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Patto - Patto/Hold Your Fire album review

Double trouble from the 70s under achievers

Cover art for Patto - Patto/Hold Your Fire album

The glut of great bands vying for attention at the start of the 70s meant that some talented groups who did not shamelessly thrust themselves towards the limelight fell by the wayside.

Singer Mike Patto, whose voice fell somewhere between Steve Marriot and Paul Rogers, and sparkling young guitarist Ollie Halsall struck up a productive partnership that blended heavy rock with jazz and blues, characterised by Patto’s astute lyrics and Halsall’s fluid playing.

Listening back, it’s hard to understand why the band’s inventive songwriting and scope, as well as the simple but effective ‘live’ production, especially on their self-titled debut, failed to give them a commercial lift-off. But the absence of a stand-out gem left them floundering in the wake of their competitors.

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.