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Does anyone know anything abotu this 70s British rock outfit? I heard a song called "The Man" on WFMU and it was pretty awesome -- sounded almost like if Plastic Ono Band had had Bill Bruford on drums instead of Ringo.

Is there other stuff as good? Worth getting any of their albums?

Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Saturday, 21 January 2006 15:03 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The song can be heard here (also featuring an Endless Boogie live set -- I was not blown away by it, but whatever):

Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Saturday, 21 January 2006 15:16 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I reckon that's their best song by a distance. great it is, though.

Dark Horse, Saturday, 21 January 2006 16:57 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Rick Neilsen of Cheap Trick is a big fan of these guys, he mentioned them in an interview and I was like "who?". My friend who has every rock LP ever made knows em and likes 'em. I'm guessing they sound something like Family? Never heard em' though.

Got a feeling Scott Seward and Geo the Animale Steele can help.

m coleman (lovebug starski), Saturday, 21 January 2006 17:06 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Two of them were Rutles- Barry Wom and Leppo!

Redd Harvest (Ken L), Saturday, 21 January 2006 18:01 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

And one of them that was in The Rutles was also in Gary Glitter's band later on and nicked a guitar off him. And was doing tapping before VAn Halen or them others.

Raw Patrick (Raw Patrick), Saturday, 21 January 2006 18:17 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

They were a interesting combo of a pub and prog rock band. Started life as a more conventional but interesting pop band with some light psych touches called Timebox. They've got one song on Nuggets II, I think, but the Timebox comp is worth checking out. The lead guitar player Peter "Ollie" Halsall started out as a drummer and then became a vibes player (he practiced with beaters and strips of paper laid out across his bed before his parents bought him a proper vibraphone). Started playing guitar at the end of Timebox/ beginning of Patto- was one of the first guys to do really fast hammer-ons and pull-offs, if not full-on tapping.

Tough to get a handle in their discography, the third and final spotty but occasionally brilliant studio album (contaning Nick of Bevis Frond's favorite guitar solo ever) used to be easily available, I bought some online only live thing once and found a used copy of the first album at R0ck!t Scientist once but of course the second one is supposed to be the one to get.

Ollie and "leather-lunged" Mike Patto are both dead, bassist Clive, if he is still alive lost his memory in a horrible car crash, and drummer John Halsey has an unbendably reset broken leg (the opposite of Les Paul, sort of) from the same accident, I think, and runs a pub in Oxford or Cambridge where he is known to play the odd Rutle tune now and then.


Redd Harvest (Ken L), Saturday, 21 January 2006 18:25 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Don't get Patto expecting anything like the Rutles or van Halenism. Ollie Halsall, the guitarist of whom spoken, was a whizz-bang but Patto isn't chockablock full of or about shredded guitar parts.

You could characterize them as a difficult hard rock band with a great vocalist, Mike Patto. It was by parts creepy and wry, very English, not particularly catchy. But they did gripping really well, usually in protest songs that sometimes come off as odd torch numbers. The first album, self-titled, is excellent and contains a few of them -- "Money Bag" and "Government Man." Also a song about, I think, the tubes of an amplifier getting hot -- "Warm Red Glow" -- when the band plays loud. Second album continues in primarily the same vein with "You, You Point Your Finger." Turn the stuff up load and it rocks but doesn't sound much like things with which most people are familiar.

Sense of the Absurd is a CD colllection that combines the entirety of the first two records and some live material. It is an excellent capture of the band.

Rick N. of Cheap Trick liked them, particularly the number called "Green Song" on their third LP. That particular number is short, rampaging early heavy metal. But the album isn't defined by it at all, containing bizarre comedy bits and frankly weird tunes, one of which is sung and acted out by the drummer, John Halsey, if I remember. Fans of Frank Zappa would find much to like in it.

Upthread, Family was an apt citation. Patto doesn't sound like Family but they are in that difficult and very uniquely English style of blocky and quirky hard rock, much like the later Streetwalkers, who were also members of Family, and Boxer, who were Patto continued.

George the Animal Steele, Saturday, 21 January 2006 18:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, Ollie plays keyboards instead of guitar on maybe half of the songs on that album, not counting the a capella novelties!

Redd Harvest (Ken L), Saturday, 21 January 2006 19:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

And yeah, "Loud Green Song" is the one with the guitar player's guitar playing. My favorite song on that album, if it's not that one, is an R'n'B style number called "Turn Turtle."

I spent some time checking out Neil Innes and Kevin Ayers solo records looking for more of that Ollie Halsall magic, but most of the time you can hardly tell it's him playing.

Redd Harvest (Ken L), Saturday, 21 January 2006 20:13 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

For full info, any Ollie-freaks should visit:

Barry Monks, Thursday, 26 January 2006 00:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"Loud Green Song" is indeed quite insane (Nick 'Bevis Frond' Saloman's favourite gtr solo) and worth (soul-)seeking out. Or I could make a fumbling first attempt at a YSI if anyone demanded.
Weird band all-around, Patto was.

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Thursday, 26 January 2006 20:11 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Obviously it's funny that Hurting mentions Ringo in his first post since John Halsey as Barry Wom WAS Ringo in the Rutles. I always thought his playing was the best ever Ringo imitation because, while most guys who try to "play like Ringo" just sort of dumb it down, he somehow played with his own set of chops while thinking like Ringo.

Redd Harvest (Ken L), Thursday, 26 January 2006 20:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Brian Turner, it's all your fault.

hstencil (hstencil), Thursday, 26 January 2006 20:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I blame Gaylord

Redd Harvest (Ken L), Thursday, 26 January 2006 21:15 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I bought Hold Your Fire on some Italian CD reissue a couple of years ago. Pretty great stuff - a bit like a British Bob Seger System.

o. nate (onate), Thursday, 26 January 2006 21:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Russell (Russell), Thursday, 26 January 2006 22:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Ollie Halsall gets to do some extended solo-ing on Kevin Ayers "Blue", from Yes We Have No Mananas, and I've got a BBC Radio One "In Concert" show on cassette from the same period, in which he features heavily; Andy Summers and Zoot Money were in the same line-up at the time.

There was a right old ruckus in the UK music press about the cover of a Patto album, which had a Naked Lady on it... I think the record company ended up sticking a boxing glove over her front bottom, for decency's sake??? Very different times!

mike t-diva (mike t-diva), Friday, 27 January 2006 12:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

That's actually Boxer you're speaking of, Mike. But Patto himself was indeed their singer, so close enough.

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Friday, 27 January 2006 14:15 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Here it is:

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Friday, 27 January 2006 14:20 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Zoot Money tells some story of having to lend a guitar-less Ollie a guitar with a warped neck for a gig and watching him bend all the notes back into tune.

I was wondering when we would get to the Boxer cover.

I blame Listener Deejay Jorel.

Redd Harvest (Ken L), Friday, 27 January 2006 14:32 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Pretty great stuff - a bit like a British Bob Seger System.

Actually I went back and listened to Bob Seger System last night and I don't really hear this any more. I'm not sure what I was trying to say.

o. nate (onate), Friday, 27 January 2006 16:02 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Rats, Boxer! I am old and forgetful.

mike t-diva (mike t-diva), Friday, 27 January 2006 16:50 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

long, long blog post about patto and ollie halsall on sonicpollutions:

has a video clip and timebox record. i suppose i need to actually hear some patto albums now, eh?

baby, disco is fuck (yournullfame), Saturday, 4 February 2006 06:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...
I just got the self-titled album. On first listen it's indeed hard to get as excited about anything else on the album as "The Man" -- plenty of competently played blues/riff rock with jazz chords thrown in but only that one track really sings. I like Government Man and Sittin' Back easy. Money bag is a good exercise in proggy jazz-rock guitar playing and definitely impressive -- sounds almost like it could be from a Mike Stern or Larry Coryell album or something, but overall the lead guitar playing on this album defines wanky.

Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Monday, 27 February 2006 18:19 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

three months pass...
Ohh... Patto!
I've got all their Lps and a bootleg of outakes. Absolutly fantastic band. In some ways they're abit like an english Spirit in that they attempt to fuse Jazz and Rock. 'Loud Green Song' is ace and I really like 'I got Rhythm' (sounds a bit like 13 era Blur). 'Roll em Smoke em' is my favourite (comedy bits and all) but most people would say 'hold your fire'. I've yet to get a copy of 'Monkeys Bum' their unreleased '73 Lp. Very sad that Ollie and Mike are no longer with us and that Clive isn't exactly compus mentus these days.
Cracking Band. definatly worth checking out.

babysquid (babysquid), Friday, 23 June 2006 14:55 (twelve years ago) Permalink

seven years pass...

Wonder if Hurting ever got any further.

Orpheus in Hull (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 21 July 2013 03:17 (five years ago) Permalink

This is totally awesome:

Orpheus in Hull (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 21 July 2013 03:22 (five years ago) Permalink

Although I wish it went on longer.

Orpheus in Hull (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 21 July 2013 03:23 (five years ago) Permalink

The full video of that John Cale performance:

Orpheus in Hull (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 21 July 2013 03:36 (five years ago) Permalink

five years pass...

I like this one

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 11 January 2019 15:37 (five months ago) Permalink

He was not bad at all as a lyricist. The lyrics to The Man are rather good I think.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 11 January 2019 15:38 (five months ago) Permalink

It's a fool who never sees its time to lose
But he has to run to win some peace of mind
It's the law that puts me down for what I am
Cos I dare to kick against their mighty plan
It's my belief that good will win through in the end
That keeps me smiling as I use another day
It's the man with the new car and a smile
Who takes my money for the thing I most desire

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Friday, 11 January 2019 15:39 (five months ago) Permalink

Cool. Just recruited my neighbor to listen to this band.

Spirit of the Voice of the Beehive (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 19 January 2019 23:55 (four months ago) Permalink

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