A Fish@ 9:30pm 02-13-2012
There are very few occasions when I am lost for words but this is one of them. Patto were one of the finest live bands I have ever seen, and I have seen a good few. Ollie was just about THE most dynamic, passionate and talented musician I have ever seen. He pushed the riffs, the music, right to the boundaries where frustration is the edge.
I go back to the early days, Timebox even. The were fairly regular at The Black Swan in Sheffield. They turned out stunning, stunning sets that left me buzzing for days. I can't believe it was more than forty years ago, I can almost feel the music still, almost feel the raw mysterious power that came off the stage.
Jonathan Loonin@ 12:14pm 02-13-2012
I didn't know about Patto and Ollie Halsall until the past couple of years, but it's never too late to discover great music! Thanks to Baz for manning the helm, and for being incredibly generous with his time and the dispensing of music in his archive.
Regis COISNE@ 2:38pm 02-12-2012
What a work you do !!! Ollie was an amazing guitarist not enough known . I became a musician because of him , and some others . And he is always in my mind !
John Scales@ 2:32pm 02-12-2012
Great work. Patto were the best. Ollie was way ahead of his contemporaries in both style and composition with the exeption of Zappa, and what greater tribute can there be than that?
Jorge Souto@ 12:48pm 02-12-2012
The first Halsall I heard was his solo on Ayers' May I? in the June 1 1974 LP, and fell in love with what he was playing. That was back in 1985. The bad part is it took many years to get my hands on any other recordings of his (none available here), apart from stuff with a couple of Spanish groups. But then, when I finally got to listen to Hold Your Fire and the Timebox compilations, I realised how much I had missed.
Thanks for your fantastic work, Barry!
Kevin Spiers@ 12:25am 02-12-2012
Thanks for keeping the flame alive, alive o. Whatever you do. Don't make it sound like Sergio Mendes.
Peter Muir@ 11:22pm 02-11-2012
Ollie first crossed my radar with Kevin Ayers' Sweet Deceiver and I fell for his skills thereafter. He was a fabulous foil for Kevin as well as a sound soul brother and I know his loss was felt keenly. Ollie's work crops up on our reissue of Still Life With Guitar plus of course the two solo works we out out with Barry's help: Caves and Abbots Langley. I never tire of listening to Ollie's playing and like so many others here, only wish he was still amongst us, playing the odd gig, popping in and out of studios, a chat over a beer.
Rhett Bolton@ 9:46pm 02-11-2012
I first heard Ollie in '74 on the 'Dr. Dream' album and - up until that time - had no idea an electric guitar could be played like that. A couple of years later, finding the deleted Patto records buried in a forgotten pile in a dusty old secondhand hand record shop in Sydney was like discovering sunken treasure. Like Coltrane on 'A Love Supreme' and Miles on 'Jack Johnson', Ollie has that ultra-rare gift of channelling something transcendent through his playing, going way beyond a mere bunch of hot licks and flash technique. His solo on Kevin Ayers' 'Blue' is simply the best thing I've ever heard. Ollie, you mad genius, you left us way too soon!
Lawrie@ 8:09pm 02-11-2012
I saw Patto many times and Boxer once. We used to follow them around the pubs in London, we saw them in the Cooks Ferry inn in Walthamstow and the Torrington in Finchley to name but two.
Ollie is so underated by the industry but good things often are.
Mike de Albuquerque@ 8:06pm 02-11-2012
I first saw Timebox in the Marquee in the late 60s. Ollie was plainly an outstanding musician,but the vibes did not capture the audience's imagination..however he produced a Telecaster and did " So you Wanna be a Rock n Roll Star" ( the 12 string hit by the Byrds) effortlessly by playing octaves over the drone open A string. I next saw him in the basement of a West End Club, a few months later..and he had pretty much ditched the vibes and evolved the fluid high speed style on the same Telecaster,played flat out through a Fender Amp.No "position" playing of cliches,like fans of Eric C....he darted all over the fretboard with loads of rhythmic variation..also humour and melody. He was totally unique...and still is!
Giovanni Guarini@ 7:57pm 02-11-2012
Ho scoperto i Patto con Hold Your Fire sono impazzito e ho fatto impazzire qualche amico per la chitarra di Ollie, era, evidentemente, troppo avanti per quell'epoca così come la loro musica, peccato avrebbero meritato piu audience.Comunque mi reputo fortunato per averli incontrati ed apprezzati mi hanno dato molto.Ancora adesso cerco di farli conoscere ed ascoltare,troppe persone non li hanno mai sentiti nominare e non è giusto!Voglio lasciare un pensiero per Mike Patto che reputo uno dei più grandi e personali singer degli anni 70'. Grazie Ollie grazie Mike
Replied on: 8:46pm 02-11-2012

Google translation:
I discovered the Patto with Hold Your Fire are crazy and I did some crazy friend's guitar, Ollie, was obviously too advanced for that time as well as their music, too bad they deserved more audience.Comunque consider myself fortunate to have them I have since met and appreciated molto.Ancora now I try to let them know and listen, too many people they have never heard of and it is not right, I want to leave a thought for Mike Patto which I consider one of the greatest singer of the 70s and personal '. Thanks Ollie, thanks Mike

Erik Gerritsen@ 7:10pm 02-11-2012
Saw Patto open for Joe Cocker in Auckland in '72. Nobody had heard of them and trying to do their routines in front of 20,000 outdoors on a Friday night was a challenge they couldn't really meet. Ollie ran around in little circles and continually jumped off his stage monitor during (I think) "Peter Abraham", soloing madly the whole time. I had to check these guys out on vinyl, been a fan ever since. Ollie lives!
MCFC Dave@ 7:05pm 02-11-2012
I was at a gig at the Manchester free trade hall in 1974, Kevin Ayres, John Cale, Nico etc. I was only 17 and really only went because Eno was on the bill. I left the hall absolutely blown away by some guy (didn’t know who he was) playing guitar with Kevin Ayers. I still often play the June 1 1974 album and remember back all those years at having my eyes and ears opened to the first time I ever saw a truly great guitarist. Thanks Ollie.
Mohamad@ 6:39pm 02-11-2012
I have been lucky enough to see Ollie live 3 times: at the Reading Pop Festival, at the Marquee and at Reading University Student Union. That was a great experience. Thanks a lot for The Ollie Halsall Archive.
Guy Mann-Dude@ 6:02pm 02-11-2012
Ollie lives !!

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