Belfast Telegraph

Eric Clapton toasts Three Lions at British Summer Time festival

Opening his headline set, the veteran blues singer told crowds ‘It’s coming home’ on the third day of the festival in Hyde Park, central London.

Eric Clapton rejoiced in the Three Lions’ World Cup quarter-final success as he took to the stage for a balmy British Summer Time performance.

Opening his headline set, the veteran blues singer told crowds “It’s coming home” on the third day of the festival in Hyde Park, central London.

It follows England’s 2-0 win just a day ago against Sweden, sending the team though to the World Cup semi-finals.

Among those who turned up to cheer Clapton on during Sunday evening were actors Bill Nighy and Dustin Hoffman, organisers said.

The 73-year-old delighted thousands of fans as he and his band performed hey-day classics such as Layla, Wonderful Tonight and a reggae-inspired Tears In Heaven.

Clapton switched to an acoustic guitar half an hour into his set, prompting spontaneous cheers as crowds began to clap along to the slow-paced tunes.

But before long he was back with the electric, with he and his band delivering a series of eye and ear-defying solos on guitar, keys, drums and mouth organ.

He was also joined by singer Marcella Detroit for a spirited rendition of Lay Down Sally, which she co-wrote.

“It’s such a thrill, thank you so much,” the American singer told the crowd.

Earlier in the day, festival-goers enjoyed performances from English rocker Steve Winwood, Texas guitarist Gary Clark Jr and British duo Chas & Dave.

Santana, appearing on the Great Oak stage just before Clapton, pulled out all the stops with a hip-swivelling mix of blues-rock, jazz fusion and Latin and African percussion rhythms.

Carlos Santana then made a surprise come-back on stage with Eric Clapton for the last encore of the night, where the duo played High Time.

Sunday was Clapton’s final summer show. He will next perform in the United States in the autumn.

As his 90 minute-plus set ended, a message thanking punters appeared on screen which read: “Thanks for coming! You were wonderful tonight!”

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