Venue: Royal Albert Hall
City: South Kensington, London
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
Andy Fairweather Low & The Low Riders
01. Had to Cry Today
02. Low Down
03. After Midnight
04. Presence Of The Lord
06. Well Alright
07. Hoochie Coochie Man
08. While You See A Chance
09. Key To The Highway
10. Pearly Queen
13. Still Got The Blues
14. That’s No Way To Get Along
16. Can’t Find My Way Home
17. Gimme Some Lovin’
18. Voodoo Chile
20. Dear Mr. Fantasy
Review by Neil Sargent
I went on the Sunday night with my father having seen EC seen at the Albert Hall twice beforehand, however we had never seen him perform with Steve Winwood so we were expecting great things – and we certainly weren’t disappointed. Talk about value for money: Andy Fairweather Low and The Low Riders eased the audience into proceedings with a tight 40 minute set interspersed with some good humour between songs, (including a short round of name that tune). This was followed by the two great legends playing some 20 songs for around 2 hours and 10 minutes. It was like buy one legend get one free. The night just flew by.
My highlights included the trio of Presence of the Lord, Glad & Well Alright. Eric seemed to catch most of the audience out during Presence of the Lord as the song seemed to slow to an almost silence and many people began to applaud before EC launched into a raucous guitar solo. Layla was warmly received and having heard him perform it acoustically in 2009 it was refreshing to hear a slightly meatier acoustic version with Winwood’s input and some great keyboard work from Chris Stainton. As ever EC surrounds himself with brilliant musicians and always allows them to take the spotlight.
Other highlights were Georgia on my mind – Winwood’s voice and hammond playing were both soulful and sublime, reminding us all that there were indeed two legends on the stage, not that EC doesn’t know this as he happily took a back seat and allowed the spotlight to fall on Winwood. Gimmie Some Lovin picked up the tempo again after the short acoustic set leading to a rush of people to the front of the stage and this was followed by an amazing Voodoo Chile. It sounds far better live than on the Madison Square Garden CD – the whole hall shook!
Review by Paolo Baiotti / Torino, Italy
We flew from Italy to see Eric and Steve play two shows at the legendary Royal Albert Hall. What a great theater! First night we were in the stalls, next night in the gallery standing places. Anyway both nights were very good, even if sometimes it seems that the “surprise” factor of the first New York shows has vanished, replaced by a feeling of routine. The sensation I have is that sometimes Eric doesn’t give all he could give, while the setlist of the New York shows was stronger than some of today’s choices. I didn’t like the arrangement of some tracks like Hoochie Coochie Man and Key To the Highway, both too fast and with useless backing vocals and there was no slow blues (like Double Trouble or Ramblin’ on my Mind on the live album). But the shows were great with magnificent acoustic sets. The first night Still Got The blues was a nice surprise, That’s No Way was excellent and Layla superb. Next night a wonderful Driftin’ and a moving Can’t Find My Way Home were the highlights with the terrific Voodoo Chile and the Mr. Fantasy encore. Steve voice was superb on Georgia On My Mind while Pearly Queen and the Glad/Well Alright medley were other great moments. Steve & Eric are born to play together, they blend perfectly even when they play both guitar and the sound of the hammond organ is still unmatched. Thanks for playing together!
Review by Peter Hurn / Wallington, Surrey
My 7th or 8th time seeing Eric but this was my first time for Stevie. I’m 55 now but why have I waited so long? I know how good Eric always is and wasn’t disappointed, although I would like to hear Layla played standing-up just one more time. That minor gripe aside, what a performance this was!
A haunting Presence of the Lord was an early highlight, but later on Voodoo Chile completely blew me away, totally stunning. I was not alone either – the crowd truly erupted – but some of the reviews I have read from 2010 are perplexed at their choice of this Hendrix standard. If they can do it as brilliantly and as differently as this, what’s their problem?
Eric’s guitar on Can’t Find My Way Home was fantastic, a beautiful rendition backed up by Winwood’s superb duetting and vocal.
Now, 2 days later, I have carried with me Steve’s incredibly heartfelt Dear Mr Fantasy, the best encore of all time, which I find myself singing, humming, whistling non-stop. I can “hear” his plaintive voice as if he was in the room with me.
I shall never forget Sunday 29th May as long as I live and I have just bought Blind Faith and Welcome to the Canteen, sadly and disgracefully absent from my pocket-sized CD collection till now. And I can’t wait till the next reunion, whenever that may be. As long as there is one, of course.
Review by Lincoln and Jenny Gray / Sydney, Australia
We arrived back in Sydney this morning after a trip to London to see Eric and Steve perform together at the RAH. That was pretty much the whole reason for the trip; visit London, go to the Royal Albert Hall and see Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood playing together again.
What a thrill it was to sit in the Hall and to hear them fire up with ‘Had to cry today’ as the first song in their set list. That song, along with the others on Blind Faith was the first album that really awakened me to the genius of Clapton’s guitar playing and Winwood’s musicianship. The concert on Sunday night was the perfect showcase for their talents. The audience was having a great time as the band did great song after great song; Presence of the Lord, Well alright, While you see a chance, Hoochie Coochie Man, Crossroads, Layla, Gimme some lovin’, still got the blues…a truly amazing concert.
Then when you think that it simply can’t get any better, they hit you with the most astounding performances of Voodoo Chile and Dear Mr Fantasy. We literally travelled to the other side of the world to see this concert and every moment of it was fantastic. Thanks Eric, thanks Steve and thanks to the band. What a night it was.
Review by Matt Shirley / Mansfield, Nottinghamshire
Wow! Where do I start going to see Eric is always special but when you go to the Albert Hall there is just that extra piece of magic. The lights went down around 8.35 and we got our first glimpse of Eric walking on to the stage with his Daphine blue Strat (anyone else think that this is the same colour as his hot rod Baby Blue) From the the first notes of Had to Cry I could tell Eric was in the mood for playing and continued the hole night to delivery some spine tingling work on the guitar and his vocals are just brilliant. You can really tell it is a pleasure for Eric to play with Steve Winwood and it drives him on, I have to say Voodoo Chile is absolutely amazing and I am so glad I got to hear it live right there in front of my eyes I could help but laugh when at the end Eric walked up to the amp and cranked it up. I think it is the first time I have seen Eric mess with his amp during a show, there was obviously a level that he was not happy with, and at some point I can not remember what song at the end he called over for a swap of guitars (spare baby blue) It is a shame that didn’t film this show as some of the arrangements of songs and the additional songs were even better than the Madison Square shows. I would give this an absolute solid 10/10 and thinks that if anybody didn’t enjoy this night they must have been some where different to me.
Review by Aron Needs / Cheltenham
Ever since hearing the recording of the Madison Square Garden gig I have wanted to see Eric and Steve play together and finally I got the chance.
The gig was way above my expectations and was sensational from start to finish. At the beginning Eric was playing beautifully, even if EC didn’t quite have the fire that he had had on the previous Saturday as a solo performer, but he warmed to the task quickly. The great songs came thick and fast with particular highlights of the first few songs being ‘presence of the Lord’ and a very welcome return of the up tempo ‘After Midnight’.
Then, to top it all a fabulous version of ‘Pearly Queen’ followed soon after, which I still can’t get out of my head. The acoustic set was started with a gorgeous rendition of ‘Georgia’ and finished with ‘Can’t Find my way Home’, during which Steve’s vocals just hushed the crowd so you could hear a pin drop.
Eric then plugged back in and if the first half of the concert was great I cannot describe the last few songs. What a crowd pleaser ‘Gimme some Lovin’ is and Eric’s playing during ‘Voodoo Chile’ defies any description and was worth the price of the ticket alone. If this wasn’t enough a great version of ‘Cocaine’ followed and the encore was ‘Dear Mr Fantasy’; with Steve playing a sublime solo, which Eric seemed to be really impressed with.
Eric and Steve really draw the best out of each other and both were relaxed and seeming to enjoy the evening and each others company.
I was lucky enough to see one of the Eric and Jeff Beck concerts at the O2 last year, again the music was fabulous but Eric and Steve just compliment each other so much more than Eric and Jeff did.