Steve Winwood York Barbican Centre 3rd March 2004
The next time I saw Steve Winwood was more than 20 years later at a concert at York Barbican Centre. David was a student at Leeds at the time, and I drove down to York and met him at York station. This was my second visit to the Barbican, having been there once before to see Jethro Tull. The concert was all standing with a modest crowd gathered to see Winwood. Although the ticket lists “Special Guests”, I am pretty sure that this wasn’t the case and that there was no support act, with Steve playing two sets. The concert was very much a run through his career from the ’60s onward, with selections from his time in The Spencer Davis Group, Blind Faith, Traffic and his solo work. The concert came at the time of his eight solo album “About Time” and he was accompanied by an excellent band with heavy use of percussion, which reminded me of the Rebop era Traffic. A great show and a chance to get very close to a legend.
Based on a setlist from the London show on the same tour it is likely that the set was something like this:
Set 1. Pearly Queen (Traffic); Different Light; Cigano (for the Gypsies); Empty Pages (Traffic); Can’t Find My Way Home (Blind Faith); Crossroads; I’m a Man (Spencer Davis); Glad (Traffic); Freedom Rider (Traffic).
Set 2: Talking Back to the Night; Bully; Higher Love; Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring (Traffic); Keep On Running (Spencer Davis Group); Back in the High Life Again; Dear Mr. Fantasy (Traffic); Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (Traffic).
Encore: Why Can’t We Live Together?; Gimme Some Lovin’ (Spencer Davis Group)
Band: Steve Winwood (vocals, Hammond), José Piresde de Almeida Neto (guitar), Walfredo Reyes, Jr. (drums, percussion), Karl Vanden Bossche (congas), Richard Bailey (timbales), Karl Denson (sax, flute).
I’ve seen Steve Winwood a couple of times since then, once at the Sage and once at Wembley Arena when he toured with Eric Clapton, and I’ve already blogged about those concerts.
Archive for the ‘Stevie Winwood’ Category
Steve Winwood York Barbican Centre 3rd March 2004
Steve Winwood Newcastle City Hall 6th July 1983
This was Steve Winwood’s first full solo tour, and was in support of his third solo album “Talking Back to the Night”. Winwood was on a high at the time; having had considerable success with his first two albums “Winwood” and “Arc of a Diver’ and chart hits with “While You See a Chance” and “Valerie”. He had recorded the albums at his home in Gloucestershire playing all instruments himself, and this was the first time that he had gone out and played the songs live in concert with a band. I went along with my mate Ian and we were secretly hoping that he might play a clutch of Traffic and Spencer Davis Group songs. We had seats close to the stage and a great view of Winwood, and his excellent band and he did indeed play some of those songs we were hoping for later in the concert. I wasn’t familiar with a lot of Steve’s solo material apart from the singles, but was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I got into the new songs. Winwood is one of our top artists from the 60s, with an incredibly soulful voice, a very under-rated guitar and Hammond organ player and he always looks incredibly fit and so young, to this day. My favourite has always been “No Face, No Name, No Number” but I don’t think he played that particular song at this concert. However we were treated to a clutch of classics from the ’60s which included “Somebody Help Me”, “I’m a Man”, “Keep On Running” and “Gimme Some Lovin'”, along with Traffic’s “Dear Mr Fantasy”. Great stuff.
Setlist will probably have been something like this: Roadrunner; Help Me Angel; Arc of a Diver; Valerie; It Was Happiness; Second-Hand Woman; Vacant Chair; Talking Back to the Night; Slowdown Sundown; Dust; Night Train; Somebody Help Me (Spencer Davis Group); Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (Traffic); Dear Mr. Fantasy (Traffic); I’m a Man (Spencer Davis Group); Big Girls Walk Away; And I Go; Your Silence Is Your Song; While You See a Chance.
Encore: Keep On Running (Spencer Davis Group); Still in the Game; Gimme Some Lovin’ (Spencer Davis Group).
Steve Winwood band: James Hooker (piano), Bobby Messano (guitar), Eric Parker (drums), Carole Steele (percussion), Fernando Sanders (bass/vocals), Godfrey Wang (keyboards).
Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood Wembley Arena London 21 May 2010
Two old friends together playing some great music and clearly having fun.
And we also had lots of fun too. Friday night and Clapton and Winwood take the stage together for the second of two nights in London. Its only a few months since I was sitting in the O2 seeing Clapton with Jeff Beck, and tonight I’m back again in the capital seeing another great guitar pairing. Tonight was very different to the Clapton/Beck show. For one thing Clapton and Winwood have a recording history together in terms of the Blind Faith album, much of which was played on Friday night. Also the two legends took the stage togther throughout (unlike the Clapton/Beck show where the two guitarists did their own sets and then came together at the end of the show). Anyway enough of comparisons; its not fair to make them; as I say; these shows were very different.
Last night was a real musical treat. These guys are playing better than ever. ‘m not sure I’ve ever see Clapton play better or seem more comfortable and relaxed on stage. And Steve Winwood’s sining was spot on. The last time I saw Steve at the Sage Gateshead I thought his voice was showing a little strain. Not last night. His vocals on Georgia were stunning, as was his guitar playing; some great swapping of licks between the two.
For me highlights were Pearly Queen (always loved the song), Georgia, Can’t find my way home, and Voodoo Chile. Clapton’s playing on Voodoo Chile was totally on the ball and the song brought the show to a great climax. Everyone was on their feet at the end and the band came back for an encore of Dear Mr Fantasy which is another personal favourite of mine. You don’t get much better concerts than this, certainly not in terms of muscianship. I would have liked to heard them do No Face No Name No Number which is on the live CD, but I guess you can’t always get everything you want.
I’m up at 5.30am again to get the first train back up north. I should be back home around 10am.
Had To Cry Today
Presence Of The Lord
The Shape I’m In
Tough Luck Blues
Can’t Find My Way Home
Dear Mr. Fantasy (encore)
Stevie Winwood Sage Gateshead 6 October 2008
Stevie Winwood returned to the North East with a set which covered all aspects of his career. Its been many years (perhaps more than 20?) since Stevie Winwood has played in Newcastle and the crowd at the Sage in Gateshead gave him a great reception as he took the stage on Monday night. The Sage concert hall was not full, but the turn out was pretty good and everyone was clearly excited at the prospect of hearing Stevie’s great soulful voice. The set up on the stage was pretty sparse, with Stevie’s band comprising a guitarist, bassist, percussionist and a drummer. Stevie split his time between sitting at the organ and playing guitar. In fact his guitar playing, though often overlooked, is pretty fine. But it is the great songs and his wonderful soulful voice that everyone has come to hear.
The set contained a mixture of old classics from Spencer Davis days, through Traffic, Blind Faith and Winwood’s solo career, interspersed with quite a few from his new album. So we got I’m a Man early on in the set, followed by Empty Pages, Can’t find my way back home, back in the high life again. The encores were Dear Mr Fantasy and Gimme Some Lovin. All sung excellently; his voice is as strong as ever. A great show. The only slight downer was the crowd reaction which although good, was also quite laid back. At a couple of points, the guitarist in the band tried to get the crowd to get up and dance, without any success; its something about the formalish nature of the venue I think.