La Belle Équipe (The Beautiful Team) (Tarantura TCDBF – 3 -1, 2)
Countryside Rocks, Highclere Castle, Hampshire, UK – May 19th, 2007
Setlist: Disc 1, Soundboard direct digital audio feed from webcast (TCDBF – 3 -1, 2): Introduction, I’m A Man, Higher Love, Back In The Highlife, Dear Mr. Fantasy, Why Can’t We Live Together, Keep On Running
Disc 2: Introduction, Watch Your Step, Presence Of The Lord, Crossroads, Little Queen Of Spades, Can’t Find My Way Home, Had To Cry Today, Gimme Some Lovin’
Disc 3, Audience Recording digital audio (TCDBF – 4 – 1, 2): Introduction, I’m A Man, Higher Love, Back In The Highlife, Dear Mr. Fantasy, Why Can’t We Live Together, Keep On Running
Disc 4: Introduction, Watch Your Step, Presence Of The Lord, Crossroads, Little Queen Of Spades, Can’t Find My Way Home, Had To Cry Today, Gimme Some Lovin’The Band:
Steve Winwood organ, guitar, vocals
Jose Neto guitar
Paul Booth organ, sax
Richard Bailey drums
Karl Vanden Bossche percussion
Special Guest (discs 2 & 4):
Eric Clapton guitar, vocals
Steve Winwood’s performance at the Countryside Rocks on Saturday May 19, 2007 was a very special one. Half way through Steve’s set with his own band, Eric Clapton joined Winwood on stage for a performance of several classic Blind Faith numbers. It was their first live collaboration in decades. Winwood introduces Clapton as “a great musician, writer, singer, and a great friend for a long long time”. A long time indeed!
Discs 1 and 2 present a soundboard of the show as sourced from the digital audio feed from the Webcast. Discs 3 and 4 offer an audience recording of the same show.
In terms of sound quality of the soundboard…if you have ever heard a webcast, you’ll understand what I mean when I describe the sound as slightly “flat and washed out”…that’s the best way I can think of to describe it. Although Tarantura has done a very commendable job in my opinion of giving us the best fidelity possible on this release. That said, the soundboard is a very nice listen sound-wise. I’d give it a strong 8.5/10 rating, which would be higher if not for the minor webcast artifacts that I mentioned.
In terms of the sound quality of the audience tape…not bad at all. The taper seems relatively close to the proceedings with all instruments and vocals quite clear in the mix. You may however find this tape lacking in low end…so tweak the bass to your taste, slip on the headphones and enjoy. 7/10 on my audience rating scale.
In terms of the performance, the musical highlights of this show for me are Higher Love, Back In The Highlife, Presence of The Lord, Crossroads, Can’t Find My Way Home and Gimme Some Lovin’. While Eric might seem a bit reserved in this show, there is no denying the chemistry between himself and Winwood, even these many years on from Blind Faith.
Once again Tarantura 2000 has done a wonderful job packaging and presenting this release. The release which is strictly limited to 120 numbered copies comes housed in a nice box set. Inside the box both shows come in individual cardboard gatefolds with paper cases and picture CDs. In my opinion Tarantura 2000 have set the standard in terms of packaging, so that their shows are not only good to listen to but to look at as well, which is important to me as well as many other collectors. Taken all together, the sound quality, packaging and historical significance of this release makes it highly recommended to collectors.
Tarantura2000 have some if not the best packaging in ROIO’s. This great release is no exception and the SB has that thin sound although the label has tried and succeeded at remastering to bring out the best possible sound quality. I personally prefer the AUD source which sounds like an 8.5 on my system and has more bottom end with some slight EQing. I heard no mastering flaws on this release. (LedMan Dec. 07)If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)