Venue: Royal Albert Hall
Country: United Kingdom
Eric Clapton – guitar / vocals
Andy Fairweather Low – guitar / vocals
Chris Stainton– keyboards
Tim Carmon – keyboards
Willie Weeks – bass
Steve Gadd – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals
The Arc Angels
28 May was the 9th show of the 11 night 2009 residency by Eric Clapton & His Band. Doyle Bramhall II again joined the band for several numbers.
Doyle Bramhall II – guitar *
01. Going Down Slow
02. Key To The Highway
03. Got To Get Better In A Little While
04. Anything For Your Love
05. Old Love
07. Nobody Knows You (When You’re Down And Out)
08. Lay Down Sally
09. Somewhere Over The Rainbow
11. Little Queen of Spades
12. Before You Accuse Me
13. Wonderful Tonight
14. Layla *
15. Cocaine *
16. Crossroads (encore)*
Review by Mark Brown
Even though I have seen Eric play in the intervening years I hadn’t seen a full Clapton show since the "From the Cradle" tour and based on that I was really excited to be going back to the Albert Hall once again. I was really pleased with the setlist which covered lots of my favourite tracks.
The highlights were a fantastic version of Badge and the full version of Layla. Nobody Knows You was a fantastic surprise too. It was a great night and a great show, but I was taken aback by the crowd. I sat in the arena and everyone just sat politely and listened like it was a classical music concert. I really expected people to be up and dancing and it was a bit of a disappointment that the audience seemed so flat.
Review by Bill Dost
Going Down Slow has been a fun number to watch Eric play and I have to admit it’s nice to see a new song in the set list which goes over really well. Moving from that song to key to the highway however really puts me to sleep. This is a song that Eric’s had in his set list for way too long, especially when there are so many other songs he could have changed it up with. I really hope somewhere along the line this song which is truly a beauty gets a much deserved break.
Got to get better was exciting and fun to see, being one of my personal favourite tracks, I was a little shocked however when Eric nodded to Willie to take a bass solo that he should his head and declined, we so rarely get to see him solo and I found his solo on the 26th such a wonderful treat that it was a true disappointment to see him skip it. Having said that, Eric solo in the song more than made up for it.
Anything for your love, in this set list is another snoozer, I don’t know why but it seems like he is just bored when he is playing this song, — even his guitar sounded bored! Things changed up for Old Love, Eric’s solo followed by Tim’s truly makes this a highlight of the night. It’s a well orchestrated song and you can tell everyone enjoys playing it.
When Eric has been sitting down recently you never quite know what to expect. I’ve never been a huge fan of driftin but I can tell you that it has the desired effect on the fans it’s enrapturing, there it is basically just EC and the ground, I think in some ways this is the most intimate song we see him play and for that I’m glad it’s here.
NKYWYDAO however is another story, I recognize the fans love it, but that’s mainly because it’s being played so often I think this song too needs a bit of a rest, there are so many awesome acoustic blues EC could play. I’d love see I’m tore down here or something.
Lay Down Sally this song has been a treat and I must confess I have truly enjoyed the solo he pulls out for this song as well.
Now the most curious song of the night somewhere over the rainbow, I must admit I have no love for this song, I’m baffled that Eric puts two solos in it and that the crowd seems to cheer for it more than any other song he plays.
When Eric finally does return to electric he does come back with fire badge such a great old standard and nice to have back in the mix. I think it would be nice to see him change this off with another cream song everything night, it would make things interesting.
LQoS a song I personally find extremely conflicting, great song, probably some of the best solo work of the night, however he’s played it so often that as a song it’s boring even if the work in it is good. I would have loved for him to drop a new blues number here, or something old and comfortable that hasn’t been played in the last decade or so.
Before you accuse me has about the same effect as LQoS it’s tired, but man the solos really give the band a chance to shine.
Wonderful tonight though not my favourite is a song that the crowd will always demand and I’m fine with that.
The final run up here with Doyle has changed the dynamics of the night. Eric seems challenged again and you can see it in his solos for the next 3 songs.
Layla is incendiary and when doyle pulls out the slide and goes to town during the coda its absolutely awesome. Cocaine also illicit thrills, not just because of doyle but because of everyone’s solo work especially Chris’s solo.
Finally we have crossroads, I have to confess, most nights I want to leave when he starts the song and the only reason I have stayed the last couple nights has been doyle, this is a song that could easily be replaced with a bigger more resonating song from Eric’s library.
All in all a decent concert, but I have to confess that during badge all I could hear was Eric singing where is my paycheque, where is my paycheque it’s unfortunate, but this fan feels it’s true.