Eric Gales: The Ferry, Glasgow

25th June 2017

ian sutherland
Words and Pictures: Ian Sutherland

eric gales

The horrible events at the Ariane Grande concert in Manchester affected all music fans and musicians so blues man Eric Gales started his show with a short heartfelt speech about it and a moment of silence. That out of the way he got down to what he does best and started to coax some really funked up blues from his left hander friendly upside down strat.

Backed by a superb rhythm section in drummer Nick Hayes and bass player Cody Wright plus his wife Ladonna on percussion and backing vocals, Gales' style of blues covers a lot of ground. You get the honest, authentic references to the blues greats of old like a spirited cover of Freddie King's ‘Boogie Man', but in one of the highlights of the show his version of Buddy Guy's ‘Baby Please Don't leave Me' took the blues to a down and dirty, heavy groove place. It was a stomping, grinding, hugely infectious and enjoyable delight with the man himself enjoying playing it so much that immediately it finished he played it again.

eric gales

That spirit of enjoyment is a real feature of an Eric Gales show. He is loving life now, living clean for the first tine in decades and he loves chatting to the crowd almost as much as he does playing those fiery guitar licks. He gives his rhythm section a big build up for their jazzy solo sections which I could have done without myself, but when he takes his turn to show off a little it's in a jazzy, bluesy instrumental take on Blue Oyster Cult's '(Don't Fear) The Reaper' which is as enjoyable as it is unusual.

There were more unusual references in a superb instrumental medley too with Hendrix's ‘Voodoo Chile' being taken apart, rearranged, taken new places and somehow merged at times with both Zeppelin's ‘Kashmir' and AC/DC's ‘Back In Black'. Another big build up is given to original instrumental ‘Swamp' from the Memphis blues man's latest album 'Middle Of The Road' with that trademark humour, stating that after he plays this he takes a long time to get the crowd calmed down. He knows how to walk the walk too though because he was absolutely right. The song built into a crazy, high energy, joyous romp with every one on stage throwing everything they have at it while still keeping things tight as a drum. The extended ovation at the end was hugely deserved.

eric gales

This was a superb evening of blues influenced music from an accomplished and original talent. Eric Gales takes the pure blues that influenced him and takes it to new and interesting places without losing the respect that it deserves. Add in that tongue in cheek presenting style and you get a package that really makes for a good night out for lovers of any kind of rock music. He really should be better known.

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