Just One Night In Stockholm (Beano-025)
Eisstadion, Stockholm, Sweden – October 9th, 1981
Disc 1 (62:29): Tulsa Time, Lay Down Sally, Wonderful Tonight, Worried Life Blues, After Midnight, A Whiter Shade Of Pale, Country Boy, Double Trouble, Rita Mae, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Blues Power
Disc 2 (29:11): Ramblin’ On My Mind / Have You Ever Loved A Woman, Cocaine, Layla, Member Introduction, Further On Up The Road
Eric Clapton, in his recover from a major illness that canceled most of the US tour in the spring, began working again first by playing all four of “The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball” between September 9 to the 12th. Less than a month later an eight date tour of Scandinavia was booked. Clapton was supported on these dates by UK singer/songwriter Fran Raya. Just One Night In Stockholm on Beano documents the second night of the tour. This is the first time this show has been pressed on silver and the label use a very good audience recording that is slightly distant but very clear. Faint conversations can be heard within proximity of the microphone but nothing serious.
Several years ago memories of an attendee were posted online. The writer went to see Gary Brooker, but has relevant observations about the entire show: “It was twenty years ago today … Well almost. Me and a friend was going to see Eric Clapton Band at Johanneshovs Isstadion in Stockholm, Sweden. I think it was in 1981 [9 October 1981: thanks, Frans]. I’ve never liked Clapton very much, but this was my chance to see Gary Brooker live because I had never seen Procol perform live because the first Procol album I bought was their last!
“The Eric Clapton band was EC / Albert Lee (Guitar, Vocals), Dave Markee (bass), Henry Spinetti (Drums), Chris Stainton (keyboards) and the man himself Gary Brooker (Keyboards, Vocals). [NB: significantly, all of these play on the Brooker album, Lead me to the Water RC]
“I can’t remember very much from the concert, but I remember two things very well. In the middle of the set Gary performed A Whiter Shade Of Pale. I think Gary played a Yamaha acoustic Grand Piano and Chris Stainton played the organ (I think it was a Hammond). Gary and Chris had also a couple of synthesisers. The audience lit their cigarette lighters and Eric Clapton played a long guitar solo!
“It was great to hear Gary, but that was the only song he sang I think. Maybe he did some R&B standard or something at the end, but I’m not sure. Maybe they also performed Catch Me If You Can which they wrote and sang together.
“The other thing I remember very well is when Eric left the stage and let Albert Lee take over. I remember I had seen Albert in a documentary about Rockpile, but that was all I’d heard of him. When Albert broke loose in Country Boy I understood why Eric had left the stage. I couldn’t believe my ears and eyes! Albert Lee is one of the best country guitarists I’ve ever heard and I think Eric was brave to use him as second guitarist in the band.
“Ten years later I saw Procol Harum at Cirkus in Stockholm … and that was at least ten times better than the EC band!
Another Ticket, Clapton’s last LP for Polydor, was his newest release. Except for “Rita Mae,” he relies upon the old catalogue for the set. What is even more bizarre is his ignoring “I Can’t Stand It,” the first single and biggest hit of the eighties. It wasn’t played at all on this tour and, as far as I can tell, has never been played live. The first half of the show moves by very quickly with and excellent version of “Worried Life Blues,” where Chris Stainton follows Clapton with a keyboard solo, being an early highlight.
“After Midnight” is played in double time before he introduces Gary Brooker for “A Whiter Shade Of Pale.” The ending moments of the show are very good with a long “Rambling On My Mind” segueing into “Have You Ever Loved A Woman.” The closing number “Layla” lacks the coda section and, after introducing the band, they play a great “Further On Up The Road” with the audience singing along. Just On Night In Stockholm is another solid Beano release which continues the documentation of early eighties Eric Clapton.
CMR would like to thank Fran Raya for contacting us and giving us her memories of her tour with Clapton in 1982. Ms. Raya remembers:
“I was invited to support Eric Clapton on his 1980 ‘Just One Night’ Scandinavian Autumn 10 day tour. I had a backing band and we were billed as Fran Raya & Friends and had a 40 minute slot at each performance. Before the actual tour there were several warm-up gigs, mostly at small rock clubs in Copenhagen . David Bowie was in the room at one of them. That was surreal. Also, I was recording a project album of my own songs in between gigs. It was a hectic schedule but I was rehearsing hard and looking forward to the tour and possibly meeting E.C. I say possibly because a support act didn’t always meet the main performer in those days. I do remember one day when Jack Bruce wandered into my manager’s office and listened to some of the songs I’d recorded and was very complimentary. That was a great feeling.
The first night of the actual tour was Friday 19th September at the Aalborg Hall in Denmark . I’d never played to such a capacity crowd before and my lead guitarist, who was usually very laid back (I used to call him ‘Mr. Cool’) gasped when he saw the size of the arena. I felt nervous, especially as I was performing my own stuff. I remember my management telling me not to be upset if the crowd yelled “off, off, off..” because they were there to see Clapton and not some unknown singer/songwriter. To my delight the reaction was just the opposite. They stamped their feet (a good sign) and gave me a great reception. When I came off stage to walk back to the dressing room I bumped into E.C. for the first time and he said, “you’re warming them up Fran!” to which I just stood there looking gormless and nodded by head. It was a compliment to say the least.
“The second night was at The Broendby Hall in Copenhagen . During the day I had several press interviews and radio/tv appearances. Then it was over to the venue at night for a sound check. This was very much the pattern of things for the whole tour. Every night when Eric performed ‘Layla’ I’d stand at the side of the stage to watch him play. It was awesome.
“However, several embarrassing moments come to mind. I was in the middle of a song when the microphone went dead, so you could hear the band but not me. I just improvised and danced around the stage, even though it wasn’t that kind of a song!! I felt such a plonker cos this wasn’t some small gig in a village hall. Anyway – the jigging around must have worked cos when the sound came back on, the audience cheered. Another time I thought I’d be ever so professional and give my lead guitarist a boost by saying “take it away, Bob,” when it came to a solo in the middle of a song. I did so and pointed to him only to hear my keyboard player go into the solo instead. Oops! Then when we played the Scandinavium in Gothenberg I told the audience “this is so good to be here in Denmark with you all.” Of course we were in Sweden and the boos from the people were deafening. Oh dear!
“When we hit Helsinki it fell on my birthday and E.C. threw a party for me. I was sat next to Gary Brooker who asked me to go shopping with him the next day as he was looking to by a present for his wife, specifically a jacket. He said I was about the same size so I could be his flesh and blood mannequin. That was such a laugh. He told me several stories about when he was in Procol Harum and he also said he liked my songs.
“If anyone is interested in hearing some of my songs then please go to my website http://www.franraya.com/ which contains 15 audio tracks and a video link to YouTube.”