The following report was submitted by 'Dave' at the My Les Paul forum ...
Here's the report I promised for the 2008 New Year's Eve Party at Woking. Just a bit of background. this is a party put on by the "Guildford Sunday Group" which is basically Guildford Alcoholics Anonymous. The Party takes place at the Woking Leisure Centre. Last year was extra-special as guests included Joe Walsh, Ringo Starr, Pete Townshend and Dhani Harrison. The party is dry, which makes for a superb atmosphere (and very easy on the wallet). The band do two sets, one before midnight and the second set starting just after midnight.
This year's band was called "The Fourth Edition": the line-up was Eric
Clapton (guitar and vocals); Andy Fairweather Lowe (guitar, mandolin and
vocals); Chris Stainton (Hammond); Dave Bronze (bass and vocals); Henry Spinetti
(drums); Gary Brooker (piano and vocals); Pete Townshend (guitar and
vocals, unable to attend due to illness although gear and guitar tech. present);
Sharon and Michelle (backing vocals).
Knock on Wood – E
Reconsider Baby – G
Judge a Book -G
Santa Claus is Back in Town – A
Route 66 – A
Will The Circle Be Unbroken – C
Five Long Years – A
Wonderful Tonight – G (best version I have ever seen or heard)
Shake Rattle and Roll – E
The band then took a break; we had the Big Ben chimes on the big screen with the fireworks in London, and then the band returned just after midnight..
Midnight Hour – E
Hoochie Coochie Man- A
Blueberry Hill – E
Sweet Soul Music – C
Putting on the Style – A
Gin House – E
Willie and the Hand Jive -A
A Whiter Shade of Pale – C
Cocaine – E
Old Black Joe – E
This was a great gig: the version of Wonderful Tonight was exceptional, Clapton's sound superb and a truly great lead break. Clapton played a Clapton Strat all night, Andy FL played a cream-coloured Strat with what looked like just one Humbucker, and used a mandolin for Putting on the Style. Pete Townshend was set to appear and his gear was there: he would have used a small Fender amp which looked like a Deluxe Reverb. Clapton had two tweed twins although they may have been Cornell amps – hard to tell from where I was. The mix was great, very nice sound for a gym hall as well as the lighting which was excellent.
I have been to these parties many times and it never ceases to amaze me what
a great atmosphere it is and how people have such a great time with not one drop
of booze. Everyone takes picnics and just has a great time. Clapton is at his
most relaxed and his playing is effortless. The songs are clearly well known by
the band but often Gary Brooker throws in a few ad-libs, which leave the
rest of the band confused as to where he's going – which leaves a smiling happy
Clapton just having a gig with his mates.
Great fun, already looking forward to the event next year.