Clapton leads — and sings his heart out
ERIC CLAPTON has often been quoted as saying that he had no ambitions to lead a group. He just wanted to be a sideman.
Well, before a packed house at the Lyceum last Sunday, he proved that he’d changed his mind. Announced as “DERRICK & THE DOMINOES” (“We should be working every night with a name like that,” he said afterwards), there he was up front, not only playing acoustic and electric guitar, but singing his heart out in nearly every song.
Forget about it being a second generation Cream or Blind Faith, indeed it’s quite the opposite. Being a tight and very funky down-home fivesome.
Supported by Delaney & Bonnie’s ex-rhythm section (one of the very best in existence), of Bobby Whitlock on organ, piano, guitar, vocals, bassist Carl Radle and drummer Jim Gordon, the influence showed through. Not only in the sound and choice of material, but in Eric’s vocals.
In fact, on a couple of occasions, I quite expected D & B to come romping on stage and really get things to fever pitch.
The personnel is completed by Dave Mason, an asset to any group, and here too, his presence was felt His solo spot on ‘Feelin’ Alright?’ being a highlight.
The band opened up with a couple of all-acoustic numbers which immediately drew comparisons with CSN&Y, but lacked the fullness of that bands vocal sound.
However, on numbers like ‘Red Wine’, ‘Blues Power’ and ‘Crossroads’, they really chugged along with Jim laying down some very intricate drum patterns behind Eric’s solos.
Eric has got himself a good little band together. With more direction and greater use of Dave Mason’s prolific talents it could progress into a great one.
Also on the bill were Ashton, Gardner & Dyke, who are their usual entertaining self. They really must “happen” in a very big way soon. Raven and Noir completed the bill.
During the course of the evening Dr Spock gave a very short speech in aid of the Civil Liberties Legal Defence Fund, USA who organised the event.
© Roy Carr, New Musical Express, 20 June 1970