The Pat McManus Band Live at Hard Rock Hell VII

Pat McManus Live at HRH VII 16One of the best things about Hard Rock Hell, well for me anyway, is the number of legendary bands that Seven and his team book each year. Maybe not the biggest names but bands who were a huge part of the musical soundtrack of our teens.

Ask me my favourite gig EVER, and I’ll probably go misty eyed and recount a night in the mid 80s spent in the Edinburgh Venue in the company of the Mama’s Boys. Fast forward the best part of three decades and frontman Pat McManus is still gigging all over the place, and after a storming set at HRH a couple of years back his return to the event was eagerly anticipated and massively welcomed…

Well, by me anyway.

The Pat McManus Band step up to the main stage this time around, and Pat introduces the set with the words “We’re not going to shout at you, and we’re not going to swear at you, we’re just going to play some songs”…

Pat McManus Live at HRH VII 28And play songs they did. I remember “back in the day” being slightly in awe of Pat’s fretboard wizardry, well at least that hasn’t changed and he’s still one of the best guitarists on the bill… His music is a mixture of rock and traditional Irish elements, and although he was on fairly early he drew a crowd that wasn’t matched until much later in the day.

Pat makes it all look so effortless, although it was funny during one of his extended intros to watch the rest of the band watching him like hawks to see what he was going to do next in case they missed their cue…

Wherever Pat plays, there’s always one thing he’s sure to hear… someone always shouts out for the Mama’s Boys best known hit Needle In The Groove (Actually, why do they bother, it’s not as if Pat and the guys would sit before a gig and look at the setlist, thinking “I’m sure we’ve forgotten something”). Well HRH VII was no exception but you’d imagine Pat is used to it by now, answering to the calls with “Oh, that’s coming, the tour de force….. I’m sick of playing it”.