‘It’s coming home!’ says Eric Clapton– opening his head-line set in sun-drenched Hyde Park with three words bound to get the Brits on side. Not that he needed any help with a magnificent set that ranged from true blues through tender acoustic guitar moments and back to the full-throttle ‘Cocaine’ to finish.
The line-up for Summertime Festival in Hyde Park on Sunday was an extraordinary triple bill of guitar legends. With English rocker Steve Winwood, the Latin sounds of Santana and finally Eric Clapton himself. Refreshingly understated in his performance, should anyone (from another planet) doubt his credentials, Clapton is the only person to be inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of Fame three times and at 73 he shows no signs of tiring.
Looking relaxed in a dark shirt, waistcoat and turned up jeans Clapton held the crowds attention with barely a word spoken between songs but with his back catalogue, who needs words. It was only in the final encore when Santana joined him on stage for ‘High Time we went’ that the inscrutable legend broke into a smile and it was clear just how much the legend was enjoying himself.
Clapton opened the set with, ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ followed by ‘Key to the Highway’ an instant reminder of the sheer quality of musicianship across the band. As the sun began to drop, the mood deepened and the band stepped aside for a moving acoustic version of ‘Layla’ followed by ‘Tears from Heaven.’ For a while, Hyde park feel like an intimate gig, no doubt full of memories for the sixty five thousand people listening intently.
Returning to the electric guitar super elegant Marcella Detroit joined him for a joyous rendition of ‘Lay Down Sally’ which she co-wrote, receiving whoops from the crowd as she took to the harmonica.
But Clapton is so much more than his classics. It wasn’t just about the greatest pop hits – as the whole band had a chance to shine with immense blues- rock solos on Hammond organ, key-board, drums and guitar during ‘Little Queen of Spades’.
Earlier in the day, baking crowds enjoyed performances from, Texas guitarist Gary Clark Jr and British duo Chas & Dave. On the Great Oak stage it was awe inspiring to hear Steve Winwood raging the guitar like he did forty years ago. People just don’t play the guitar like that anymore.
Santana stepped up next and it wasn’t long before the crowd were dancing to his Latin rhythms and Afro-percussive sounds. Who can resist hits, ‘Oye como va’ and ‘Maria, Maria?’ Looking ageless with tanned skin and hair swept back, Santana’s good looking band/singers who whipped the crowd out of their hot afternoon lethargy, ‘This is the time to get Santana Bananas!”
Summertime Festival reserves this Sunday night slot for Legends – two years ago Carole King was incredible as she performed Tapestry in it’s entirety and next week it’s Paul Simon taking to the stage. Music-News will be there to share the love.
Eric Clapton Setlist
1. Somebody's Knocking - J.J. Cale cover
2. Key to the Highway - Charles Segar cover
3. I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man - Willie Dixon cover
4. Got to Get Better in a Little While - Derek and the Dominos song
5. Acoustic & seated
6. Driftin' Blues - Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers cover
7. Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out - Jimmy Cox cover
8. Layla - Derek and the Dominos song
9. Tears in Heaven
10. Lay Down Sally with Marcella Detroit
11. The Core with Marcella Detroit
12. Wonderful Tonight
13. Cross Road Blues - Robert Johnson cover
14. Little Queen of Spades - Robert Johnson cover
15. Cocaine - J.J. Cale cover
16. High Time We Went - Joe Cocker cover with Carlos Santana and Paul Carrack on Vocals