British Pride (Tricone 015/016)
Kenmin Bunka Center, Ibaraki, Japan 23rd November 1979
Disc1. Opening – If I Don’t Be There By Morning – Worried Life Blues – Tulsa Time – Early In The Morning – Lay Down Sally – Wonderful Tonight – Country Boy
Disc2. Rambling On My Mind / Have You Ever Loved A Woman – Blues Power – Knockin‘ On Heaven’s Door – After Midnight – La La La – Setting Me Up – Badge – All Our Past Times – Cocaine – Layla – Further On Up The Road.
Eric Clapton: Guitar & Vocals
Albert Lee: Guitar
Dave Markee: Bass
Chris Stainton: Keyboards
Henry Spinetti: Drums
Tricone bring to public life the first show of EC’s Japan Tour of 1979 – the tour that made its way onto eternity with the official release of the timeless album “Just One Night”. Never pressed on silver discs before, this show used to circulate amongst collectors in either incomplete and/or poor quality forms….Tricone claim “British Pride” to be taken from an original, complete master tape. And to our enjoyment, it really is!!
If you like the “Just One Night” album, you have to love “British Pride”. EC’s playing is again memorable and also you’ll get a dose of Badge and Layla. There’s nothing else you can ask for!!
The first shows of every tour are usually the longest ones and this is no exception. Also, these shows usually see the performance of songs that are dropped from the setlist and are not played again. This is the case of Badge and La La La which, as far as I am concerned, this is the only date of the tour on which those two songs were played.
The show kicks off with Bob Dylan’s If I Don’tBe There By Morning, from the “Backless” album. Albert Lee plays the first guitar solo of the night followed by Chris Stainton on the keyboards. EC’s first solo takes place on Worried Life Blues and the wait is worthwhile. I’ve always found quite ironical the fact that EC kept Tulsa Time in the setlist after firing his North American band. Anyway, the rendition is very spirited, but being sandwiched between two blues numbers is sort of misplaced… Early In The Morning is the blues classic that sees EC play some good slide guitar. Chris Stainton’s work here deserves to be mentioned too.
Lay Down Sally is stretched to 6+ minutes and features some tasty guitar work from EC. Wonderful Tonight is close to the original – and a favourite of mine. It’s funny to hear EC change the order of the first two verses:
“It’s late in the evening; she’s brushing her long blonde hair.
She puts on her make-up and wonders what clothes to wear.”
After this, EC asks for “a big round applause for Albert Lee”, who sings and leads guitar on his hit Country Boy. At this point the tape fades out and Disc1 comes to an end. Disc2 fades in where we were left by Disc1, making it a very nice transition.
The Ramblin’ On My Mind / Have You Ever Loved A Woman medley is a masterpiece: EC sings and plays his heart out for nine minutes that seem like just one! With a great three-minute outro, Blues Power is full of energy. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – not included on “Just One Night” , it was later released on the “Timepieces 2″ compilation album- features EC playing some wah-wah guitar. Albert Lee plays the first solo and it is EC who closes the song.
After Midnight is spectacular with the fine soloing that you would expect from our man. La La La (aka Tipitina) it’s a song I had never heard before. EC saves the vocals and the only guitar solo for him. Apparently recorded by Jerry Wexler and Ahmet Ertegun and with Professor Longhair back in 1953 in New Orleans, it was conceived as an eight bar blues.
The Dire Straits cover Setting Me Up preceeds Badge, one of my favourite segments of the show. The way EC soloes on Blackie on the first half just gives me goosebumps… All Our Pastimes is one of my favourite tracks on the “No Reason To Cry” album and I celebrate every time that I come accross a live version because it never dissapoints me. Not this time either!! If only EC would replace Wonderful Tonight by this someday…
Cocaine‘s arrangement for this tour remains my favourite of all-time but EC’s solo sounds unispired to me tonight. The audience is heard clapping along the song and it’s quite funny that even after Clapton’s last “Cocaine!” they keep clapping at the same pace… clearly not realizing the song has came to an end….. They will continue clapping until EC sees himself forced to say “Thank You!” after 20 seconds!! Layla‘s arrangement dispensed with the piano coda but the two-minute guitar solo makes up for that. Further On Up The Road is the only encore but it closes the show memorably with solos from EC, Chris Stainton, Albert Lee and EC again. EC farewells the audience by saying “Thanks again – thank you very much – thank you!“.
Tricone’s “British Pride” is the opening show of the “Just One Night” tour. Without cuts, it is complete, in excellent audience quality and features songs that wouldn’t be played again on the tour. Do you think these are enough reasons to score a copy? I just didn’t think twice.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)