Birmingham NEC, England
11th May 2006

Review by : Marcus

'Went to see Eric Clapton at the NEC and one of the best nights of my life! The set list was enough to please everyone, some old and some new stuff. The final 5 or 6 songs were fab! And 'Layla' was worth the admittance price alone. Special mention to Derek Trucks and Doyle Bramhall II. They were very good, but at the end of the day no-one can great EC.

Review by : Sean

'What a great night! It was the second time I had seen Eric play, he certainly didn't disappoint! The set was excellent, playing a wide range of his songs, right back from the days of Layla & Motherless Children, right through to I'm So Tired and Back Home. The band played brilliantly, especially Doyle and Jerry, who displayed some great skill. Eric, like last time, was amazing and seemed a lot more comfortable on stage than the April 2004 concert. I cant wait for his return to Birmingham, and will definitely be there!!!'

Review by : John O'Hara

There is no doubt about it the old boy just gets better with age. I first saw him in 1976 at the Crystal Palace Bowl and the Eric of 30 years wouldn't live with the man today.
The stage was slick and exciting, while the band of today are the best I have seen him with. And I talk from experience as I have seen the good man almost 50 times.
Sadly, the NEC doesn't lend itself to atmosphere, and the crowd, although very appreciative didn't get to let their hair down.
We all have our favourites, but for me Gotta Get Better In A Little While, After Midnight and Motherless Children were magnificent. And I can never remember a better Cocaine in the last 30 years. Eric is never one to let the grass grow under his feet and by employing the quite brilliant Jerry Trucks as well as the talented an reliable Doyle Brammall he has assembled a band that not only are bursting with talent, but can take his wonderful songs to another level.
Next week in London EC will be right at home, but I know he is not capable of playing any better than he did on Thursday evening. And just in case he tries to I will be there.
When they wrote 'Clapton is god' in the sixties they weren't far wrong, certainly judged on the evidence of his heavenly guitar at the NEC.

Review by : Vee

We went to Birmingham yesterday from London (couldn't get tickets here), a round trip of some 280 miles, and I have to say I wish we hadn't bothered.

"Interminable" is a word that comes to mind. No doubt that Clapton is one of the greatest guitarists in the world... but every track turned into "now it's his turn to do a solo... now it's the blonde guy's turn... now it's the other one's.. oh hello, here's the pianist". It's the first time I've been to a concert and looked round the auditorium halfway through - no, 90% through - to see everyone sitting down, a few heads nodding here and there, and no enthusiasm or movement or joie de vivre in sight.

I really feel Clapton is coming to the end of his road; it's a case of "hi, thanks for coming, cheers for the money, here's some old rope... and it's going on and on and on and on". A lot of people left before the encore - of ONE song - and I don't blame them.

And let's not even talk about the chaos that was "traffic control at the NEC".

A shame; but I shan't be going to any more Clapton concerts.

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