By Rosine Alleva – Rock At Night EU Editor
“2 Pat for a Guitar Night” is a project with Pat O’May and Patrick Rondat (or “3 Pat for a Guitar Night” with Pat McManus when he may be present).
Rock At Night interviewed Pat O’May last June for the release of his new album “Welcome to a New World” and Pat McManus (ex Mama’s Boys) in 2019 at the “Wood Stock Guitares Live” venue. Over a thirty year career and along with his solo projects, Patrick Rondat collaborated with many artists as Jean-Michel Jarre, who he accompanied around the world, Gary Moore, Didier Lockwood, Michel Petrucciani among others. I had seen Patrick perform five years ago with Norbert (Nono) Krief from Trust. Meeting him for the first time at the Guitar Festival in Nice with Pat O’May and seeing the two “Pat” together on stage was just fantastic and a real privilege!
Pat O’May – Lead Guitar – vocals
Patrick Rondat – Lead Guitar
Christophe Babin – Bass
John Helfy – Drums
Manu Martin – Keyboards
Accompanied by Pat O May’s musicians and Patrick’s keyboard player, once they started playing, the two amazing artists totally knocked everyone by their fabulous technical prowess of their guitar playing!
Whether at the soundcheck or the concert! The audience was just mesmerized by the music and the beautiful visual when Pat O’May sang a few titles of his new album “Welcome to a New World”. Savarez, who produced the great video for the track “In this Town” was present for the Guitar Festival.
The interview took place after the soundcheck.
When did you both meet and how did the story of “2 (or 3) Pat for a Guitar Night” started?
Pat O’May and Patrick Rondat share a long friendship. They met about twenty years ago at the time Pat released Breizh-Amerika, when meeting at music exhibitions or playing in Brittany with Ron Thal (Sons of Apollo). Yes, they know each other since the dawn of time.
How the project started? John Helfy (Pat O’May’s drummer) was organizing an evening with Ian Paice (Paicey Story) and asked Pat & Patrick Rondat to join the event. A few months later, Pat O’May organized a big concert for his twenty three years career with a big bunch of musicians friends including Patrick Rondat and another great guitarist Pat McManus! It was such a great human and musical encounter that the idea of the “3 Pat for a Guitar Night” just emerged naturally, as Patrick Rondat mentioned.
Unfortunately your project came to an abrupt stop due to the
lockdown…how did you live this?
“Violent!” is the word Pat O’May used. The three Pats were joining from different countries to meet and start this new 2020 tour. They knew about the lockdown but were hoping to do at least the first dates. Unfortunately they found out 15 minutes before arriving at the first venue that this wouldn’t happen, which meant the tour was concelled!!! Pat McManus couldn’t travel from Ireland anymore (still hard today). Live concerts slowly starting again in France, the project goes on with “2 Pat for a Guitar Night” for the time being.
What is the future of this project? Will Pat McManus join you
“We hope so, traveling is still very complicated, but it’s a timeless project, the idea still exist”. Patrick Rondat pointed out the frustration after the tour was cancelled, saying that people aren’t used to go to concerts anymore. The economic crisis, the financial pressure, the sanitary rules, it all creates a strange atmosphere. People don’t always understand the rules anymore, it all demotivates to come to concerts. It also becomes expensive with the test to do if you’re not vaccinated, the concert ticket, transport with the rise of petrol prices. “It has a big impact and we didn’t feel all the consequences of this crisis yet! What’s sure is that poor are getting poorer and rich are getting richer! The bright side of ‘we will have a good time together’ is a bit hard for us…”
How did it feel to start playing without Pat McManus?
Pat and Patrick apprehended more to start playing on stage and find their bearings after 18 months without performing! Maybe small details, daily habits disappeared a bit but finally being back on stage wasn’t difficult…They’re really pleased to play again and see people! They would love Pat McManus to be there. “We know it will happen again, it’s not an end at all”. They’re staying in contact on a regular basis since last March 2020 when it all stopped.
What about your other projects together?
Pat O’May is organizing Guitar camps since a few years with Patrick Rondat’s participation in July 2020. They will keep on playing together on the “2 Pat for a Guitar night” project but by alternating with their personal projects.
Talking about your personal projects, Pat, your new album was released mid September, how is it
Despite the contingencies Pat is very pleased of the good feedback the
album received and the new concert dates being scheduled. “After a
year and a half without playing, it’s great to see people didn’t forget
Patrick Rondat is actually working on a double album, electronic
and acoustic, which should be finished early 2022. He is also starting
to record an acoustic EP. He will later tour to promote his new album.
Pat and Patrick will continue to play together, eventually with other friends like Nono from Trust. As they both explained, it’s a musical and a human adventure as well.
“It’s a team work, we’re quite cool, we love to laugh but work seriously, we have no ego. These are important criteria, working with like-minded people, otherwise collaboration isn’t possible”
Many thanks to Pat, Patrick & their musicians, to Michelle Surleau – La Griffe du Lion prod, Michel Mazza – Association Adamas and to Cathie Wetzstein Boehringer (Cat‘Ché13) for the amazing concert photos!
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