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23 May 2006 - Eric Clapton & His Band

Location

Royal Albert Hall London
United Kingdom
Band Lineup: 

Eric Clapton – guitar / vocals
Doyle Bramhall II – guitar / vocals
Derek Trucks – guitar
Chris Stainton – keyboards
Tim Carmon – keyboards
Willie Weeks – bass
Steve Jordan – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals
The Kick Horns (Simon Clarke – baritone saxophone, Roddy Lorimer – trumpet, Tim Sanders – tenor saxophone)

Support: 
Robert Cray Band
Special Guest(s): 

Robert Cray – guitar / vocals*

Set List: 

01. Pretending
02. So Tired
03. Got To Get Better In A Little While
04. Old Love
05. I Shot The Sheriff
06. Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?
07. Back Home
08. I Am Yours
09. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
10. Running On Faith
11. Milkcow’s Calf Blues
12. After Midnight
13. Little Queen Of Spades
14. Everybody Oughta Make A Change
15. Motherless Children
16. Wonderful Tonight
17. Layla
18. Cocaine
19. Crossroads (encore)*

Show Notes: 

 

Fan Reviews: 

Review by Andy Balcam, Newbury
And so - 5 nights into the Albert Hall run and Eric finally starts to take some liberties with the set list! The structure was the same as previously on this tour but out went Lost and Found and Anyday and in came Old Love and Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad? in their places.

Old Love was a masterclass in soulful playing from Eric and WDLGTBSS was blistering with great solos all round and a lovely fade with EC and Derek trading licks like they've never been apart.

There was a subtle change later as Running on Faith and Milkcow were switched round giving the sit-down set a new dynamic. Both numbers were awesome with Milkcow especially rollicking last night.

Elsewhere Trucks once again poured liquid silver guitar lines all over the quieter numbers in the sit-down set and got what seemed the loudest cheer of the night for his stunning break in Little Queen, Doyle played some raucous lead all night and Eric tore up the fretboard at nearly every opportunity.

Sadly that's the end of the adventure for me but it's been a great ride. It seems to me that Eric's resurgence continues a-pace and I think his decision to include such a dazzling talent as Derek Trucks in his band and give him so much space to work in was both brave and inspired as it's given these shows a real edge that is thrilling to hear.

Review by Mark Allen - Essex
Well this is my last of my three reviews from the RAH, and all I can say is I am totally gutted its my last for this stint. Last nights show was yet again a solid performance, with an even more relaxed feel to it.

It was nice to hear a few changes to the set from the previous evening including 'Old Love' and 'Why does love ........' The solos screamed Eric early on with breathtaking performances in 'Why does love........', 'Old Love', 'Sheriff', 'Little Queen.......' etc .....

A error on key on one solo led to EC shouting out 'Agh sorry' but hey, all that shows is that he is human. Going on his playing last night I was wondering if he was !! There seemed to be some new riffs in his licks which sounded great, giving a real blues / funky mix.

Well, all I can say is EC you are still the genius, the master of the guitar. You have inspired my playing and have left me more than satisfied than ever with this tour. Just dont stop - Thank you for some great nights

Review by Philip Bunce
I like music but can't read it or play any myself, so I can't really judge technically at all. I just love Eric Clapton concerts and will keep coming back for more. Our man seems relaxed this year with all the superb support around him, while still happy to step forward to shower his delighted fans with scintillating shards of sound. I really like the sets this year with the mix of pace, mood, and songs old and new. I didn't particularly like the squeaky keyboard solo in Old Love, but After Midnight and Motherless Children, driven along by the steam train beat of the excellent drummer were glorious. The only time I thought it lagged slightly was when I was surprised to find myself thinking that I Shot the Sheriff seemed a bit plodding towards the end.

I would so love to hear him play Let it Grow and/or Please be with Me (even Mean Old World with Derek Trucks maybe) in an acoustic set and the maturity of his singing would surely make them sound so good again. But I'm asking to make a brilliant night better whilst not wishing to replace anything that was played tonight so maybe I should just say Thanks Eric for another great night.
Do you want to add to the pleasure? Take along a couple of friends who've never seen him before and watch their delight as the show unfolds.

Review by Gary Bowyer / Sutton, Surrey UK
The gig at the RAH last night was a great surprise to me. A very raw and understated stage show which was more like a speakeasy club than a premier London auditorium, and yet, for me it worked a treat. Eric played with such composure and ease that he seemed to settle the whole band down right from the off.

The best thing about the night (apart from the omnipotent one himself!!) was the discovery of the hugely talented Derek Trucks on guitar. Some outstanding slide guitar work and his contribution to the acoustic set was top drawer. The highlight was hearing such classics as After Midnight, Motherless Children & I Shot The Sheriff aswell as Little Queen of Spades. Layla was as good a performance as I've ever heard and the slide guitar work of DT in partII was as near to the Duane Allman original as you'll ever hear. A fantatsic band overall and a particular treat for an old Blues lover to see Chris Stainton & Willie Weeks up there. Only disappointments were no Let It Rain as previous set lists and despite their best efforts the girls are just not Tessa Niles & Katie Kissoon. Thank you Eric, you are still The Man!!

Review by Darryl Tallantyre
This was the night of all nights! The first day of sunshine in London for a week, and boy does it have an affect on people. The whole place had a buzz, I don't know what it was but I can only guess seeing the sun has made people happy.

At the start of the night I just expected another standard show. I have this worry that when Eric plays a long residency like this there is the tendency for him to switch to 'auto-pilot'. Lesson 1 - where Eric's concerned expect the unexpected!

Having conquered my fear of heights (sitting in row 1 of the Circle) during Robert Cray's set - in which he played an amazing version of 'Twenty' (the best so far!) - I sat waiting for that excited, heat-thumping moment when Chris Stainton starts the intro to 'Pretending' and band bursts into life!.

From the solos during 'Pretending' and 'So Tired' something seemed different. The sound was clean and crisp, the solos perfect and the band all smiles. This is the kind of night you can tell the band know something you don't. And then it came, the opening bars of 'Old Love' together with an EC solo that made my jaw drop!. I enjoy their version of 'Lost and Found' but replacing it with the 'tried and tested' 'Old Love' (and so early in the set) was an excellent choice. The song came complete with a superb synth solo from Tim Carmon, similar to the version performed at the Crossroads Benefit show in New York.

But there was more, replacing 'Anyday' - not 'Let It Rain' but 'Why Has Love Got To Be So Sad'. I've never heard Eric play this song live before, in fact he probably hasn't played it live for about 20-30 years himself.WOW! I just couldn't believe I was hearing this.

It's clear that Eric and the band are happy and comfortable with the set and prepared to try something new. Who knows what other gems will be dropped in. If all of the shows were being recorded, last nights show would be the one they would use for the CD. It was perfect in everyway: the solos, the setlist, the band contributions and reaction from the audience!

Review by Ben / Godalming, Surrey
Saw Eric on 23rd at the Albert Hall, awesome, tight band and a great vintage feel to the 461 and Layla material. Derek Trucks takes you back to Derek & the Dominos with his slide. Huge piano solo from Chris Stainton on Little Queen of Spades. And Eric just gets better.

Talking of Derek, having seen him with Eric on Tuesday, I went to the Mean Fiddler last night to see Derek with his own band. It was an unbelievable gig of virtuoso blues and jazz. Derek is tacking his own band's gigs on to the EC tour so take the chance to see him if you can. If EC's in town there's probably a DT gig around.

P.S. for all the drummers out there, I counted 10 (yes, ten) snares behind Steve Jordan. He changed his snare more often than Eric changed his guitar. Cool.

Review by Mikey Mike / Somewhere in Surrey
Well.....there you go thinking that Eric has got his track selector stuck and the set list is now how it will be for the rest of the tour, up pops a couple of new little numbers at his Tuesday night spot at the RAH. No ordinary songs, mind, because he wouldn't do that. No, would you believe 'Old Love' and 'Why does love gotta be so sad'. Yep, you heard right. Mind you, I can't say that these were the definitive versions as 'Old Love' really hit it's musical peak in the early nineties and 'Why does love...' hit it's in, well, 1970 (mind you, some of the 1975 versions were astounding). But to hear these two gems along with 'Got to get better...', 'I Am Yours' and 'Nobody Knows You...' all together in one show warmed the heart of a cynical old hippy.

There is one other small thing I'd like to point out. In the old days, you could always judge how a show was going to be like after the version of 'Sheriff' was played. No kidding. Check out virtually ANY show he's played and if 'Sheriff' is a stormer, the rest of the show will be as well. I'm not the only one who's noticed this and other EC nuts will confirm their liking for this song as it sets his stall out, as it were. Now all of you will start listening to their old bootlegs. Anyways, to confuse matters, his playing of 'Sheriff' on this tour is well ... frankly ... average. He never really gets into the solo and it always ends quite prematurely. But the rest of the set is vibrant and energetic. Go figure.

Official Recording: 

 

Bootleg Recording(s): 

Southern Harmony (Mid Valley 367 – 15 CD)
Southern Harmony Plus (Mid Valley Limited Sampler – 1 DVD)