One night when I was aged 14 changed my life forever.

Paul Cook

Life-changing moment

Back in 1990 a few days after my fourteenth birthday, my mother took me to the Royal Albert Hall to see Eric Clapton in concert. This particular show was billed as 'an orchestral evening' and was my very first live concert experience.

I remember arriving at the Hall and being swept away in the pre-show excitement, my first encounter found me deeply moved by the building's unique exterior, but it was once inside that things really got exciting.

We had seats in the choir west and that moment when we walked thorough the curtain to take our seats gave me my first look at the auditorium has never left me.

In the years that followed I attended dozens of concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, the majority being Eric Clapton concerts, but I have also enjoyed shows here from Mark Knopfler, Ray La Montagne, The Proms, The Concert for George and The Montserrat Concert. After all this time there is no other venue anywhere that has the same significance or a big place in my heart. My partner and I have tickets booked at the Hall for Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck, let's hope they are able to go ahead even if rescheduled.    

The Albert Hall is not only what it is owing to the huge number of stars that have performed on is stage over the years, the staff that keep the venue running year after year set the bar, every other entertainment venue anywhere in the world will always stand in the Albert Hall's shadow.  


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