Eric Clapton – 24 Nights Preview In Dublin (Beano-041)

24 Nights Preview In Dublin (Beano-041)

The Point, Dublin, Ireland – February 2nd, 1991

Disc1 (79:14). Pretending – No Alibis – Running on Faith – I Shot the Sheriff – White Room – Can’t Find My Way Home – Bad Love – Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – Before You Accuse Me – Old Love.

Disc2 (53:59). Badge – Wonderful Tonight – Band Members Intro – Cocaine – A Remark You Made – Layla – Key to the Highway – Sunshine of Your Love

Eric Clapton – Guitar & Vocals
Nathan East – Bass
Greg Phillinganes – Keyboards
Phil Collins – Drums

After his 18 night stint at the Albert Hall in 1990, Clapton set a new record by playing 24 shows at that same venue between Feb 5th and Mar 9th in 1991. These shows would be performed with 4 different bands: four piece, blues band, nine piece and the National Philarmonic Orchestra conducted by the late Michael Kamen. Prior to the beginning of this RAH run, Clapton played two warm up gigs with the four piece formation at The Point in Dublin. Claimed to be sourced from the master tapes, “24 Nights Preview in Dublin” features the second show in a superb audience quality.

The tape begins with the orchestral introduction of Layla that would be common to every show of the tour……Pretending is a very strong opener and Clapton delivers a dose of adrenaline with a couple of long smoking solos! No Alibis keeps injecting energy into the set with some great drum work from Phil Collins. Greg Phillinganes starts to play the first chords to Running On Faith on the organ but then he stops and changes to piano. Clapton gives “Journeyman” a break and dips into the past for a while to play Sheriff, a crowd favourite which segues into White Room, both featuring fiery guitar solos much to the crowd’s delight.

At this point Clapton says: “Right… well…. that song was about 1967 …. this one’s from 1968… it was by Blind Faith… it will feature the vocals of Nathan and Phil…. and it’s called I Can’t Find My Way Home”. The arrangement is the same as on the 1988 Tour and is quite a dark one for me, making it my least favourite song of the show.

The taper changes tapes now and the first second or two of the keyboard intro to Bad Love are missing. Still, the transition is so nicely done by Beano that you won’t even notice it. Promise!! Clapton’s guitar and Collins’ powerful drumming reign here. It is clear that the bridge on this song is based on Badge but it is the electrifying outro which takes my attention tonight. A reggae cover of Knocking On Heaven’s Door with Clapton and Collins sharing vocals follows. Disc1 ends with a fantastic blues excursion to the land of Bo Diddley’s classic Before You Accuse Me and Old Love, the blues song that Clapton co-wrote with Robert Cray for the “Journeyman” album. Both are terrific numbers seeing Clapton deliver all degrees of emotion and feelings. Keyboards also have their share of the spotlight on the former while it is Nathan East who gets a solo in the middle of Old Love sandwiched between both Clapton leads.

I have to love listening to Badge – even if Clapton dissapears on its second half!! Clapton makes a mistake singing at the end of the second verse in Wonderful Tonight and apologizes immediately after to laughter from the audience! Cocaine sees Clapton play a solid solo but – like Badge – the second half is again just too much keyboard-oriented for me. Layla is as good as the sound quality of the tape is: absolutely excellent!!

It is surprising to hear Key To The Highway on the encore as it was not played on the first warm up show and it would disappear from the setlist by the time the band hit the Albert Hall a few days later. It is a nice version performed by Clapton on his own, with nothing but just a little help from Phil Collins on percussion. It really haunts me and is a highlight. To top it off we are treated to a couple of Cream numbers: Crossroads and Sunshine Of Your Love. Crossroads see Clapton singing the line “everybody passed me by” before it’s time… Otherwise both songs are impeccably executed. The tape ends with a two-minute cheering from the audience.

The vocals suffer from a bit of echo but instrumentally wise, Beano’s “24 Nights Preview In Dublin” sounds like a terrific soundboard tape. Also, the fact that this is a very long, solid warm-up show for the 24-nights run at the Royal Albert Hall in 1991 and that it features a rare performance of Key To The Highway makes this an essential title to own. Absolutely recommended.

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