Review Eric Bibb in Bangalow

THERE is no doubt that if you bottled and sold Eric Bibb’s charisma you would be a millionaire in no time.
Straight from Bluesfest, the American-born blues troubadour played his second last show of his 21-gig Australian tour at Bangalow’s A and I Hall last Thursday before heading to Europe.
Regular television and radio appearances have given Bibb a mythical status and I was keen to witness his magic in real life.
The stomping entertainer hooked people from his first step on stage until his last.
Under his wide-brimmed hat, Bibb’s genuine wide-brimmed smile shone as his deep booming voice told bitter-sweet tales of travelling, survival and love. The audience hung on his every word.
Bibb’s capacity to dance around the stage simultaneously plucking lead and rhythm acoustic guitar sections baffled everyone.
In the late sixties, the restless wanderer moved to Sweden where he met other like-minded musicians such as guitarist Staffan Astner, who joined him on the night.
Astner’s casual guitar licks filled any sonic spaces and spine-tingling tunes, Don’t Ever Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down, Connected and Needed Time were memorable.
Bibb followed slow songs with fast ones, and kept the audience hypnotised for the 100-minute set.
Before Bibb’s inspiring performance though, it was up to Byron Bay trio Blackbirds to warm up the crowd.
Blackbirds performed several times on Australia’s Got Talent in 2010.
Bibb’s tour manager’s ear recently caught their tropical brand of acoustic soul during one of Blackbirds’ regular busking sessions in Byron Bay. Before they knew it, they were Bibb’s support act.
It was a slow and subtle performance compared to Bibb’s frenzy.
 



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