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25 July 2015 - Eric Clapton & His Band

Location

Wormsley Estate Cricket Ground Stokenchurch, High Wycombe
United Kingdom
Band Lineup: 

Eric Clapton – guitar, vocals
Andy Fairweather Low - guitar, vocals
Chris Stainton – piano, keyboards
Dave Bronze – bass
Henry Spinetti – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals

Support: 
Strapped For Cash
Set List: 

01. Somebody Knocking
02. Key To The Highway
03. Tell The Truth
04. Hoochie Coochie Man
05. Lay Down Sally
06. Ginhouse
07. Wonderful Tonight
08. Crossroads
09. Little Queen Of Spades
10. Cocaine

(The band also performed a snippet of "Happy Birthday" when the cake was brought out to Sir Ian "Beefy" Botham)

Show Notes: 

Eric Clapton headlined a special fundraising event for legendary cricketer and tireless philanthropist Sir Ian "Beefy" Botham  at the Wormsley Estate, Stokenchurch, High Wycombe, Buckinghampshire in honour of the sportsman's 60th Birthday. Beefy's Charity Foundation was the beneficiary of all funds raised.

The T20 Cricket Game was Sir Ian Botham's XI vs. Sir Viv Richards's XI. Celebrities playing in the match included Andrew Strauss, Darren Gough, Matthew Hoggard, Simon Jones, Glen McGrath, Shane Warne, and Stuart McGill. The afternoon cricket was covered by Sky Television. 

Fan Reviews: 

Review by Graham Pitcher
The weather was great, cricket fun and exciting and Eric, well need I say more, delivered a great set (as always!)

The  days cricket, with many of the greats in Viv Richards XI vs Shane Warnes XI (and a crowd pleasing appearance by Piers Morgan)for Beefies 60th Birthday Bash at the splendid Wormsley estate provided the ideal build up to Eric’s set.

Initial disappointment at the realisation that a silver ticket only allowed us to view the concert outside of the Wormsley opera house on a big screen, was  overcome once the support band Strapped for Cash struck their first chord and put on a professional quality show with a varied set from 10cc numbers through Pink Floyd to their own song, Over and Out..

After a short set change, with a questionable comedian entertaining us in the cheap seats, Eric came on stage suited and booted like the Armani days.

A relaxed Eric took us on a journey amongst old favourites from the opening song Somebody Knocking, with his virtuoso solos building song by song ably supported by the band and his trusty backing singers. Individual solos by Andy and Chris were accomplished and, as usual showed Erics generosity in allowing other musicians to demonstrate their skills, before pulling each song back to a climax, as only Eric knows how.

After an excellent rendition of Lay Down Sally, Eric moved back on the stage and Andy Fairweather Low.. after a restart due to a senior moment .. gave a passionate version of Gin House with Eric enriching the Amen Corner number with the Clapton signature solo.

Eric retook centre stage for the crowd's favourite Wonderful Tonight, with everyone in the audience either singing along or just mouthing the words - as  once again the Clapton magic was in the air.

A classic rendition of Crossroads followed, setting the standard for what is clearly a current favourite of Eric's. After a longer than usual solo intro Eric gave us the highlight of the evening - Little Queen of Spades , intertwined with solos from Chris Stainton and Eric, we were truly entertained and the seal was set on another classic Eric concert.

What could follow that.. Eric delivered an inspired version of Cocaine to be followed by Eric acknowledging his 40 year friendship with Beefie in a rare short speech, followed by an EC rendition of Happy Birthday Ian.

The cake was cut, the thank yous said and the crowd dispersed overseen by Eric as his helicopter disappeared into the distance. Hope this wasn’t the last concert!

Review by Dave Langley
Show was performed in a small and intimate auditorium to around 450 platinum and gold ticket holders.

Somebody's knocking
Key to the highway
Tell the truth
Hoochie coochie man
Lay down Sally - Great solo by Andy that Eric complimented him on
Gin House - false start by Andy who told Eric it was a senior moment
Wonderful Tonight
Crossroads
Little queen of spades
Cocaine

Then Ian Botham came onto the stage with two young boys who his charity had supported and they wheeled on a birthday cake. Eric and the band remained on stage and played a few bars of happy birthday.  After a speech by Ian there were hugs all round and off went the band never to return. Looking at the official set list there was no planned encore.

A great day, good food, great company and some typical cricket for a charity event where things are not taken as serious and it was interesting watching Piers Morgan bowl out an Aussie cricketer. 

Support band was Strapped For Cash who did a very good set.

Eric's was predictable but good and a few good solos but not with the intensity we are used to but overall I had a great day out and a charity did well.

A signed guitar donated by Eric raised £26,000.  No I was not the bidder.

Review by Darryl Lane
Strapped For Cash, a bunch of middle aged rockers with excellent playing and singing on some great covers, entertained a select crowd in the Opera House at Wormsley Cricket Ground.

Eric came on about 7.10pm.

I had bought tickets to see the advertised event at Ian Botham Big Party Bash, which consisted of a celebrity T20 cricket match followed by live music celebrating Sir Ians 60th Birthday and 30 years of charity work. It was a very good event at a fantastic cricket ground with a wonderful atmosphere and the sun shone, amazing! I found out to my horror that only the select 600 who had paid £1000 per ticket were allowed to see Eric in the flesh, the rest of us in the cheap seats had to watch the concert, performed not more than a 100 yards away, on a big screen from the cricket ground. This was like buying tickets for Centre court at Wimbledon then instead watching the big screen on Henman Hill, I and others were not impressed, and I complained to the site manager but there was nothing I could do about it. Sky who had sold the tickets misled a lot of people, yes we expected to be at the back, but lounging on a grass bank while the select few sat at tables near the stage, not totally segregated from the main event. NO ticket information I had explained that I would not see Eric live. Letters will be written.

A short set, began with Somebody Knocking, followed by Key to The Highway,Tell The Truth, Hoochie Coochie Man, Lay Down Sally, Gin House, Wonderful Tonight, Crossroads, Little Queen of Spades, Cocaine. I think that was it as I was too grumpy to write the set list, but he did about 50 minutes before singing Happy Birthday to Ian Botham

Eric looked well and was on good form, playing and singing was top notch. The band were Michelle and Sharon, Henry on drums, Dave Bronze bass, Christ Stainton keyboards and Andy F-L to play his usual scratchy solos.

After the cake cutting Sir Ian kept wanting Eric to speak, but EC invited the Knight to ‘stop putting the microphone in my mouth. We all know Eric, if he is not singing he says nothing.

I did not see Eric at the Albert Hall this year, hoped this would rectify it. It didn’t. Lets hope he comes out of retirement for 2016!

Review by Hiroshi M.
450? That small? I thought it was 600. Or so says the information available on the net about the capacity of Garsington Opera House in Stokenchurch village, a pavilion situated in the pastoral Wormsley Estate, near High Wycombe.

I was among those (supposedly many) who were gutted to receive the email from Sky Tickets only ten days before the event, telling that Silver ticket holders would be only allowed to see Eric's performance on the screen in the cricket ground. They should have made it clear from the start.

However, I was lucky enough to manage the last minute admission to the venue, paying almost half the price of a Gold ticket (that cost £350), on top of my already bought Silver ticket, leaving out Jeremy Oliver's feasts included in the Gold package. Still a hefty sum for me but barely affordable nonetheless. Thank you so much, Tim and Julie.

The concert was a concentrated, one-hour mini-set. To say that I didn't feel shortchanged at all would be a lie, but it is undeniable that the show itself was a good one, a solid performance with no dull moment, even though I wished it lasted longer. Eric's playing was focused throughout, and thanks to the short length, he didn't show any sign of the fatigue that would more often than not mar his performance in his usual two-hour set. Obviously he enjoyed playing himself from beginning to end.
The highlight was undoubtedly Little Queen Of Spades, in which he nailed down a fever-pitched, two-chorus solo that concluded the performance and caught the audience in a craze. The wah-wah tinged second solo played by Andy in Cocaine was another of tonight's memorable moment.

450 or 600, it was genuinely a unique and refreshing experience to be among such a small crowd to see Eric performing live. I feel privileged

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