Eric Clapton - guitar, vocals
Doyle Bramhall II - guitar, backing vocals
Chris Stainton - keyboards
Willie Weeks - bass
Abe Laboriel Jr - drums
Michelle John - backing vocals
Sharon White - backing vocals
Robert Randolph - pedal steel *
01. Tell The Truth
02. Key To The Highway
03. Hoochie Coochie Man
04. Here But I Am Gone (Curtis Mayfield song)
05. Outside Woman Blues
06. Double Trouble
07. Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad
08. Midnight Hour Blues (Leroy Carr song)
09. Rockin' Chair
10. Motherless Child
11. Travellin' Riverside Blues
12. Running On Faith
13. Motherless Children
14. Little Queen of Spades
15. Before You Accuse Me
16. Wonderful Tonight
19. Got My Mojo Working (encore) *
Review by Kevin Scollick
Well, I really don't know what to say except to say that is the closest I have ever been to 'God' himself and wow....what a feeling! I don't know what he did in Ireland that got them so disenchanted (reading the reviews of the shows) but I loved this set.
Eric waltzed out onstage at 8.40 - he had a wry smile on his face but did look a little thin to me. I thought the band looked a bit tired (they didn't play like they were) but I got an inkling that this tour was starting to knacker them. I was sat in Row A block AB and was about 4 feet away - I saw Doyle mouth to Eric "I feel sick"...it didn't show!
The show opened with a foot tapping " Tell the truth" and fantastic guitar work continued in "Why does love got to be so sad" and took on a precise but subdued mood later on when Eric sat down and did what he does best - played the blues. His acoustic set was great and although he managed to break a string and had to use an 'electric' for one song whilst it was being re-strung did not dampen his resolve to carry us away....he simply looked up and raised his eyelids - continuing to play pitch perfect just one fret above. It was a joy to hear him sing 'Running On Faith' and later on 'Before you accuse me'. This was concert number 11 for me and the one song that eludes me is "Nobody Knows you when you're down and out" - my all time favourite!!!!
The show brought us Double Trouble and Motherless Children which rocked the audience out in between drifting away on his solo work. The end of these shows is now so well rehearsed it is almost set in stone - Wonderful Tonight. Quickly into Layla, onto Cocaine, and then a wonderful ending...Got my mojo working with Robet Randulph. The ending was magnificent - I have never seen Eric return for an encore - when I saw him at Sheffield Hallam he didn't bother with Robert Cray and nor did he at the Albert a few years ago with Robert Randulph (perhaps it's a Saturday night thing?). It was electric - Randulph and Clapton competing for the solo trophy - Randulph more than matched him - at the end Eric did his quick 3 bow Thankyou and then went and put his arm on Randulph - he knew this had been a good one!
Sorry for those of you that disagree with this tour being one of the best, but there is so much that you see sat at the front of a show, that enables you to read their moves, the fret work, the eye contact etc.
I personally think Eric enjoyed this set - probably the end more than the beginning, but WHY only one gig...I don't like the big open air concerts (I didn't think eric did either - belting the songs out over 10000 watt speakers where the band can't hear themselves??) and I think Leeds on Sunday will be full of the champagne swillers who have forked out to take the wife out on a picnic blanket for the night - yes there will be hard core fans, but the fact the tickets were still on sale today (and are being sold on ebay for less than face value when tickets for Nottingham were around Â£100 each) gives me the impression people have stayed away!
Review by Paul Herbert
Having see Eric Clapton live so many times live over the past 20 years it does become hard reviewing a one off show, especially when comparing how it rates with others gone by. However my initial opinion is that the show last night (my 60th Clapton gig) topped all five shows that I attended on the European leg of the 2006 world tour. From the off I was glad to see the back of The Kick Horns, Tim Carmen and yes, especially Derek Trucks. This band was smaller which meant more 'Clapton-Time' and the set-list was by far superior to the earlier 'Back Home' shows of the 06/07 tour.
Doyle Bramhall II pushes Eric on stage and his own playing is getting better all the time. Last night was certainly the best I've heard him play (and sing) for sure. EC even names Doyle as his favourite guitar player in his programme notes where he also makes the suggestion that he made a mistake in leaving the brilliant Willie Weeks out at the start of this tour. Although lacking the visual energy of previous drummer Steve Jordan, Abe Laboriel Jr did a great job on the drums and Chris Stainton was at his amazing best as always. Sharon White and Michelle John also impressed me in Nottingham.
As a singer I feel that Clapton is at the top of his game right now. However as a guitarist, I have no doubt that the EC I've seen live was at the height of his powers and self-indulgent best during the 1990's. Each song back then would without fail contain two long solos played almost from anger, frustration and that internal blues feeling of self-pity. EC's turbulent private life of the time and of course the later loss of his son ripped through his music via the guitar each time he stepped on stage. You could say that the Eric Clapton of today is more reserved on stage and you could even say classier, picking and choosing his moments to rip into an emotional solo and far more keen to give dish one out to a fellow band member.
My personal highlights from last nights gig were 'Key To The Highway', 'Outside Women Blues', 'Hoochie Coochie Man' and the whole acoustic set was excellent (EC broke a string on 'Motherless Child'). All in all a great show but EC and the band didn't do enough for me to drop everything and head of to Hyde Park this coming Saturday and that has left me feeling a tiny bit disappointed as I wanted to be blown away and feel that I couldn't possibly miss out. All in all 7.5 out of 10 for last night and still better than everyone else out there.
Review by Steve Antcliffe
The only time i had seen Eric before was in the 80s, when he toured with Roger Waters. I found out in Nottingham just what I'd been missing! The concert was superb. Eric's band were fantastic, especially Chris Stainton and Doyle Bramhall ll. I thought the set list was very good but I wish he had played "Little Wing" instead of "Wonderful Tonight." My personal favourites on the night were "Running On Faith" and "Little Queen of Spades." I can't wait to see him again and I now truly believe that Clapton IS god.
I read somewhere about people saying the merchandise was overpriced, well I think £20 for a t shirt isn't too bad at all especially when you consider the price of football shirts which don't last five minutes. I also thought the programme was good. I've seen a lot that are just photographs but Eric's has details of all the guitars he has played over the years which I found very interesting. All in all, a brilliant night out in the company of a true legend. I hope to see him again very soon.
Never Hide (Mid Valley 468/469 - 2 CD)
Delta Queen (Tarantura TCDEC37-1,2 – 2 CD)