Trinity (Mid Valley MVR 067)
Marquee Club, Soho , London , UK – May 23, 1967
Tales of Brave Ulysses, World of Pain, Outside Woman Blues, Dance the Night Away, Sleepy Time Time, Sweet Wine, Rollin’ and Tumblin’, N.S.U. (a part of improvisation)
A re-issue of the title released by Mid Valley in 2000, this disc features Cream at The Marquee Club in London, 1967. Cream had just returned from New York where they were recording and writing new material with producer Felix Pappalardi. This would ultimately be the sessions that would become Disraeli Gears. This first trip to the U.S. would also mark the beginning of Clapton’s relationship with engineer/producer Tom Dowd, the person most responsible for linking Clapton to Duane Allman a few years later during the Derek and the Dominos sessions.
This is a very good audience recording with all the instruments even in the mix. It is a little thin with some distortion in places probably because the microphone couldn’t always handle the volume Cream was putting out. Overall, the recording is still enjoyable, the band is powerful and Clapton’s playing is fantastic. His guitar sounds very heavy at times and the recording captures this well.
The first half of the set has the band trying out new material from their recent studio sessions. The haunting “Tales of Brave Ulysses” open the show and has a brief bass drop out but nothing too disruptive and other new songs like “World of Pain” and “Dance the Night Away” shows their musical direction expanding. The latter part of the set has some great versions of earlier songs like “Sleepy Time Time” and “Sweet Wine”, much to the crowds’ approval. “Rollin’ and Tumblin” unfortunately fades about four minutes into the track and all we are left with is a 1:14 fragment of what is probably the jam section of “N.S.U.”.Recommended to Cream fans as the set contains songs rarely played and the performance by the band is very energetic.
This show from the Marquee also shows up on Hiwatt’s Blues: Ancient & Modern which, IMHO, is one of the best Cream titles around. It benefits from being a double CD concentrating on shows from ’67 and one from ’66 at Klooks Kleek. It seems to me there are a lot of concerts available from ’68, especially the Oakland and LA shows, but not nearly as much from ’67. If you have this, the LA (Whiskey) and Detroit shows you’ve probably got the best there is from ’67 and well worth having they are too.