Pat Travers – Live At Rockpalast – Cologne – 1976 | Album Review

Pat Travers –¬†Live At Rockpalast – Cologne – 1976

M.I.G. Music


11 songs time-53:29

This CD-DVD set captures Canadian hard-rocker Pat Travers at the beginning of his career. He left his home land to set up a band in England with two Brits. He enlisted drummer Nicko Mcbrain who had recently left the Roger Chapman-Charlie Whitney (formerly of Family) fronted band Streetwalkers. Although short lived they were one of my favorite bands. Nicko joined Iron Maiden after his time with Travers. Two steps down the musical ladder, but two steps up the financial ladder. But I digress. Also on board was bassist Peter “Mars” Cowling. The band landed a contract with Polydor in London and were invited to play on the German rock showcase Rockpalast. A hard rock power trio as it was called at the time. One thing that differentiated them from heavy metal was that the lyrics were intelligible and not screamed in a harsh voice. This music has an abundance of power chords, distorted guitar solos, heavy drums and bass. The lyrics mainly concern the themes of music, his geetar, girls, love and such and are pretty much secondary to the crunching and throbbing music.

Nine of the eleven songs are band originals. “Hooked On Music” is typical and includes one of the most extended guitar solos found here. Pat’s soloing is speed freak fast and clean and crisp. The band is tight as all get out. The heavy bass playing supports the sound well along with the thrashing drums. The guys usually keep up a chugging beat. Their version of “Statesboro Blues” will make Gregg Allman turn over in his grave as it bears little resemblance to blues or blues-rock. It’s crunchified, full of guitar twiddling and noise. Little Walter’s “Boom Boom” is super charged and bares a bit more resemblance to blues-rock.

The DVD is of the same performance. You get to see Pat bopping and sweating in his state-of-the-art rock and roll vest. The rather small audience is mostly into the music. Rockpalast showcased a wide variety of rock acts in its’ day. The Europeans in general seemed to take rock music more seriously than here in the states, save for a few shows like Shindig and The Midnight Special. Rockpalast was mainly from a later era. It was well photographed and was always live.

Pat Travers fans and hard rock guitar geeks in general will find much to like here. Air guitar here we come…

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