In an alternative universe, Chas & Dave would be headlining Hyde Park; reality, however, dictates that we must watch them on the Barclaycard stage in the afternoon, on an impressive supporting bill for Eric Clapton. Whereas Roger Waters was the show on Friday and all other acts seemed unrelated, today's bill screamed Guitar, Blues and Dad Rock.
And there were many, many dads there, enjoying Steve Winwood's very jazzy afternoon slot full of his huge repertoire of hits- most prominently Spencer Davis Group's Gimme Some Lovin'. Earlier had seen Lukas Neil's Promise Of The Real taking time off from being Neil Young's backing band and Zucchero propping us up before Carlos Santana blisters through his Hyde Park set with excitement and energy.
Santana gave us over an hour of rock and joy. Ushered on to the crowd sounds of Woodstock '69 - staple classics such as Black Magic Woman and Oy Como Va were mixed with Coltrane's A Love Supreme - the sound was pulsating and diverse. And yes, revival hits Smooth and Maria Maria were also featured. More from Carlos later.
And then on to Clapton. Rumours of illness. Rumours of dying imminently. Selling out Hyde Park almost instantly. And he phoned it in. There was barely ninety minutes of music. Two Robert Johnson covers and only a few trademark Clapton numbers (Wonderful Tonight, Tears In Heaven, Cocaine). Even Layla was stripped back to an acoustic sit-down affair.
Whilst Clapton hasn't lost his bluesy voice nor guitar majesty - it's noticeable that the audience are never captivated aside from their fandom status. No coincidence that excitement builds again when Clapton brings on Santana for an encore - a cover of Joe Cocker's High Time We Went. Lots of cheers of "Yes" from the audience, and clamours for more encores (it was only 9:55) but that was it. Tis a privilege to see Clapton in a glorious setting - but we all wanted more.
latest on this festival
with Nile Rodgers & CHIC, and Grace Jones, on Sunday 11th July 2021
line-ups & rumours
with Pixies (Friday), and IDLES (Saturday)
festival home page