Eric Clapton – guitar / vocals
Andy Fairweather Low – guitar / vocals
Chris Stainton– keyboards
Tim Carmon – keyboards
Willie Weeks – bass
Steve Gadd – drums
Michelle John – backing vocals
Sharon White – backing vocals
Doyle Bramhall II – guitar *
01. Going Down Slow
02. Key To The Highway
03. Anything For Your Love
04. Old Love
05. Got To Get Better In A Little While
07. Three Little Girls
08. Nobody Knows You (When You’re Down And Out)
09. Lay Down Sally
10. Somewhere Over The Rainbow
12. Before You Accuse Me
13. Little Queen of Spades
14. Wonderful Tonight
15. Layla *
16. Cocaine *
17. Crossroads (encore) *
Night 10 of the Albert Hall Run and the 13th show of the Spring 2009 Tour. Doyle Bramhall II again sat in at the close of the show for a few numbers.
Review by Julian Moseley
There is a recurring image in Synecdoche, New York of the heroine’s house always on fire. It is a symbol of her intensely passionate nature. It was thus with Eric Clapton on stage at the Royal Albert Hall tonight, his tenth concert of eleven. When he took hold of a solo, as he did on every number, the music simply caught fire.
This was majestic stuff, Layla almost generating a heart attack such was its power. That and the very fact that here he was thirty feet away playing that opening riff with all the cathartic pain present that he had felt forty years ago.
Pattie had been circling the set for a while as Key To The Highway and Nobody Knows You When Youre Down And Out both reminded us of his greatest muse. And of course Wonderful Tonight, which apparently can still make the lady weep.
There was a hint of his lost childhood I suspect in Somewhere Over The Rainbow, its Why oh why cant I? refrain quietly underlining the tragedies that have befallen his life. Elsewhere one reviewer wrote that Somewhere Over The Rainbow put him in mind of a Cliff Richard concert. How completely to miss the point. It takes a grounding in blues and hard knocks to deliver such material credibly and with sincerity. Eric Clapton has this gift.
And it was then straight into the glory that was Cream with Badge, the beautiful guitar lick saved for the first chorus, the opening merely sketched out in chords, keeping the songs mystery. Again, heart attack inducing power and soaring beauty after he paused for what seemed an eternity before stamping on the overdrive switch and blasting off.
Cocaine with a tad too much band sharing came last and then Crossroads as an encore. Robert Johnston's definitive song, the key to Eric's work.
Last time I saw him was at Leeds University in 1968 on a stage that was too low, so all I saw was the top of his head. This time, he took the top of my head off.
Review by Brian Vickers
Having not been to a Clapton concert for a year or two, I didn't know what to expect on Friday night - what I got was an exciting, attacking display from Eric and his band!
A great choice of slightly unexpected songs including "Got to get better in a little while","Three little girls" and " Lay Down Sally" were fantastic.
The band was on fire, driven on by the greatest drummer around, SteveGadd, and with some beautifully tasteful guitar fills in the background by the masterful Andy Fairweather Low.
Andys' guitar solo on "Cocaine" was one of the evenings highlights, showing what a good guitarist he is, and almost outshining the maestro!!
I could have done without the screechy synth of Tim Carmon on some songs, although his Hammond organ sounded wonderful - a great successor to Billy Preston.
Eric's playing was faultless and felt as fresh as ever - a great and memorable concert.
Review by Norrie Fleming / Scotland
After seeing Eric at Dublin earlier in the month, I was really excited about going back to the Royal Albert Hall again to see him play at this great venue. The last visit here for me was the Cream reunion in 2005, which was really memorable. My wife treated me to this gig (Christmas gift) and we enjoyed the VIP hospitality before Eric and the band came on. The Albert Hall is a fantastic setting and you can see Eric is at "home" here, looking relaxed, smiling and ready to go.
The set list was similar to Dublin as you'd expect with three or four changes, which was good for us to have a bit of variety. "Rainbow" was still in which I would have liked replaced, but the crowd appeared to enjoy it. Eric was on top form and at times his sublime guitar work made me shiver, he seemed to get a lift from the band members especially during their individual solos. Andy Fairweather Low played a great one on Cocaine showing some skills I don't recall seeing or hearing from him before, the crowd were fired up as much as him.
A highlight for me was Doyle Bramhall joining the band again for the last three songs, introducing his style and sounds to compliment a really tight band. Clapton was "wonderful tonight" and I hope I get the opportunity to see him at the RAH again. He just keeps rolling on and sounds better and fresher each time.
Well done again, Eric!!