Classic Clapton the Eric Clapton Tribute Band featuring frontman Mike Hall will be making a welcome return to The Glasshouse International Centre for Music (formerly The Sage Gateshead) in December.
The band was formed in 1985 as After Midnight and performed throughout the North East becoming popular for their covers of classic rock songs. In 2000 they began touring the UK as an Eric Clapton tribute band. They called the show Classic Clapton. This is likely to be the final concert by the full Classic Clapton band. In future Mike intends to continue with acoustic shows and the occasional gig by the After Midnight band.
When is the show and how to get tickets
The show is on Saturday 2 December 2023. Doors open 7.30pm, band on stage 8pm. Tickets priced £20 are available from the box office, Tel: (0191) 443 4661 and also online at www.theglasshouseicm.org There are very few tickets left for this show.
They will perform all of Eric Clapton’s classic songs including Wonderful Tonight, Tears in Heaven, Crossroads, I Shot The Sheriff, Cocaine, Lay Down Sally and of course Layla! There will even be an unplugged segment.
The history of the band
The band was formed in 1985 in Newcastle long before the term ‘tribute band’ was invented and named themselves After Midnight after Eric Clapton’s first solo hit. Their first gig was at The Cumberland Arms, Byker on 5 December 1985. Since then they have become one of the best-loved bands on Tyneside. At this concert they will celebrating the 38th anniversary of their first ever gig.
In guitar/vocalist Mike Hall, the band possesses a front man who not only looks like Eric, he sings and plays guitar like him too! In 1999, he won a national look-alike competition held at Madam Tussauds. Mike has met Clapton twice, and even received a message of encouragement from the guitar maestro (written on a Concorde menu).
Tyne Tees Television was so impressed that they made a programme about the band, called Cover Their Tracks. It was shown in August 2000 and received rave reviews, leading to national recognition.
In 2001 they embarked on their first extensive tour of UK Theatres. Since then, they have continued to perform throughout the UK and Ireland including concerts at The Royal Festival Hall, London and a triumphant appearance at Glastonbury Festival in 2002. They have performed numerous concerts in Europe including Ireland, Spain, Estonia, Holland and France. In 2009 they appeared for the first time in Mumbai. They were invited back for three more concerts in India in 2016. This included performing in front of 3500 people in Mumbai. In 2017 they appeared in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Classic Clapton comprises four excellent musicians:- Mike Hall (lead vocals/guitar), Gregg Strettle (drums) and Dave Robson (bass guitar /backing vocals). Dave is a former member of chart band Geordie. In fact he was with them at the time Brian Johnson left to join AC/DC. Steve Hutchinson has recently rejoined the band on keyboards and backing vocals. He was a member of The Animals for six years during the 1990s alongside original members Hilton Valentine and John Steel. He previously played with Classic Clapton from 2003 – 2005.
The band has released three albums: Firstly The Music Of Eric Clapton which contains brilliant cover versions of 17 Clapton classics. Their second is a live double album Classic Clapton Unplugged recorded at Belfast Waterfront Hall. In 2005 they released their third album Classic Cream – featuring 20 songs made famous by the sixties super-group. All three albums will be available at the Glasshouse.
Eric Clapton has been a major international star since the mid 1960s, when he revolutionised electric guitar playing, with his virtuoso performances in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. He has won an incredible 19 Grammies and is the only triple inductee into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of The Yardbirds, Cream and as a solo artist).
Eric is now in his late seventies. His recent UK tours unfortunately have visited only London’s Royal Albert Hall. If fans want to hear all of his hits performed in more intimate surroundings, they really should attend a Classic Clapton concert. The whole of Clapton’s illustrious career will be covered including Cream, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, The Yardbirds, Blind Faith, Derek & The Dominos and the solo years.
Find out more on www.classic-clapton.com