Venue: Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC)
City: Glasgow, Scotland
Country: United Kingdom
Eric Clapton – guitar / vocals
Doyle Bramhall II – guitar / vocals
Derek Trucks – guitar
Chris Stainton – keyboards
Tim Carmon – keyboards
Willie Weeks – bass
Steve Jordan – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals
The Kick Horns (Simon Clarke – baritone saxophone, Roddy Lorimer – trumpet, Tim Sanders – tenor saxophone)
Robert Cray Band
This concert represented the official start of Eric’s 2006 / 2007 World Tour. It wouldn’t wrap up until April ’07 in Columbus, OH. A few days previous to this gig, Eric played a warm up show in Le Cannet, France.
Robert Cray – guitar / vocals*
02. So Tired
03. Got To Get Better In A Little While
04. Run Home To Me
06. Let It Rain
07. Back Home
08. I Am Yours
09. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
10. Milkcow’s Calf Blues
11. Running On Faith
12. After Midnight
13. Little Queen Of Spades
14. Everybody Oughta Make A Change
15. Motherless Children
16. Wonderful Tonight
19. Crossroads (encore)*
Review by John Lydon / Glasgow
I have just returned home from one of the best nights of my life!!! Eric Clapton has just played in my home town of Glasgow in the fully booked SECC (Scottish Exhibition And Conference Centre). The show started off with a fantastic rendition of Pretending, from the "Journeyman" album. Clapton shows he’s still got it as he worked his way through the fretboard, and through the hits! Allowing Doyle Bramhall II and Derek Trucks play some incredible solos throughout the songs too. It was an unusual setlist, mostly the hits, with some unknown or numbers that haven’t been played in years.
Clapton’s voice was in good shape, sometimes a little distant, but he was too caught up in the music to care! He didn’t play "I Shot The Sherrif", or indeed, any of the Cream crowd-pleaseres ("Badge", Sunshine Of Your Love" etc) but he did make up for it, with a fantastic, guitar solo laiden "After Midnight" which then flowed into "Little Queen Of Spades", the latter having some of the best guitar work of the night! The accoustic section was well done, and i have grown a liking to "Back Home" a song from the new album, that i have yet to hear. Following it was "Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out" that was greeted with applause as soon as the first chords rung out. A lovely version of "Running On Faith" followed, with some more great fretwork from Slowhand. And then came one of the evening’s nicer, slower moments, when Clapton played a beautiful rendition of "Wonderful Tonight". I saw some couples dancing ad swaying to this, which Clapton must be used to by now!
After a short pause, while the band discussed what to do, calls went out for "Cocaine". The calls were heard and the band played a fast version, filled with some lovely solos, and some of the people in the front few rows took up position near the front of the stage and started dancing and singing along. Clapton’s voice was sadly not so easily heard due to the noise on stage! After "Cocaine", the lights dulled on stage, and the band seemed to discuss what they were about to do again, when finally a "One, two, three" was shouted, and the opeing riff to "Layla" was heard, greeted by more cheers! The band continued to jam around this, Clapton doing not to badly on vocals, and he allowed Doyle Bramhall II and Truck to do some amazing slide and fretwork.
The band left the stage, and the foot stomping, clapping and cheering began. The roar was deafening as the band returned to the stage and Clapton began playing the classic "Crossroads". Again the other two guitarists played and jammed, and the band, although only two gigs into their tour, seem to know each other pretty well and have a pulse to them already! All in all, a fantastic night had by all! And if Mr Clapton happens to be in Glasgow again, he knows he’s got a great and un-dying audience here!!
Review by Andreas Smith and Nicolai Bryde / Norway
After "Got to get better…" Eric said that "this is the official opening of the tour" and "please forgive us if we do some mistakes." A new trend seems to be that the band launches straight into a new song before the other one is finshed. For example they started playing "Got to get better" at the end of "So tired" and this happened three or four times during the concert. A great show with some great performances from Eric and Derek Trucks in particular! When this band gets a few gigs together, they will sound magnificent! Came all the way from Norway for this and it was worth it! No doubt!
Review by Edwin / Scotland
Eric made a passing comment that this was the first real date of a year long European tour and to ‘stick’ with them as the where getting their sound together. I have to say in my opinion the sound was great! every song was memorable.
Review by John Bell / Scotland
I have been a fan and been to many of Eric Clapton’s concerts over the years since Cream but last night was the first time I have ever wanted the concert to end quickly. The noise was unbearable, the guitars screaching, the drums seemed over loud at times, the backing vocals we drowned in a noise of what seemed like a huge bass gone wrong.
I am not sure if it is just that there are too many band members this time, but you really could not make out a clear sound of the band, it was just a huge wall of sound more like a very amateur band starting out wanting to turn the volume up as loud as possible.
I really do not want to sound as though I am not a fan as I have just about every LP, CD and DVD Eric Clapton has done. However it would be wrong to not suggest that the sound could not be better managed so that the band members abilities could shine through. They are all so good, but together it just does not work at the SECC for whatever reason. Now it might be the sound there, however I have been to a Eric’s concerts there before and they havealways sounded wonderful. So please don’t take this the wrong way, I am going to the Albert Hall next week to see the band again and I hope that the sound is better managed than last night. If I could say a couple of things, Derek Trucks is just amazing, he is simply the best support in that band or any band I have seen with Eric Clapton, stunning. Chris Stainton is just magic as usual.
Just decide for yourself, watch the Cream DVD of them playing Crossroads and then listen to this band playing it, it seemed loud and not joined up. Yes Iknow it is a three piece against 12 but with todays technology you should be able to get cohearance out of the song, last night there was nothing in that Crossroads that would have come close to the Cream version or any other versions I have heard live from Eric Clapton.
I do hope things get better for the Royal Albert Hall as I dont want to hear the people saying outside later that it was a waste of money and he should give up, that was what I heard and it made me really sad. He is such a wonderful person and deserves a better presentation of his and the other band members abilities.
Review by Sandy / Scotland
My wife and I have attended many of Eric’s concerts over the past 25 years and we both agree that last night was tremendous, the playlist was spot on, some new, some not so new and a few old favourites that undoubtedly pleased a crowd of all ages. Eric unselfishly encouraged Doyle Bramhall and Derek Trucks to play most of the lead and slide guitar and they did not let him down at all, it was an amazing display from a band of highly talented musicians led by a guitar legend with outstanding vocal ability.
The Robert Cray Band never cease to amaze me, I have seen and heard them many times and they just get better and better and last night was no different, I did not look on them as a support band, it was more of a special treat and when Robert took up the lead on Crossroads it was a perfect ending to a excellent night of music.
In the past I have found the sound at the SECC suspect, but not so last night.Many thanks for a memorable evening.
Review by Norrie Fleming / Scotland
Last night, Monday 8 May 2006, I was at the SECC with my wife to see Eric playing again. The band line up had changed but it was good to see Doyle Bramhall II back in Glasgow and Derek Trucks at only 26 years old is some slide guitarist. The song list was a good mix of old and new with songs like "Motherless Children", "Pretending" and "Let It Rain" being resurrected. Eric asked us to stick with him as this was the first official night of the tour.
The young guitarists looked a bit nervous trying to follow Eric’s lead but I’m sure they will improve as they play more gigs together. Eric’s singing and playing just seems to improve and the big SECC crowd cheered him along all night. I noticed the set list had changed slightly from a few nights before in Le Cannet. I was disappointed "I shot the sheriff" was one that was dropped, as the last time he played it at the SECC (2004), the version really blew me away even though it’s not one of my favourite songs.
We saw the Cream reunion at the RAH last year, which was fantastic and although last night could never beat that, it was still great to see Eric and his band back up in Glasgow. Can’t wait for the next time. Well done, Eric!!
Review by Neil Kennedy / Fife, Scotland
I attended the first UK gig of the world tour at the SECC, Glasgow with a little trepidation – I’m a long time Clapton fan but had not seen him live since many "Albert Hall" concerts in the mid-90s. It was a great night although the SECC is a big barn of a place and the crowd seemed a bit reticent to get in the mood.
So, on to the concert itself: EC looking relaxed and the band looking ‘settled’ for early in the tour- although there was a smiled apology that as this was the first ‘real’ night things might be a bit shakey! The set list was almost identical to Le Cannet but with "Let it Rain" substituted for "I Shot The Sherriff", nice to hear again but not such a showcase for EC solos! Sound was pretty good with the exception of the horns – not really audible except in quieter passages (at least not from where we were sitting – centre, 8 rows back).The lighting was good and didn’t distract from the music. The band was great – Derek really deserving a special mention (he really overshaddowed Doyle as far as I’m concerned – but it was amazing to see 3 so different but talented guitarists on stage together – remember the ‘Rainbow’ concert?). Chris played brilliantly with Tims second keyboard filing in nicely but maybe unnecessary? Willie and Steve providing a really solid backing with great backing vocals from Michelle and Sharon, almost hidden at the back.
Highlights – After Midnight – upbeat, pacey and just right. Motherless Children – taken at a blistering pace and a surprising best in the set for me, not just for the guitar but the band seemed really tight and enjoying themselves. Little Queen of Spades â€“ beautiful electric waterfall blues, not self-indulgent, just a real showcase for all the musicians’ talents. The mix of songs would satisfy any Clapton fan, perhaps with the exception of die-hard Cream appreciators! From a rocky’Pretending with a short fluid and fast solo from EC (there’s always that flutter of expectation when he steps back for the first time) the set moved through So Tired to a surprising Got to Get Better In A Little While. The sitting down session was great, Ericâ€™s voice better than I’ve ever heard it on Back Home and Nobody Knows You. Things really picked up following Running on Faith – itself a nice link from the quiet section of the sit down to the amazing After Midnight, next slowing down for Little Queen of Spades before the slide-guitar treats of Everybody Oughta Make A Change and the wonderful Motherless Children â€“ you don’t get much better!
The final section started with Wonderful Tonight then up with the volume for a really storming Cocaine – some of the audience up on their feet and down to the front at this point! Then Layla – a slightly disjointed mid-section I felt, with Eric’s voice better than his solo. Derek’s slide contribution to the coda was amazing. One encore – a fast Crossroads with Robert Cray joining EC. Was it just me or was ECs final solo a bit cursory? So to sum up – a great night. Anyone coming to future shows won’t be disappointed.
Review by Andy Beaton / Dingwall, Scotland
Eric on top form with a very talented band and support in the form of the Robert Cray Band (who deserve to be better known in the UK). Eric moved flawlessly from classics to newer material with some mind-boggling guitar work en route. The short acoustic set was also well received and slowed the tempo for a while mid way through the gig. Early in the set, Eric apologised for any rough-edges during this, the first official gig of the tour; well, if that was a performance with rough edges, I want to be there when he and the band get it perfect!! My personal highlight? – Motherless Children – a red-hot rendition of a personal favourite (and a power-house performance by the drummer too).
Review by Alan Nolan / Edinburgh, Scotland
I can’t remember how long I’ve been a fan of Eric Clapton, but it has been a very long time indeed and he is the primary reason I got into blues music. I have never seen him live until last night’s concert in Glasgow’s SECC. I would actually say I found the audience a little lack lustre but they warmed up a bit and certainly gave EC a warm reception and I was very happy to see so many EC fans.
Sound wise I thought it was pretty good and excellent in parts â€“ yes, there were times the mix was muddy but the SECC is not renowned for its acoustics and all considered it sounded excellent.
The set list was a bit broader than I was expecting, part of the problem is that EC’s back catalogue is so big there’s always going to be a lot of songs that are left off the set list. So it was last night, I was very disappointed that there was no Badge or any songs from 2001’s Reptile (which I actually prefer to the new album) and I was wanting White Room but didn’t get it. Surprising inclusions were Derek and the Dominos Got to get Better which was fantastic and a fully electric Layla, which I totally wasn’t expecting (I was prepared for the acoustic version). I admit I could have listened to a lot more blues but what blues there was did not disappoint (Derek Truck’s slide soloing on Little Queen of Spades reaching a high point of the show and causing tens of thousands of people simultaneously to stare open mouthed and dribble uncontrollably).
Disappointment was caused during Cocaine when things started to liven up a bit and the crowd seemed to jolt, invading the stage front area dancing in that middle-aged parent style fashion, only to be sent back to their seats by security. A shame because for that one little bit there was actually some atmosphere in the crowd. The show finished with the new ‘updated’ version of Crossroads- now I agree I like the Cream version more as well, but to give credit where it’s due, the rhythm section managed to introduce quite a ‘Cream’ style groove missing from other versions I’ve seen – so it at least it was a little bit closer.
Very good show all in all, although EC was quite reserved I felt and let his two younger guitarists take the lead. There were still plenty of occasions where EC’s playing caused sly smiles and slight chills. Derek Trucks thoroughly impressed as did Doyle Bramhall II’s reverse strung guitar and ‘Albert King style’ downward string bending.
Review by Alan Anderson / Glasgow. Scotland
In summary, mainly due to the poor live sound mix, last night, for me anyway, was a little dissappointing and after much deliberation over who I should take with me I am glad it was another fan because I don’t think my girlfriend would have been "converted" on last night’s overall experience!
Had she went with me two years ago to see Eric in Glasgow, she would have been – THAT show was sensational, my personal best after 5 times seeing him live. That said however, I would take nothing away from Eric as such, his playing and vocals were good, I think it’s because the band are just starting out on the tour which is a special moment anyway and he did ask us to bear with them, which is good because at the end of Let It Rain nobody seemed to know who was going to take the outro solo! The Live Sound Mix / Quality has some serious room for improvement, also the screens dropped out a few times and went into black and white mode which is surely not a luxury feature.
There were some moments of genius though and fantastic versions of Got To Get Better In A Little While and others including I Am Yours – with Derek Trucks taking on the Duanne Allman role perfectly which was special, giving us something rare away back to the Derek and The Dominoes era.
I agree with the previous reviewer John, that there seemed to be too much overall sound fighting for the attention of our ears, but the only consolation I noticed was that when Eric turned up his guitar it DEFINITELY cut through the miix which is what we want, right?!
This is a critical review I know, but it’s only because comparing it to say the Hyde Park concert 1996, any true fan knows the genius and fortitude on stage of Eric Clapton, so in conlcusion, it’s still got to be one of the best gigs in 2006 for Glasgow, especially with a five star opening act, The Robert Cray Band were good, so the ticket was great value for money, overall.
In a week or so’s time the change will probably be incredible, more like the momentous performances we all recall because as a musician Eric Clapton is the ultimate impovisationalist and FEEDS on the tightness and backbone of the band, so at this stage he probably won’t "let rip " the way we all know he can, best give it a week or so. Man, I wish I was going next week !
Review by Tom / East Kilbride, Scotland
I attended the Eric Clapton concert at the SECC in Glasgow last night, which kicked off his European leg of the World Tour…. And what a show!! Clapton announced after the first few songs that this concert was the opener and apologised if they sounded sloppy at any time, but there was no sign of that happening from the opening ‘Pretending’ until the only encore, ‘Crossroads’.
Early on, Doyle Bramhall looked rather serious, although the guitar playing throughout the concert was amazing, with a special mention for Derek Trucks, whose slide guitar work blew me away. During the show the musicians seemed to relax and smiles were then evident from Clapton and his band members.
One of the highlights of the show in my opinion was ‘Queen of Spades’, which included some breathtaking guitar work from all three guitarists, starting with Clapton’s opening solo (which sounded a little like ËœHave You Ever Loved A Woman"). Chris Stainton’s piano playing was second-to-none on this song as he strained to reach every note. Clapton had certainly put together a fine band of musicians – possibly one of the best I have heard – and back-up singers. The acoustic set was also terrific, which included moving versions of ‘Back Home’, ‘I Am Yours’ and then ‘Running on Faith’ and ‘Nobody Knows You When you’re Down and Out’ (one of my personal favourites). Clapton was joined by Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall during this part of the show, with other band members playing percussion. ‘Wonderful Tonight’, ‘Cocaine’ and the magical notes of ‘Layla’ closed the show before the band arrived back on stage for ‘Crossroads’, which highlighted the skills of each guitarist: the opening solo being taken on by none other that Robert Cray, who had been invited on stage.
The concert lasted for almost 2 hours and included all different types of music as Clapton delved into his extensive back catalogue and, I’m sure, delighted everyone who attended. If you have a chance, try not to miss this tour!! If this was the opener then God knows how much better they will sound once they have a few concerts under their belt. Let’s hope he calls back to Glasgow for the next World Tour!!