Eugene Hideaway Bridges Live @ The Arnhem Club Review
Written by Rob Stewart on April 3, 2016
‘Eugene Hideaway Bridges’ live at the Arnhem Club April 1
Reviewed by Rob Stewart
Tables and seating for around 60 people were carefully laid out, chairs and table decorations were meticulously fussed over and made what was transpiring at the bars seem a world away. The intimate setting for the Arnhem Clubs Dinner & Show with Eugene Hideaway Bridges was complete, and intimate it was, at first it felt uncomfortably intrusive as we were front and centre with one of Blues, Soul and Roots finest exponents and it felt like we’d intruded upon his lounge room whilst rehearsing with his band.
However Mr. Bridges was the consummate host and entertainer and quickly dispelled any ‘us and him’ divide by warmly engaging with the lucky assembled punters who were regaled with two sets of mellifluous dripping soulful vocals expertly aided by a collection of the most perfectly played guitar riffs and solos by a stand out gentlemen of music.
Everything about Eugene’s music is natural, uncluttered and devoid of pretension, there are no vocal effects, that sweet tone is his alone and comes from his heart, his guitar has no array of effects pedals to navigate through it’s just a beautiful Gibson ES 335 plugged straight into the amp…He is Mr. Natural, but at times he sounds from another time. A time where artistry and originality mattered and the desire to share was overwhelming.
With Declan Kelly on the drums (His last project was the sensational Deisel N Dub) and Jimmy on bass (who’s baptism into the band was tonight’s performance) they combined to
Run through a collection of Eugene’s music that spanned over 50 years right back to a song he wrote for his father (Hideaway Slim) when he was just 7 years old. The sets also included a selection of artist’s music who inspired Eugene to play like B.B. King, Sam Cooke and T-Bone Walker.
When I spoke with Eugene I asked him how he adjusts to playing to tens of thousands of people at the recent Bluesfest to then performing to an intimate crowd like this dinner show, his reply was as natural and warm as the man himself… “Oh it don’t matter if I’m playing to 10,000 folk or one man and his dawg, I’m not changing the way I play coz I have the sound I wanna share, so I is goin to share it the same ways to everyone, including that one man and his damn dawg”
I felt like I was that damn dawg, and my tail was wagging ten to the dozen after enjoying a wonderfully unique and intimate musical evening with an out and out legend.