Eric Clapton – guitar / vocals
Jack Bruce – bass / vocals
Ginger Baker – drums / vocals
01. I'm So Glad
03. Outside Woman Blues
04. Pressed Rat and Wart Hog
05. Sleepy Time, Time
09. Sweet Wine
10. Rollin' & Tumblin'
11. Stormy Monday
12. Deserted Cities of the Heart
13. Born Under a Bad Sign
14. We're Going Wrong
16. Sitting on Top of the World
17. White Room
19. Sunshine of Your Love (encore)
Review by Norrie Fleming
I was there on the second night with my wife. We came down from Scotland to see this reunion and were not disappointed. It was an emotional night for me to see and hear the three legends play together. I was just 10-12 years old when they were together but they, and especially Eric, have had an influence on me since. We have seen Eric Clapton a few times at the Albert Hall but this was really special. To actually see them and hear them play these songs again was fantastic and I am now proud to be able to say that I was there to see CREAM at the Albert Hall! I can't wait for the DVD to be released.
Review by Wolfgang Schueer
CREAM 2nd and 3rd May It was fantastic. I never believed that these 3 guys could present a show like this. You have certainly read the set list - around 20 songs from Cream's back catalog were played each night! I think they played more than they ever did in the past. Remember that early Cream shows usually had less than 10 songs. Ok, these songs were stretched much more than today but they never played for around 2 hrs before. There was nearly no jamming (except SOYL on the 2nd night) and all songs were well rehearsed and each musician was always aware of the song they were just playing. But nevertheless you could feel the magic. The atmosphere was electric. A little disappointment: Eric consequently played his Fender guitar throughout the show - no Gibson. I could see that 4 black Fender Strats had been prepared - I think 2 were set up for slide and 2 were set up for normal. The greatest surprise for me were Jack and Ginger. Ginger played great on drums, proving that he is still one of the best. And Jack's bass playing was outstanding and his voice was sounded much better to me than it did in the old Cream days. And Eric - playing in a trio format forced him to give his best No autopilot at all. Great solos - Stormy Monday, We're going wrong, Outside woman blues, Sunshine and so on. Ok, sometimes he was a bit late singing the chorus lines on White room and Sunshine but that didn't matter at all. The crowd was enthusiastic from the second the band went on stage until they left after the encore. Standing ovations after nearly every song. These were two nights at the Albert Hall I certainly will remember all my life. Newspapers said the other day (after the first show) that Eric had tears in his eyes. I cannot verify this but it surely was a very emotional and moving evening for all of us - the musicians and the audience. I hope that the official DVD release later this year will capture the atmosphere of these remarkable nights.
Review by Phil Bunce / Swindon
Different night, same set list, but to this non-musician there seemed more fluidity. The first night under their belts (and what a reception they got!) they seemed to relax more together and start to ‘ping’ together more. Whether it was the different angle or what, there seemed to be more mid-song interaction between the guys and though, first night, It looked as though EC and JB went right off-stage during Toad, this time I could see them sitting and apparently discussing the sweat-drenching heat of the hall.
I thought Rollin’ and Tumblin’ was the standout on Monday, but it was more difficult to choose on Tuesday – Rollin’, Stormy Monday, Deserted Cities, White Room, Toad, Sunshine? They seemed to sustain a higher level.
Review by Nick Kernoghan
The set was identical to that of the 2nd. They were different to 1968. No massive Marshall stacks, no free-form improvisations, no Gibson guitars, no ringing ears afterwards. Did it detract? Not at all! This was older and wiser Cream. The sound was vastly better and the playing just as good. Every song was at least very good and there were a lot of highlights. Spoonful, Sleepy Time Time, NSU, Badge, Sweet Wine, Crossroads and White Room were excellent. Better still were They Call It Stormy Monday, Sitting On Top Of The World and Toad (down to about 7 minutes) and an extended We’re Going Wrong was awesome! There are few concerts with so many highs.
Eric was on fine guitar form with a sustaining fat and creamy (beautifully overdriven) tone. A fuller sound than he used on the Me and Mr. Johnson tour. He pulled an amazing flute-like tone out of somewhere on Sweet Wine and the fills and solos on We’re Going Wrong were otherworldly. Less aggressive, but more articulate than the youthful article. His playing caused the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up several times. Also I don’t suppose many would argue with the comment that he is has matured from a passable singer into a really good one!
Jack hit the bass harder than everyone else I have ever seen giving a really dirty just distorting, grinding tone. He anchored the band superbly inserting fluid runs with great taste. On fine vocal form as well.
Ginger was a revelation, the finest drumming performance I have ever been privileged to watch! Those double bass drums and amazing tom toms just took several of the songs to another level. Badge, which I have seen Eric play many times, was the best I have ever heard it. He drove the other two along in irresistible fashion.
As we left my mate Bill said “That’s it then, I can save myself a lot of money by not going to anything less good than that.” Seems to sum up a great night!
Review by Matt Walmsley
I'm sure I had the same fears as everyone, and prayed that after such a long wait I wasn't going to be disappointed - well I wasn't.
Of course there wasn't the fire and aggression from before but it was pretty close and almost as tight. Yes, I too would have preferred to see and hear Eric with a Gibson and for some of the obvious omissions to get an airing (no Tale of Brave Ulysses, Strange Brew, Steppin Out). It too seemed odd for Eric to have his wah wah setup and fail to use it, especially on White Room which didn't quite seem the same, but these are all minor niggles. I felt honoured to have been there and pay witness to an event that I never believed would or could happen. Highlights were Spoonful and Deserted Cities where Jack's vocals were as powerful as ever, Rollin & Tumblin for all-round musicianship, Stormy Monday as an Eric showcase and Toad - for obvious reasons; how Ginger manages that with only 2 arms and legs remains a mystery to me. What was best of all was the fact that Jack, Ginger and Eric visibly looked to be enjoying themselves ; who's to say we won't all be back in another 37 years?
Review by Rick Kent
Tuesday Night Show... this is a from the heart review and from the gut and without thinking too much. Think and write. The band seemed to really like playing together and happy to be there. Even more than last night. During Pressed Rat and Warthog Jack and Ginger were really cracking each other up towards the end of the number. Ginger even flubbed a lyric while Jack made him laugh. With all the press about their feuding this was so cool to see. Here in London all the press seems to center on how the members of Cream hated one another. They go on and on and on about Jack and Ginger. Enough already!
The opening I'm So Glad was great tonight. They must be reading the reviews in the London newspapers (or read the reviews here... ha, ha) because right away Eric showed more passion in his vocals for this first song of the night. Spoonful was more exotic this time with Eric getting more psychedelic sounding. Did anyone else go tonight? Can you expound on this for me? I liked Spoonful so much more tonight.
Overall the show was better but last night was great. Shit man these are Cream concerts I'm talking about!
My impression of the songs:
I'm So Glad (!! so much better of an opening Tuesday night!!)
Spoonful (played with so much more spirit especially Eric)
Outside Women Blues
Pressed Rat & Warthog (Eric says" this one is featuring Ginger")
Sleepy Time Time (not as good as Monday and my favorite from Monday)
NSU (they did get into this one a lot with some inklings of a jam)
Badge (crowd really likes this one but it doesn't thrill me like the rest.)
Politician (to me, not as well done as Monday)
Rollin' & Tumblin' (done well once again)
Stormy Monday (Eric has his heart into this one and doesn't hold back anything)
Deserted Cities of the Heart (my least favorite)
Born Under a Bad Sign (this was my favorite of Tuesday night! They really got into it! Eric and Jack kept smiling and laughing here having a great time with it)
We're Going Wrong (OK I'm not down with this one, too dark, same as Monday but a great add to the show I think)
Crossroads (I think Crossroads is a hard one to get right)
Sittin' On Top of the World (I hate to say it but not done with enough drive)
White Room (lot's of passion here and better than Monday, much better I think)
Toad (same 6 minutes but not as tight as Monday IMHO)
Encore: Sunshine of Your Love (another highlight of Tuesday because they added a nice extended jam at the end to cap off the night. This jam was the first real jam of the reunion so far in my opinion.)
Royal Albert Hall London May 2-3-5-6 2005 (CD and DVD)
CD Tracks from this show: Disc 1 – Sleepy Time Time, Badge, Deserted Cities Of The Heart. Disc 2 – White Room, Sunshine Of Your Love
DVD Tracks from this show: Disc 1 – Sleepy Time Time, Badge, Deserted Cities Of The Heart, We’re Going Wrong (alt. take). Disc 2 – White Room, Sunshine Of Your Love.
Cream - Maximum (Mid Valley 311-318 – 8 CD)