Cream Live @ Royal Albert Hall 2005

3 May 2005 - 19:30


Gene Shaw

Unforgettable experience

Stepping into the Royal Albert Hall (RAH) is like stepping into history. It was opened in 1871 by Queen Victoria and was named after her husband Prince Albert. It's a beautiful round amphitheater, but make sure you have seats on the floor or in the stalls. In the boxes, you can have a private bar set up with your favorite treats, so you never have to get up for any refreshments during the gig. When you enter the hall and proceed to the coat check it is a pleasure to leave your belongings. There are rows and rows of numbered hooks to leave your jacket. The woman in charge treats you like an old friend with her keen memory of your prior visits. So, when you drop off your Chelsea boots from Carnaby Street you know they will be safely waiting for you after the show. While you're walking around the RAH it's like walking around a merry-go-round. Once, on one of my loops around the hall, I passed Bob Hoskins at a Clapton show. Eric walked onstage wearing a western shirt that was similar in style to the shirt he'd worn to the farewell Cream shows at the Royal Albert Hall in November of 1968. He played a 2005 Fender Stratocaster Eric Clapton Signature model with a black finish.

The Cream shows grew more intense with each evening. They seemed to build from each previous night's performance. The guitar and bass solos were extended and every player showed a mastery of their instruments. On May 3rd the second night of the Cream shows, Eric played with such a raw emotion it brought back visions of his days of psychedelics for me. It was as though he was in a trance, and just before the band took its final bow he was panting, as if he'd just awakened from a dream. That night all his emotions seemed to have fled from his mind, to his heart, to his hands, and upon the audience's body and soul

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