And when backed by the musicianship of Marty McDermott (bass) and Paul Faloon (drums) there is a potency that few can equal, with power, precision and pure musical fun.
On Saturday (April 12th) that fun was brought to bear on the Voodoo, Belfast in a set as varied as it was entertaining.
Opening for the Pat McManus Band were locals, Worldsend; returning after a break with only their second gig in a year.
While many acts try to recreate that classic rock sound that was so prevalent in the 80s many miss out on the fact that there needs to be variety and a sense of danger, whether that be in the performance or the lyrical content.
There was no danger of this quartet falling down on musicianship, as Eddie led the crowd on a musical journey through hard rock nirvana with his dark jester persona, while Jay performed with a cool extravagance on guitar.
Opening with the eponymous Worldsend it was clear from the beginning that this was a band that has used the break to re-focus and return tight and fluid.
Andy (drums) and Paul (bass and backing vocals) were locked in as tight as a nut, providing the foundation for the flourishes and finesse of all on stage.
'Letters to Lost Souls', 'Warning Signs' and 'Enemy' all stood out in an all too brief a set, leaving many asking when their next full album will emerge.
The Pat McManus band emerge with no fanfare just a headlong rush with songs from the most recent release Dark Emerald Highway: 'S Before X' and 'Let's Turn It Up' roared with a real sense of occasion, while Pat grinned as his guitar became part of his body, an extended limb wrenching sounds that caused spontaneous smiles across the room.
From blues to hard rock, from six-string soloing to 12-string mandolin solos; from emotive slow songs to acoustic memories, what stood out amidst such a literal belter of a set was that there is an essence that can be distilled from skill to produce what is the pure liquor of rock.
It is a redundant exercise to pick out a song, a moment or a solo in a subjective basis, nor list the tracks, as each person there will have an abiding memory. 'Lazy Days, Crazy Nights', 'Return of the G Men' stood out for us; but Pat's tribute to the late, great Gary Moore 'Belfast Boy' is a song that produced all-round applause and sense of connection that we believe can only be achieved - such as on '...G-Men' - when there is a geographical link and a link to musical heritage.
Leaving the venue as more and more people queued up to shake Marty, Paul and Pat's hands, buy t-shirts and have albums signed; and emerging into the small hours of Sunday morning what can be in doubt is that Pat McManus and his cohorts deserve to be playing on larger stages to showcase what they can do: until then we will continue to cherish the moments when Pat's skill is displayed a few feet from our smiling, appreciative audiences.
Photos courtesy of Metal Planet