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
Night 8 at the Royal Albert Hall … Layla gets plugged back in, Got To Get Better In A Little While makes its first appearance this tour and Doyle Bramhall II guests with the band.
Doyle Bramhall II – guitar *
01. Going Down Slow
02. Key To The Highway
03. Got To Get Better In A Little While
04. Old Love
05. I Shot The Sheriff
07. Nobody Knows You (When You’re Down And Out)
08. Lay Down Sally
09. Anytime For You
10. Somewhere Over The Rainbow
12. Little Queen of Spades
13. Before You Accuse Me
14. Wonderful Tonight
15. Layla *
16. Cocaine *
16. Crossroads (encore) *
Review by Ian McCormack
Having usually studied the set-lists in depth before attending an EC gig I decided this time not to check anything after night 1 of the run and I have to say it was a good move as sometimes us “EC Anoraks” get into information overload mode.
I thought EC played fantastically well and it certainly seemed to inspire him having Andy back in the band. It’s obvious they have a close personal and Musical kinship and the playing reflected that.
The first electric set built nicely and it was nice to hear GTGB in a little while played for what as I subsequently learnt was the first time during the run. Old Love also resonated beautifully in the hall and surprisingly Tim Carmen’s solo didn’t aggravate me as much as I thought it would. I actually got what he brings to the table for EC and it does bring a new aspect to the solos. Sherriff of course was a highlight and EC’s soloing on the home run is almost worth the price of entry alone.
For the sit-down set I was fully expecting Layla but surprise, surprise it never came. Lay down Sally really benefitted from an acoustic re-work and Nobody knows you was very warmly received as was Rainbow which in my humble opinion highlights Eric’s vocal genius to rip right to the core of a songs meaning.
Great to hear Badge again after so long and it still sounds fresh. To be honest I have thought that EC’s sets in the past 6 years or so have been lacking one or 2 Clapton classics and it was great to hear this one again. Spades was great but I was hoping that it would have been changed up for another extended blues number by now. Having said that, it was a great spectacle to witness all the extended class solos from EC and his superb band.
Wonderful Tonight was interesting as EC completely missed the first opening hook when the riff kicks in.. Quite funny actually. I also noticed a few times that EC was standing too far away from the mic and occasionally was late with the opening vocal. This happened here and also on the next re-plugged number for which Doyle was introduced onstage. I did wonder if maybe electric Layla had been dropped due to Andy’s relative weaker take on the backing riff compared to Doyle and it was interesting to note that of course Doyle played all the key parts with Andy contributing rhythm although I think possibly it’s Doyle’s slide mastery in the piano section that had been most missed as it is a thing of beauty so I think maybe we’ll see Doyle guest on this as well as the last 2 numbers for the rest of the run.
Cocaine was almost given a completely new direction by the change in band line up and it was truly a highlight. As others have mentioned Andy’s raw and powerful rhythm type soloing was quite something to behold.
We were in the first box on level 1 closest to the stage and from this vantage point we were looking down straight into Chris’s keyboard almost over his shoulder. His playing as we all know is incredible and to be able to see it in detail tonight was simply fantastic. You can also see from the side view that EC does his own dancing when he is soloing. It really illustrated how he feels the music and was not something I had noticed before as it is not as apparent when you are looking head on. Just shows you that you learn something new even after 200+ gigs.
A great EC gig!!!!!!
Review by Nadja T / Bonau, Switzerland
What a difference a day makes. Highlights were Going Down Slow, GTGBIALW, Old Love, Sheriff, Driftin’, Badge, LQoS, Layla and Cocaine.
The show started with a cool sounding Going Down Slow with EC stomping the ground. Launching immediately into Key to the Highway with everyone soloing showed what was to come. Next up was a nice surprise with the dropping of Anything For Your Love as GTGBIALW was back from last year and what a version it was. Willy Weeks had his first solo of the tour and EC gave a stellar solo while stomping his feet. Up next was a spectacular version of Old Love. After EC’s short intro and the main lyrics of the song came EC’s marvelous solo; up was Tim on synth who was then urged on by EC’s speed rhythm making Tim’s solo much faster; taking everything back to regular rhythm and speed EC closed this fantastic version. Sheriff closed the first part of the show.
The sit-down saw Driftin’ (great rendition), NKYWYDAO had the audience clapping at the beginning and Lay Down Sally was played to the appreciation of the audience. Anytime for You sounded great I like the Gibson sound here. Somewhere over the Rainbow closed the acoustic set with a beautiful rendition of this song.
Back to full gear had Badge as a stomping and wild version with EC laying it all out. LQoS started with a long intro by EC, Chris ‘wild man’ Stainton hammering away, AFL followed with a nice and gentle solo and EC closed the song loud. Before You Accuse Me as a full throttle version had everyone soloing with EC (3), Tim, Chris, AFL (short) contributing.
Doyle joined the show for the last 3 songs. Layla had EC start the famous riff and Doyle played the long outro on slide. A full blast version of Cocaine with EC (2), Doyle, Andy "wah wah" Fairweather-Low, Tim and Chris – the song ended with a loud shout of COCAINE by the audience. The show closed with a loud Crossroads.