Talk about last-minute decisions: I didn't buy a cut-price (£30 instead of £75, thanks Ebay and thanks to the eejit who bought 6 seats and was getting hosed, hah-hah!) ticket until 6.30pm which meant a real dash to the venue but I still missed most of opener Gary Clark's set.
That was a shame as I had enjoyed what he had done when he guested with The Stones last December. He did watch almost all of E.C.'s set from the side of the stage too! Another time, I hope...
The reason for my almost take-it-or-leave-it attitude was that I had seen E.C. in the same venue 4 years ago and while I enjoyed the show, it was 'inessential' to repeat the experience. Plus I had read about the show in Brum the previous night and some fan reports said that Eric had disengaged towards the end of the two hours: I certainly didn't want to pay (even a reduced amount, hah-hah!) to see someone 'phone it in', so to speak.
The arena had it's upper tier tarped-off halfway around so I guess about 10000 punters were still anticipating a show that may well be the last time we see Eric, given his announcement to quit full-scale touring. Anyway at 8.40pm the house lights went out and away we went...it was a fairly raucous reception and our man seemed to be relaxed and beaming away: so far so good.
To cut a long story he played great- I'll let the two videos that I shot tell the story. I was thrilled to see Chris 'Quadrophenia' Stainton up there, as well as Steve Jordan, who watched Eric like a hawk throughout- there was no way that he was going to miss any cues!
So the bottomline: would I recommend this tour? Yeah-even without a revved-up 'Layla' the guy can still delight!
01. Hello Old Friend
02. My Fathers Eyes
03. Tell The Truth
04. Black Cat Bone
05. Gotta Get Over
06. Come Rain Or Come Shine (EC & Paul Carrack - vocals)
07. Got To Get Better In A Little While
09. Driftin' Blues
10. Goodnight Irene
11. It Ain't Easy (Paul Carrack - vocals)
13. Tears In Heaven
14. Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
15. Lay Down Sally
16. Blues Power
17. Love In Vain
19. Little Queen Of Spades
21. Sunshine Of Your Love (with Peter Kay)
22. High Time We Went (EC & Paul Carrack - vocals)