Messe Event Halle, Basil, Switzerland – November 13 & 14, 2013
(Approx. 99 min) TV Broadcast: Don’t Go To Strangers, Knock On Wood, Hoochie Coochie Man, Got My Mojo Working, After Midnight, Call Me The Breeze, Gin House, How Long, Drigtin’ Blues, Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out, Layla, Wonderful Tonight, Little Queen Of Spades, Cocaine, High Time We Went – Webcast: Since You Said Goodbye, Pretending, Crossroads
Eric Clapton filmed two performances at Messe Event Halle in Basil on November 13th & 14th, 2013. Selections from each of the two nights were broadcast by Swiss TV channel SRF Zwei on February 13th, 2014.
Sound and picture are sharp and clear and is what can be expected from modern day broadcasts. The people who filmed this did a really nice job with the camera angles too. All band members get a decent amount of face time, especially drummer Henry Spinetti who is seated directly behind Clapton and is in most of his shots as well.
Clapton never ceases to amaze me. He is known for surrounding himself with the best musicians and this band simply “rocks”. He has shared the stage with many guitarists over the years but there is something special about his rapport with Andy Fairweather Low. Andy definitely thinks “outside the box” as a player and is a great complement to Eric’s style especially when playing the blues. In addition to Andy, Eric is joined by Chris Stainton on keyboards, Paul Carrack on keyboards and vocals, Dave Bronze on bass, Henry Spinetti on drums, and Michelle John and Sharon White on backing vocals.
The first thing you notice is how solid the rhythm section is right out of the gate. Henry Spinetti and Dave Bronze are super solid and lay down one of the best grooves I have ever heard for their version of “Knock On Wood”. “Hoochie Coochie Man” is nice and offers a round of solos further confirming the caliber of players Clapton has on stage with him. Following a smokin’ “Got My Mojo Working” Eric continues with a couple more from one of his heroes, J.J. Cale. He starts with a more traditional arrangement of “After Midnight” and includes an interesting take on “Call Me The Breeze”.
A couple of solo spots follow. Andy Fairweather Low sings lead and pours his heart and soul into “Gin House” while Carrack follows with the radio classic “How Long” from his days with the band Ace (remember that one). Paul is featured on Hammond Organ most of the night but plays some great sounding electric piano during this one while Eric puts a nice spin on the guitar solos.
Joined by Carrack, Spinetti, and Bronze, Clapton takes a seat with his acoustic guitar for “Driftin” before the rest of the band return for “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out”. Both this and “Layla” are also featured in their acoustic arrangements.
For most of the night, the audience is very well behaved but “Cocaine” brings the mild mannered crowd to their feet and delivers on all accounts. The energy continues into a superb “High Time We Went” with Carrack on lead vocal again.
Three bonus tracks from the Webcast feature songs not included in the Broadcast. These look excellent as well but maybe not quite as sharp as the Swiss TV version. The picture is slightly darker but still extremely enjoyable to watch and a nice addition to the disc.
The DVD comes packaged in a standard clamshell style case with a few live shots of Eric and the band and the initial copies come with a numbered sticker. This DVD also works great as a companion piece to the four CD set Baloise Session 2013 (Beano-086) which features the SRF3 Swiss FM radio broadcast and also contains the complete audience recording from November 13th. The track list differs only slightly whereas Beano’s FM broadcast features “Key To The Highway” but omits “Knock On Wood”. This is a really nice latter day document for Clapton fans to enjoy and is recommended to both die hard and casual Clapton collectors.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)