THE MUSIC OF CREAM 50TH ANNIVERSARY
CADOGAN HALL LIVE REVIEW
October 14, 2019
11TH OCTOBER 2019
In the space of three years, Cream laid the blueprint for heavy blues rock. Their influence is so far reaching that over 50 years since their first album was released, they are still inspiring new generations of musicians. A band that really created the mould for what was to follow was bound to spawn countless substandard tribute acts, and then, just like back in 1966, three musicians got together and changed everything. Cream was of course the ultimate super group with songs such as Badge, White Room, Sunshine of Your Love and Strange Brew being etched into any music fan's consciousness. The Music of Cream is the ultimate tribute show and every bit as spellbinding as the original; but then they have the heritage to support that talent.
Being the progeny of the cream of the crop, would typically discourage many kids from picking up the same instrument as their parents – but not these guys. On drums Kofi Baker sits behind the kit and is a stick man worthy of the Baker name. His drum solo on Toad was worthy of a standing ovation and was a fitting way to honour the recently deceased Ginger; his dad would be proud.
Malcolm Bruce is a phenomenal bass player in his own right with finesse and timing par excellence. He manages to make the jazzy and complex bass runs look too easy for comfort. During the course of the evening he references his mother's (Janet) songwriting collaborations with the band and performs versions of Sleepy Time Time and one of Jack's most personal songs, We're Going Wrong.
If Clapton is God, Will Johns is definitely a worthy successor to the blues holy trinity. As the nephew of Eric Clapton (by marriage), his energy and musicianship is outstanding. Even if old slowhand's DNA doesn't run in his veins, the music does.
This trio of musicians have the ability to wander off during musical breaks and improvise in the same way that Cream did. This makes for a very exciting show that is never tired or dull. The show is full of personal anecdotes too, that just wouldn't be the same third hand. Above the stage a video reminded us of the original band almost as if they are playing alongside each other, and psychedelic images to really create the far out vibe of the 60s counter culture that many of the audience were a part of, and the younger ones wished they could have been. The Music of Cream is proof that once again good music is good music that defies generations. There's no better way to pay tribute to a legendary band, whose music is as iconic as its members.