O2 Islington-Friday 25th March

IMAGES: PETER CHOW
WORDS: STEPHEN HARRISON

This was something of a special event for me. I had never seen either of these guys play live before, and I had not had the pleasure of visiting The O2 Islington either. We made our way up to the mezzanine which gave us a wonderful view overlooking the front of the stage. We were almost directly above where the artists were about to appear. Danny Bryant took to the stage at around 7.10 pm as part of a three-piece band.

Advertisements

This guy can play, I mean seriously play, and he has such an amazing and captivating vocal range to accompany it. His persona on stage shines through with every tune. He treated us to a few of his own tunes including tracks from his latest album, The Rage To Survive. The opening track was, So Kind highlighting his guitar chops from the very first chord. Heartbreaker quickly followed with Danny now taking control of the stage like a pacing tiger. Over the years Danny Bryant has produced some great blues/rock tunes and he treated us to some of the stalwarts. Now I have heard many versions of Little Wing in my time, this was one of the best versions that I’ve ever heard.

Advertisements

The soul and passion that surged through were so good. It was almost a come down when he performed Nine Lives as the last song. But, he wasn’t quite finished. A little tribute to Albert Collins ended what was a truly remarkable set from an outstanding blues artist.

SET-LIST

  • SO KIND
  • HEARTBREAKER
  • WESTPORT
  • TIRED OF TRYING
  • LAST GOODBYE
  • LITTLE WING
  • NINE LIVES

At around 8.10 pm Eric Gales took to the stage flanked by four other musicians, one being Ladonna, his wife who played percussion. The first tune needed absolutely no introduction, straight into Smokestack Lightning. Eric Gales did not just take to the stage and perform, he spoke to the audience between every song, about the difficulties he’s endured throughout his life, the struggles of survival. He spoke eloquently about the struggles of race and colour.

This was not anything political, just a bluesman’s tale of what brought him to this stage. Songs like, Put It Back and Stand Up, became more poignant which just added to the immense blues atmosphere that hung in the air. The title track of his latest album, Crown ended what was one of the best blues gigs I’ve had the pleasure of attending. But, that was not quite the end of the proceedings. Eric came back onto the stage and performed an almost biblical version of Voodoo Chile, which morphed to and from Kashmir and back again. To say that was one of the greatest things I’ve seen at a gig is an understatement.

 

SET-LIST

  • SMOKESTACK LIGHTNING
  • YOU DON’T KNOW THE BLUES
  • THUNDER (STORM)
  • PUT IT BACK
  • STAND UP
  • TAKE ME AS I AM
  • SEA OF BAD BLOOD
  • CROWN
  • VOODOO CHILE (medley

Eric Gales UK Tour with Danny Bryant
Tickets: https://bit.ly/37WsWpc

Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
Tuesday 29 March 2022

Bilston, The Robin
Wednesday 30 March 2022

Manchester Academy
Thursday 31 March 2022

Glasgow, Òran Mór
Friday 1 April 2022

Whitley Bay Playhouse
Saturday 2 April 2022

Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
Sunday 3 April 2022

ERIC GALES – JUNE 2022 UK TOUR

with special guest Dom Martin

Assembly Leamington
Thursday 2nd June 2022

Chester, The Live Rooms
Saturday 4 June 2022

York, The Crescent Community Venue
Sunday 5 June 2022

Newcastle, The Cluny
Monday 6 June 2022

Bury, The Met Theatre
Tuesday 7 June 2022

Basingstoke, The Haymarket Theatre
Wednesday 8 June 2022