Thursday, May 12, 2005

Creamy Goodness

My good friend Eggs, was at his first, and probably last, Cream gig at the Royal Albert Hall recently. He went with his aging rocker father to learn how things used to be done…

I must say it was a surreal seeing a trio of OAP's playing the most extravagant solos I have ever seen or heard. I have a confession; that the only Cream I had ever heard previously was with my dad. This is not necessarily a bad thing. I think you appreciate ‘new’ music more when introduced by someone with a passion for it, they tell you why they find the particular tracks, or aspects of them, exciting.

Cream said nothing all night. No commentary, no pauses for breath, simply two hours of none stop Cream, pretty much the whole back catalogue. Strolling on stage as calm as you like and beginning crisply with 'I'm so glad' they never really looked back from there.

We were expecting to be in the stalls, and found ourselves two down from the Royal box, straight in front of the stage, with a commanding view of the hall. As for the atmosphere, it initially appeared as though I had come to a beetle drive or an accounting conference, but even the middle aged know how to let go. My dad was out of his seat straight away, strutting around the back of the box playing air guitar/drums and singing along. We had to ask him to pipe down about halfway through as he was getting louder than the group. I guess my only real disappointment with the evening was the volume. For a group who set the trend for setting their amps at 11 (despite me thinking that was spinal tap) they were a little mute for me. That was all forgotten when they built to a crescendo-ing end; 'Toad' Ginger Baker, arthritic knee and all, produced an 8 minute drum solo reciting a whole text book of off-beat rythms utilising the entire drum kit in every conceivable way, even a token rim-shot or two made an appearance.

I suppose the encore was the best, with electricity in the air out came 'Sunshine of your Love'. Simply Wow. Nothing more to be said. I didn't leave for twenty minutes, bathing in the fact it was possible the last time the original supergroup would play together, but that my first time seeing them was a true priviledge.


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