Eric Clapton recently celebrated his 70th birthday with a series of performances marking the milestone. That included a seven-night stretch at London’s famed Royal Albert Hall, an event the guitarist will document in the upcoming concert film titled Slowhand at 70. The set won’t arrive until November 12th, but Clapton shared a powerful take on “Cocaine” bolstered by a hard-charging backing band and a killer solo from the nimble-fingered guitar god.
Slowhand at 70 – Live at the Royal Albert Hall will be released in a variety of formats including a digital copy of the concert film, a 2-CD/Blu-ray combo, a 3-LP/DVD combo and a deluxe edition. Clapton’s 17-track setlist spanned nearly the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s entire career, from Derek & the Dominoes (“Layla”) to Blind Faith (“Can’t Find My Way Home”) to his solo hits (“Wonderful Tonight,” “Tears in Heaven”). The album also boasts Clapton’s covers of the Wailers’ “I Shot the Sheriff,” Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads” and Joe Cocker’s “High Time We Went.”
Over his career, Clapton has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, his favorite venue, over 200 times. In addition to the 70th birthday shows in London, Clapton also celebrated his birthday with a pair of concerts at New York’s Madison Square Garden in May where John Mayer joined him onstage.
In 2013, Clapton admitted to Rolling Stone that he viewed his 70th birthday as a proverbial end of the road. “The bit onstage, that’s easy,” Clapton said of touring at the time. “If I could do that around my neighborhood, that would be great. You have guys in Texas that play their circuit, and it keeps them alive. But for me, the struggle is the travel. And the only way you can beat that is by throwing so much money at it that you make a loss. So the idea is I’m taking a leaf out of JJ [Cale]’s book: When I’m 70, I’ll stop. I won’t stop playing or doing one-offs, but I’ll stop touring, I think.”
Clapton has not booked any tour dates since his Royal Albert Hall residency in May.