Eric Clapton: Slowhand At 70

Rootsy class from the Albert Hall’s longest-standing tenant.

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During his 2015 run of annual shows at the Royal Albert Hall, Eric Clapton clocked up his 200th show at the revered venue, presumably earning him his own back door key.

Historically his RAH runs have often alternated between nights dedicated to blues covers and shows dominated by his own material and for this commemorative concert film he merges the two.

His celestial skills undiminished the more he resembles Jeremy Corbyn, he delivers the fretboard fire of a largely bluesy first half with a lost-in-the-solo reverence (JJ Cale’s Somebody’s Knocking, Willie Dixon’s Hoochie Coochie Man), interspersed with lingering amp porn money shots.

But the tunes he’s had a hand in (Derek & The Dominoes’ Tell The Truth, Pretending from 1989’s Journeyman) are sassier, and an artful sit-down acoustic segment including a devastating Tears In Heaven and the downbeat reggae Layla provides more shivers than a winter wedding.

Age has tamed his rockier leanings and there’s a notable absence of Cream classics, but the crowd still get so heavily into Cocaine that they have Woodstockian freak-outs in the aisles. He’s weathering well, that God.

Mark Beaumont

Mark Beaumont is a music journalist with almost three decades' experience writing for publications including Classic Rock, NME, The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Times, Uncut and Melody Maker. He has written major biographies on Muse, Jay-Z, The Killers, Kanye West and Bon Iver and his debut novel [6666666666] is available on Kindle.