Eric Clapton - 'Planes, Trains And Eric'

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Eric Clapton - 'Planes, Trains And Eric'

A fitting tribute to Eric Clapton's stage craft.

'Planes, Trains & Eric' comprises of concert footage and a bit of a sentimental travelogue about Eric Clapton's recent tour of the Middle and Far East. The message coming from the interviews interspersing the songs from Clapton and his band was it's a good life, but can he keep touring now he's approaching seventy?

As far as the music is concerned, it is unsurprisingly professionally perfect by a band of seasoned musicians including Steve Gadd on drums, Nathan East on bass and Chris Stainton on a rather jangling piano. Of note for me was Paul Carrack, whilst best known for being the lead singer for Mike And The Mechanics, he is an accomplished organist and showed it by trading licks with Clapton.

The songs were of three broad categories: Stadium Rock, Blues and acoustic. For me the Stadium Rock ones worked the best with 'Pretending' and 'Cocaine' going down a storm. The purists will certainly appreciate the Blues numbers such as 'Hoochie Coochie Man' and 'Crossroads.

I personally thought there a few too many acoustic numbers; 'Layla' was one of those of which I would have preferred to hear the electric version. Interestingly, Clapton's classic acoustic number 'Tears In Heaven' was Jazzed up a bit into a Reggae-ish version which could have sat side by side with 'I Shot The Sherriff' which appeared earlier in the set.

An interview with Japanese promoter Mr Udo, a lifelong friend of Clapton, was full of emotion and he was saying in no uncertain terms that Clapton can come back to Japan whenever he wants but please make sure he spends quality time with his wife and daughters.

Even if this is not the final tour for Clapton, this would appear to be the last one on this scale and so this high quality DVD provides a fitting tribute to Eric Clapton's stage craft.

Rob McKenzie

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