So a few weeks back it was suggested I might like to go and see Eric Bibb for the second time in my life, as about eight years ago I had seen him play the Coal Exchange at Cardiff Bay. I had not realised at the time that it would clash with the highly important Man City v Spurs clash, so I wasn’t sure I’d made the right choice for the night’s entertainment as we set off.
As it turned out, I needn’t have worried, as it was a very good show. The support act Megan Henwood warmed us up well with some not half bad singing and some rambling dialogue. I’m not sure she recognised the irony of singing a song calling for the youth today to “Make Waves” at the state of the world, when faced with an audience old enough to have raised her and who had probably sung “Give Peace a Chance” the first time round. It’s her first tour and I would think she ‘ll do many more.
A glass of wine at the interval and then back for the very laid back Eric Bibb who, accompanied by only a harp player (Grant Dermody), held us spell bound for what seemed a very short time but was in fact the best part of an hour and a half.
He plays guitar as I do in my dreams, the notes cascading from the fret board in a dazzling stream. The old acoustic blues in modern hands with some standards and some new stuff played with reverence for the history that has gone before. He played among many a great “Goin Down Slow” and his song “Booker’s Guitar” from his new album of the same title. He seemed genuinely pleased to see so many folk and at the reception he received. He dealt very politely but firmly with the constant request by one lady member of the audience for his hat – American charm at its finest. We clapped and sang along to a succession of folk blues, both old and new, with the tinge of gospel never far away as we were often urged to provide the beat. When the audience was asked to sing along you could tell we were in Wales from the beautiful response his request received. The whole thing had a very intimate mood to it and only the dead couldn’t warm to this man.
Towards the end I took out my Panasonic TZ7 and started to take some snaps on the off chance I might get something interesting. I became quite absorbed in my own world as, without glasses, I tried to figure out the best setting to use. It was only when the man in a jumper next to me whispered “Enough” in my ear did I realise I’d done the equivalent of “snubbing the cheese” as far as blues aficionados go. I apologise to my unknown companion for in the modern way I had become absorbed in my own gadget universe and failed to realise the impact on those around me. Still below are some of the pictures I snapped from row J with a modern digital pocket camera in a darken theatre.
He did one encore and was out in foyer signing CDs as we left; now that’s a hard working muscian.
Oh and I came home just in time for the footy highlights to see Spurs win and enter the Champions league for next season. When I lived in north London, they really were the only team of any interest.