PATTO – Hold Your Fire

 In 1971 Patto released their second album, and this was very much more of the same as their first. The lengthy title track starts the album in great style, and you know you are in for a treat. Both jazzy and heavy at the same time, Patto is at his gravelly best and Halsall delivers a fine solo. ‘Give It All Away’ is classic progressive rock, with all the elements in place which make a piece of music just that little bit special. The jazzy track on this album is ‘Air Raid Shelter’, and is very like the previous album’s ‘Money Bag’, with its free form guitar and syncopated vocals lines. It is still pretty good though. ‘Tell Me Where You’ve Been’ and ‘Magic Door’ bring us back down to earth, with the rocking boogie of the former and the lovely balladry of the latter. The sleeve of this album was great as well – three strips of card each with a different part of the body, which you could mix and match to make comical characters. Mint copies of this are now extremely hard to find, not only because they were originally on the highly collectable Vertigo label, but also because the sleeves got a lot of use! Luckily both albums have been re-issued on CD, and deserve to be heard as examples of classic British heavy progressive rock.