At The Cluny, Newcastle, U.K., October 7, 2013

While many of his peers seem content to plough across the nostalgia circuit rehashing the old hits without the merest hint of new material, Canadian guitarist Pat Travers has been prolific with a string of new albums keeping his catalogue growing by the year.  With his recent excellent Can Do following hot on the heels of Blues on Fire, an intriguing reworking of old 1920’s Blues standards released the previous year, Travers is far from finished.

His latest run of shows in the UK is arguably his biggest tour on these shores in some time with Travers criss-crossing the country bringing his feisty fretwork to some unusual places off the beaten Rock’n’Roll map.   Indeed following tonight’s show Travers heads to the tiny rural village of Reeth which is literally in the middle of nowhere but after last year’s storming show there it’s indelibly marked on Travers’ route planner from now on.

Pat Travers

For an hour and a half Travers delivered a well-balanced set highlighting the range of his material from right across his career.  “Rock and Roll Suzie” and the AC/DC thunder of “Heat in the Street” set the momentum for the show while the pulsating “Crash and Burn”  pulled back the reigns with its ever so cool swagger.

New material “Can Do” and the ballad “Diamond Girl” show that Travers still has the ability to pen a decent tune that can sit comfortably alongside his more well-known material.

Travers is a versatile musician with Can Do seeing a return to his classic Hard Rock sound that built him such a following in the ’70’s yet his ability to switch effortlessly to the Blues shows a talent possessed by few.

His Blues credentials were well and truly nailed to the mast on the smouldering Ray Charles cover “I Got News for You”, the boogie romp of “Statesboro Blues” and the downright dirty slide guitar sleaze of “Red House”.

The classic ballad “Stevie” was a genuine highlight of the show, particularly the wonderful harmonising between Travers and his fellow guitarist Kirk McKim and more than made up for the slight stutter during “Black Betty”.

His signature tune “Snortin’ Whiskey” is quite possibly one of the greatest guitar riffs EVER and simply roared out the amps before the crowd joined the throng for “Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights)”.

Pat Travers

Closing the show with a stonkingly Funky “Getting’ Betta” and the grimy Blues of “Black Dog Blues” left a shirtless and sweat drenched Travers beaming in delight.

Pat Travers is a rare talent and his passion and love for his craft shines through.   While seeing his show up-close and personal in a sweaty club is what Rock ‘n’Roll is all about, it is one of life’s mysteries as to why such a master craftsman is not gracing far bigger stages.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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