Venue: LG Arena at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC)
Country: United Kingdom
Eric Clapton – guitar, vocals
Steve Winwood – hammond organ, piano, guitar, vocals
Chris Stainton – keyboards
Willie Weeks – bass
Steve Gadd – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals
Opening night of the 2010 Clapton / Winwood European Tour. The tour stops in 7 countries with 16 performances.
01. Had To Cry Today
02. Low Down
03. After Midnight
04. Presence Of The Lord
05. Shape I’m In
07. Well Alright
08. Tuff Luck
09. Pearly Queen
10. Forever Man
11. Midland Maniac
12. Going Down
14. Drifting Blues
15. How Long
17. Can’t Find My Way Home
18. Split Decision
19. Voodoo Chile
21. Dear Mr. Fantasy (encore)
Review by Graham Pitcher
Just returned from one of the great concerts. Eric and Steve seemed to gel from the beginning and delivered a truly memorable concert. From the first track it was clear we were in for a special evening and they didn’t disappoint..particular highlight was Voodoo Chile which built in true Eric style to a climax showcasing Steve and the rest of the band to the full. I’m a fan since the Yardbirds and I enjoyed it much more than the Jeff Beck collaboration earlier this year and it felt like Eric did too!
Review by Bill L / Darwen
Anybody who has tickets for the upcoming shows is in for a real treat. The show was fabulous. A bit of a slow start, they were quite a bit late on stage and "Had To Cry Today" was a bit shaky but by the time "Low Down" had finished they were on it. Every song played was terrific, the instrumental was great, Georgia on my Mind was truly beautiful with Eric’s sweet solo being particularly stunning. Going Down was powerful. Shame we didn’t get Little Wing, I have seen Eric many times over the last 30 years and still not heard it live! Never mind, in its place Voodoo Chile was incredible. Because of the late start there was only one song in the encore, but what a song, Dear Mr Fantasy was tremendous. Overall one of the best concerts I have been to, Eric’s playing was up there, as good as he’s played for a while, Steve still has the voice (and not a bad strummer himself), Steve Gadd is still the man, Chris not overshadowed by Winwood’s presence, Willie providing great foundation as usual, Sharon and Michelle doing enough without being overblown. If you have a ticket for Wembley or anywhere on the tour I am envious!
Review by Peter Cross / Coventry
This was a delightful concert, full of well played and well chosen songs, including a few surprises. It repeatedly felt great to be a few bars in, without more or less knowing what was coming next. After a few years of welcome exposure to several fine songs from Derek and The Dominos, Eric has given his set list another healthy overhaul… apart from the rather disappointing retention of Cocaine, that is, which seemed placed to invite full audience participation in rounding off the main set.
Steve Winwood’s unfussy contribution was a treat, as both seasoned pro’s settled into presenting their chosen work. What initially seemed like an easy paced loosening up number, Had To Cry Today suddenly became a mini guitar fest, with a lovely passage of genuine interplay. Derek Trucks noticeably coaxed something similar during performances of "Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad" but most guitar partners since Duane Allman’s "Layla" sessions have been handed their turn to lead, rather than invited to engage so directly with the master. Steve’s restrained Hammond organ playing also impressed, with emphasis placed on the importance of the songs, rather than any need to display a virtuosity that was for the most part kept simmering just below the surface.
My own favourite of the night was an unexpected and raucous pounding of Don Nix’ classic, "Going Down", which Freddie King and many others have got stuck into over the last 40 years or so.
Greedy ticket prices seemed to have been responsible for some empty sections of the large auditorium. I’d love to have overheard a large sample of conversations on the way out, from the fairly subdued and conservative audience that did attend. My sense was that this overdue collaboration was deemed a big success and despite (or maybe because of) the lack of widespread whooping and hollering, the music had been attentively appreciated throughout.
Yet another satisfying concert from our man – thank you muchly for your sharing!
Review by John Fox
Wow, What a night! Great to see to performers at the top of their game producing the goods and looking as though they were enjoying every minute. I was in seventh heaven because there were a goodly selection of blues numbers – not quite to my wife’s taste. She (and I) loved "Georgia". What a voice Steve has. It’s lost nothing of its range and delivery.
Both of them produced delightful harmonies and counterpoint on a number of tracks.The range of music covered their extensive repertoires and melded together well. The contribution by the band and singers shouldn’t be underestimated either. Very tight.
I agree with the article as to the treatment of "Voodoo Chile". Hairs on the back of the neck job!! The auditorium really rose to it, and showed their appreciation. The voume was controlled and the sound solid. Is there a version of this any where? If not surely there should be!! My wife put her hand under my chin to close my mouth.
I’ve not heard the CD of the collaboration in the USA. There has to be a CD from these shows – PLEASE! I’m going back through my collection of works by both artists today to remind myself of the quality of two supreme musical talents. Thank you Eric and Steve for a night of music we shan’t forget.
Review by Nigel Reeve
Having followed both EC and Steve Winwood for many years I eagerly awaited this concert with baited breath and needless to say I was not disappointed. I felt the lead roles were shared equally amongst 2 great musicians and we should not underestimate what a great guitarist SW is in his own right.
As I get older (regretfully ) I find the acoustic sit down set more and more appealing and it allows the true musicianship of the two to really show through. EC’s playing was as always exciting, and subtle at the same time and after early first night nerves he and the band settled down to perfection. Chris Stainton’s piano work is amazing and I wish his solo on Cocaine would go on forever. Certainly in Willie Weeks EC has found is perfect bassist, but I must admit to not being a total fan of Steve Gadd. EC obviously likes him a lot and whilst without doubt he lays down a solid and flawless beat, the fills and excitement are missing when compared to other recent occupants of EC’s drum stool. Sharon and Michelle took a few gigs to win me over but can you know imagine an EC concert without them? Thumbs up ladies!!
Overall a great first night concert and the highlights for me were After Midnight with its slightly different arrangement, Dear Mr. Fantasy, Cocaine, Tuff Luck and Drifting Blues. Voodoo Chile was of course received well but maybe 3 / 4 minutes too long in my own humble opinion. I am sure the tour will be well received on its forthcoming dates and if you don’t have tickets then get some (if available!) as it may be the last chance to see these two great musicians and their band together.