'You Don't Love Me'.

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The production seems very sparse to today's ears, but you can hear every nuance of this three-piece (which includes drummer Nicko McBrain pre-Iron Maiden and fellow Brit Peter Cowling) and once your ears adapt to the pared down production, the power of this trio reveals itself as remarkable with the likes of 'Medley 1 & 2' simply oozing out of the speakers. The aforementioned '...Boom' and '...Susie' are on here but this performance was from 1976 and thus before (probably) his most famous song – 'Snortin' Whisky' from the 1980 'Crash & Burn' album.

If you remember Pat Travers from "back in the day" then this album (with DVD) is an absolute must. As for those who have never heard of, or only vaguely familiar with him (especially if you play guitar), do yourselves a favour – listen and learn (and don't be put off by the cover photo that looks a lot like Spinal Tap's Nigel Tufnel). It might be old but I haven't heard better this year*.

Helen Bradley Owers

(*this review is from Fireworks Magazine #79)

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