Tuesday, April 23, 2024

The Music Of Cream – 50th Anniversary World Tour

Paying homage to the music and legacy that was rock’s first super group Cream, the sons of Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, along with the nephew of Eric Clapton celebrate 50 years since that band’s farewell UK concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London on November 26, 1968 with a four date UK tour, starting at the Glasgow O2 Academy on Friday 23rd November.

Having already received rave reviews in Australia and New Zealand from the media and fans alike when touring there last year, The Music of Cream – 50thAnniversary World Tour will see Kofi Baker(drums), Malcolm Bruce (bass, vocals) and Will Johns (guitar, vocals) sharing personal songs and classic rock songs such as ‘Sunshine of Your Love’, ‘Crossroads’, ‘Spoonful’ and ‘White Room’.

Their comprehensive set will also see Baker, Bruce and Johns interplay interplay with footage of their fathers and mentors on the big screen, along with never-before-seen footage and photos being shown. This multi-media concert experience has been specially created for this 50th Anniversary Tour, with the intention of providing some of rock’s most memorable moments with a new lease on life.

During its short lifespan, Cream was an explosive musical cocktail. Originally referred to as “a group’s group” they provided the blueprint for all super groups that would follow. The group’s third album, Wheels of Fire (1968), was the world’s first platinum-selling double album, and collectively they sold more than 15 million copies of their albums worldwide. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Cream as 67th in their 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list.

Apart from a brief reunion in 2005 of seven shows at London’s Royal Albert Hall and New York’s Madison Square Garden, Cream retained an almost mythological status in the music world, right up until the passing of Jack Bruce in 2014. For many fans, this marked the end of an era and an acceptance that there would never be another opportunity to celebrate the group’s legacy. That is, until the Music of Cream – 50th Anniversary World Tour hit Australia and New Zealand last year.

Now, the trio of Baker, Bruce and Johns are looking forward to inspiring and reigniting the UK with their very own celebration of a musical legacy that runs through their veins. Beyond, their family relationships all three of these men had played with Jack Bruce himself –  And Jack didn’t carry people so they had already proved they were good.

Malcolm Bruce recently completed an April solo UK tour in support of his own solo album Salvation. He attended the Guildhall School of Music to study composition and has been performing professionally since the age of 16. Early in his career he played on Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward’s debut solo album, and has since played with artists as diverse as Elton John and the late Dick Heckstall-Smith. He was a part of a reformation of British jazz rock band Brand X and took his father’s place for a US tour as part of power trio West, Bruce & Laing.

In 2016 Bruce acted as musical director alongside lyricist Pete Brown for a special tribute to his father, An Evening For Jack, at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire that October, hosted by Bob Harris, with a cast of legendary musicians including Lulu, Eddi Reader, Maggie Reilly, Mick Taylor, Dennis Chambers, Gary Husband, David Sancious, Clem Clempson, Trevor Horn, Paul Young and many others. He has previously played with Kofi Baker, and last year they put together The Music Of Cream project that has proved critically successful.

Kofi Baker’s first live performance was with his father at the tender age of six years old on UK television show The Old Grey Whistle Test. The early 80s saw him continuing to play with his father amazing audiences with their drum duets. Subsequently he would play with Soft Machine’s John Ethridge, Manfred Mann’s Steve Spirit’s Randy California and tour Europe with Steve Marriot’s Humble Pie, and later Jack Bruce.

Thereafter Baker based himself in the USA, continuing to tour and play alongside numerous noteworthy musicians as well as setting up his own drum school.

Teaching himself to play at 15, Will Johns was encouraged further by his uncle, Eric Clapton. Clapton was married to Pattie Boyd (former wife of George Harrison) whose sister was actress and model Paula Boyd, and John’s mother. His other aunt being Jenny Boyd, who was married to drummer Mick Fleetwood. His father being legendary record producer and engineerAndy Johns, brother to fellow celebrated producer Glyn John.

Despite these familial influences, Johns is recognised as both a distinctive and exciting performer – Steeped in the blues, but with a style that is modern and on the cutting edge. Among the accolades he has received is being nominated for Best Original Blues Song by the British Blues Awards for three years running.

Formerly a member of Glyda with Jesse Wood (son of The Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood). He later established the Will Johns Band and has recorded solo albums since 2008. Taking part in 2016’s An Evening for Jack he would performed ‘White Room’ alongside Mick Taylor and Terry Reid. Such events all eventually lead to The Music of Cream project.

Commented on their first performances as a three piece Malcolm Bruce said, ​“We had such an amazing response to our first tour in Australia and New Zealand that we’ve spent some considerable time adding to the show,” adding. “Now, we not only have this amazing legacy of music to play, but an opportunity to share some wonderful insights and stories with our audience… A backstage pass like no other, if you will.”

Kofi Baker also noted, “We also have a few surprises in store that we know people are going to really respond to. We can’t wait to be on the road again playing these shows in the UK in November.”

To book tickets for The Music of Cream – 50th Anniversary World Tour click here.

 

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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