Rockin the blues – Garage, London – 17th March 2018

Tonight at the Garage was a celebration of Blues guitarists, with several playing this mini tour organised by Provogue records. Gary Hoey, Eric Gales, Lance Lopez and Quinn Sullivan have been playing the various dates, and rotating the running order so there’s a different headliner each night. The events are in two parts. The first part was advertised as a guitar clinic but in reality seems to be a lot of fans asking questions about guitars, playing styles and more – so a Q&A session. Once that ends, the second part starts – the show itself.

With Big Boy Bloater introducing the acts, the show kicked off with the Gary Hoey band. It’s a great rocky set with plenty of power as they start off with “Boot hill blues”. With a set that includes “Dust and bones”, “Born under a bad sign” and the Robin Trower inspired “Deja Blues”, it’s a really enjoyable set. He ends the set with a cover of the Focus song “Hocus pocus” – a great end to an excellent but short set.

Next up was the very young Quinn Sullivan. Just 18 years old he’s already released several albums and is clearly a very talented guitarist. Musically though it’s not as energetic or rocky as gary Hoey’s set, this has a more poppy feel to it. It’s enjoyable but I personally enjoyed Gary Hoey more – that’s the thing with a lineup like this though, with all the guitarists having different styles everyone will have different views as to which they preferred.

Next came Eric Gales. He starts off with a roots-blues song before moving into a set that mixes songs with vocals with instrumentals. He’s unusual in that instead of just having a drummer and bassist, he has a percussionist (his wife) who also has an electronic pad as well as cymbals. It’s a superb set, but the finale takes it to a whole new level as he starts a medley with some Jimi Hendrix before moving into classical music, ACDC, Led Zeppelin and back to Hendrix, moving between the very different styles seamlessly. It’s a stunning piece of musicianship.

He then brings out Lance Lopez to play a couple of songs from his new album before they’re joined by Gary Hoey and Quinn Sullivan for the final 20 minutes of the show. It’s fantastic to see these talented guitarists playing together with no trace of ego on show – they all give each other space and respect with each of them taking it in turns to solo while the others gaze on in admiration. In any other show this would be the highlight, but in my mind it doesnt match up to that stunning medley from Eric Gale.

A great night, and with the huge range of talented artists signed to Mascot/Provogue I think it’s likely we’ll see them doing another event like this in the future.

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About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.
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