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Eric Clapton To Play Hyde Park in Summer 2018

Portrait taken in the manager's office near Regents Park, London whilst shooting images for Q magazine. © Jill Furmanovsky

Following on from the news that Roger Waters’ ‘Us + Them’ tour will be coming to London’s Hyde Park next year, Eric Clapton will also be playing a date in summer 2018. The concert, like Waters’, is part of the British Summer Time series of events that has previously seen Stevie Wonder, The Rolling StonesPhil Collins and Carole King play to huge crowds on what’s known as the Great Oak Stage.

Clapton will be playing on the 8th July 2018 in his only UK festival appearance. He’ll also be joined by the dream team of Carlos Santana, Steve Winwood, Gary Clark Jr. along with other guests who have yet to be confirmed.

Eric Clapton performing at the Rainbow Theatre, London in 1973. © Jill Furmanovsky

At 72 the guitar legend, whose nickname is Slowhand, has previously spoken about suffering from an incurable nervous system condition which makes it difficult for him to play guitar.

“I’ve had quite a lot of pain over the last year.” he said in an interview with Classic Rock magazine last year. “It started with lower back pain, and turned into what they call peripheral neuropathy – which is where you feel like you have electric shocks going down your leg.”

Eric Clapton performing at the Royal Albert Hall in May 2015. © Paolo Brillo

As such touring has been difficult and with the release of his last album, 2016’s I Still Do, there were rumours that he might be thinking of retiring. These were mainly fuelled by the album’s last song, a cover of jazz standard “I'll Be Seeing You".

“[Retirement is] one of those things that's been haunting me," the musician said at the time. "I love the song and I love the sentiment. Just in case I don't cut another record, this is how I feel. I kind of might be saying goodbye. But I've been doing that for a while.”

Eric Clapton performing at the Royal Albert Hall, London in February 1992. © Jill Furmanovsky

But fortunately for his fans he’s not finished performing yet, so Clapton playing Hyde Park is a great opportunity to see this legend in the flesh. Earlier this year he played the Royal Albert Hall, a venue that’s he’s played over 200 times—more than anywhere else in the world in fact.

It was a venue he first played when he was in The Yardbirds back in 1964. Songs on the setlist for that show included acoustic numbers of “Layla” and “Tears In Heaven” along with other classics from his 50 year career, along with some of the blues tracks that have inspired him like Muddy Waters’ “Hoochie Coochie Man”.

A young Eric Clapton during his time with the Yardbirds in Manchester in the summer of 1964. © Clay Perry

The Hyde Park show will no doubt be a great chance to catch the much admired and influential guitarist playing all these, in a setting that he’s familiar and comfortable with. Clapton first played Hyde Park back in 1969 when he was in the English blues rock band Blind Faith along with Ginger Baker, Steve Winwood and Ric Grech. The supergroup made their debut at Hyde Park and played to a crowd of 120,000.

“I have happy memories of performing in Hyde Park in the past,” says Clapton, “and I’m really looking forward to playing there again – the whole atmosphere is very special.”

Eric Clapton with Cream onstage at the Windsor Jazz and Blues festival in the summer of 1967. © Pete Smith

Clapton is the only person to have been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame three times, with bands The Yardbirds and Cream and also as a solo artist.

You can buy tickets for Eric Clapton’s Hyde Park show here. And you can check out the musician playing a live version of “Wonderful Tonight” from his 2016 San Diego concert, below.

Rockarchive is delighted to be able to offer these iconic images, along with other photos of Eric Clapton as limited edition photographic prints which you can buy here.

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