"when you're ready', meet ... Patakas

REPORT FROM Folk at the Froize on 23rd July 2023 BY guest BLOGGER kelly bayfield

Our last ‘Folk at the Froize’ before the summer break was always going to be an emotional one. By taking their late father’s twitter name – Patakas – brothers Will and Joe had already made a very clear proclamation, honouring the indelible memory and musical legacy that Paul Sartin had left behind since his passing, a year ago in September.

Folk at the Froize had been previously blessed with two visits from the man himself when he appeared with both Belshazzar’s Feast and Kelly Bayfield; a third visit with Faustus sadly never came to be, so it was our absolute pleasure and honour to welcome this talented young duo to our little corner of Suffolk.

Opening the evening was a delightful delve into the traditional English Folk canon, courtesy of East Anglian trio, The Medlars. Having taken the opportunity to first pose for a couple of photos in front of our very own medlar tree in the garden, Alie (lead vocals) Emma (violin) and Tom (guitar) treated us to a set of exquisite arrangements, deftly performed, while their engaging and down to earth manner encouraged plenty of audience participation, setting the stage perfectly for the rest of the evening.

After the essential pudding break, Patakas were warmly greeted, as was the signature styling of their shirts that their father was so known for! And yes, it is hard to ignore the striking paternal resemblance that these two share, however, within a few short minutes, their unique personalities and individuality as musicians shone vibrantly through, and both the stage and the music soon became their own. With Will on Mandolin, Joe on guitar, and both sharing vocals, their lovingly constructed set displayed not only their abundant knowledge and skill, but also granted us a precious glimpse into the cherished family musical experiences that have so strongly shaped and influenced them. Anecdotes and tales were fondly regaled between well-known songs and tunes such as opener ‘Thresherman’, (which carried more than a passing nod to Paul’s rendition with Faustus) ‘Spanish Ladies’, ‘Fiddlers Green’ and ‘American Stranger’ (one of Joe’s favourite songs of his Dad’s – so beautifully sung, with tenderness and grace). There were original compositions to be enjoyed too, showing the full breadth and depth of their natural creativity and affinity with their craft.

Just before Will and Joe took to the stage, there was a natural anticipation from the audience – an understandable air of expectation – that the night would carry a mournful and sombre tone. Any notion of sadness however was quickly dispelled, and in its place emerged warmth, humility, joy and laughter as Patakas invited us to remember their father with fondness, and to smile and be thankful for his unforgettable contribution to the world of music, and the often side-splitting humour that accompanied it. Notably, a humour that has also has also been handed down like a precious family heirloom!

The cover of their poignantly titled debut e.p. – ‘When You’re Ready’ – simply features two instruments and a stopped clock. There may have been the feint whisper of a ghostly third harmony present in the room that night, but we are so grateful that these two young men felt ready so soon to bring their music to us, and we feel truly privileged to have witnessed the beginnings of Patakas making their own distinctive mark on the Folk world. 


Guest blogger