Thursday, May 14, 2015

70

Eric Clapton was 70 this year. His 70th Birthday Tour kicked off in the UK tonight. It seemed appropriate that we should go along and wish him well. So it was that we headed off into the rain and drove up towards the Royal Albert Hall.

We seem to have mastered the technique for this journey. GF should explain. Events at the RAH finish too late for us to travel by train. Using the car, however, means parking and the RAH provides parking in the grounds of Imperial College, but that does not open until six o'clock. Travelling to the RAH to arrive in the time window between the car opening and the concert becomes a challenge as it means hitting the metropolis during the afternoon rush. So, we leave home early afternoon and drive to Fulham Broadway where we park in the car park and wander into the shopping mall. By this time it's between 4 and 5 and we find a restaurant to sit down and enjoy a leisurely meal. Finally, we grab the car and drive the last 2 miles to the car park. No stress.

Well that's the theory. It all went pretty smoothly until we returned to the car at Fulham Broadway. There was a big gap where we had left the car. Our hearts sank. GF started to work on the options. The first was to retrace our steps - had he got it wrong? Well, yes. He had. That turned out to be the case. They had got off the lift at the wrong level (well, that is only because GF had remembered the level incorrectly).

With a sigh of relief we headed off for the last bit of the journey.

Our seats at the RAH were up in the circle. This was a high as we had been, without actually flying, for many years. The view was not brilliant, but the objective is the music not just the view. GF's little sister and Trev turned up and the concert was ready to start.

Andy Fairweather Low was the opening act, with his band Low Riders. It was a cheerful mixed set with many of his well-known songs and tributes to a number of the greats.

Next came the main event. Eric Clapton came on and played, in his usual effortless style, for a couple of hours.

There were three distinct phases - some electric blues, some (un-plugged) acoustics, and some rock. Tracks he played included: Somebody's Knocking, Pretending, You Are So Beautiful, Hoochie Coochie Man, Let It Rain, Tears in Heaven, Layla, Crossroad Blues, Wonderful Tonight, and Cocaine.
(There were several other numbers, but GF's memory can't did them up as he writes this).

It was brilliant. In fact the Silver Vixen thought it was even better than our last Clapton concert (17th May 2013). Well worth the ticket price, well worth the journey... though the SatNav was not a great help getting home - but GF will have a rant about that, on another day.

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