Hunger Burning (no label)
The Centrum, Worcester, MA – June 26, 1985
Disc 1 (48:36): Opening, Tulsa Time, Motherless Children, I Shot The Sheriff, Same Old Blues, Tangled In Love, White Room, Steppin’ Out, Wonderful Tonight
Disc 2 (57:20): She’s Waiting, She Loves You, Badge, Let It Rain, Double Trouble, Cocaine, Layla, Forever Man, member introduction, Further On Up The Road.
Eric Clapton : Guitar & Vocals
Tim Renwick : Guitar
Donald “Duck” Dunn : Bass
Chris Stainton : Keyboards
Jamie Oldaker : Drums
Shaun Murphy & Marcy Levy : Backing Vocals
Hunger Burning is not a new show for the Clapton connoisseur but what a fantastic discovery the source tape is!!! It’s one of the cleanest soundboard recordings you will ever come accross and with no cuts amongst Badge and Let It Rain, making it is musically complete and also putting Antrabata’s hissier and incomplete “Slowhand Masterfile Part 11b” – the only silver title covering it up to this date – to shame.
The show opens with a piano intro that preceeds the always content Tulsa Time and Motherless Children, the two warm up slide numbers used on the vast majority of the World Tour of 1985. The next songs are a showcase for EC’s versatility. From the reggeae sounds of the never disappointing Sheriff (why is this song the first one I always play everytime I put my hands on a new release?) to the rock trip back to 1967 with a sensational White Room, via the hardcore blues chords of Same Old Blues and the catchy Tangled In Love. I just find it amazing how EC gets to touch me with his playing between 02:22 and 02:25 on this pop song.
An animated Shaun Murphy sings her heart out on Denise LaSalle’s Steppin’ Out which clocks at 7 minutes and is more extended than I would love to. I mellow out listening to EC’s sweet playing on Wonderful Tonight. It’s just one of the finest renditions ever and one of the highlights of the show.
She’s Waiting is tonight’s third song in support of his “Behind The Sun” album but the one I like least. Marcy Levy gets her share of the spot and sings a heartfelt cover of She Loves You with Chris Stainton on the piano as her one and only companion during most of the song. A very fine version of Badge follows, with both EC and Tim Renwick displaying remarkable chops in their respective solos. Badge segues into Let It Rain. Stainton’s raindrops on the keyboards are fantastic and so is EC’s outro.
EC abuses Blackie on a terrific rendition of Double Trouble that you won’t want to finish. The intro to Cocaine is fine but when it comes to play his solo, EC sounds uninspired to me. Tim Renwick never was my cup of tea when soloing on this song and unsurprisingly this time he is not either. Layla is a show stealer right from its intro to the end of the mellow coda and is an outstanding closer to the show.
The encore consists of Forever Man – the song that was the first single of the Behind The Sun album – where EC plays a brief, meager solo letting Tim Renwick play the outro much to my disappointment. As usual on the Tour, Duck Dunn introduces EC as “Mr. Wonderful Tonight himself” before the band plays the last number of the night.: the classy Further On Up The Road, which gives all band members the opportunity to show their talents before the show is over.
Only the first 50 copies of Hunger Burning come with a numbered sticker but all copies are sourced from the same awesome uncirculated soundboard tape that makes it the definitive release of this show to own.