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The Cream of Clapton Band Will Tour Europe and the United States in 2023

The tour will kick off in Europe then play the United States in April and May.

The Cream of Clapton Band Will Tour Europe and the United States in 2023

When Eric Clapton's 'Heaven Band' toured from the mid 1980s to early '90s, bass player Nathan East said the quartet came up with the name "because it was it was some of the most fun we ever had."

Almost four decades later, another quartet of stellar musicians with familial ties to the original group have formed The Cream Of Clapton Band and will hit the road with that same fun-loving spirit to perform The Very Best of Eric Clapton in March 2023.

The tour will kick off in Europe then play the United States in April and May.

Lead guitarist and vocalist Will Johns is Clapton's nephew and on keyboards, Noah East is Nathan East's son. Their personal connection to this music is augmented by the prodigious talent of drummer Dylan Elise from Blood, Sweat & Tears and the significant experience of multi-instrumentalist, Steve Ball, on bass and vocals.

Heavily influenced by the original foursome of Clapton, Collins, East, and Phillinganes, this next generation of musicians believe it's just the right time to revive the best examples from this period with a fresh and vibrant approach. Accordingly the set list includes songs like Forever Man, Behind The Mask, Tearing Us Apart and Bad Love.

"Of course, we will be playing classics like Cocaine, Sunshine of Your Love, Badge and Layla" says Johns. "But there are many great songs that haven't been performed for some time, like the Gold and Platinum selling albums Behind the Sun, August and Journeyman, which ultimately led to Eric's record breaking 24-night residency at the Royal Albert Hall. We've added an energy, groove and flair that's very much our own. We will have everyone up and dancing from the get go."

The band will also be sharing stories and anecdotes about growing up around a legend who is reportedly "looking forward" to seeing this project on the road.

"Eric and I went fishing recently," says Johns "and one of the first things he said was, 'So I hear you and Nathan's son are going on tour playing my music?' When I asked him if he was alright with that he told me, to my absolute delight, that he was honoured. It means the world to me to have his blessing and we are all super excited about our new concert tour. Eric and Nathan even recorded a short video for us!"

Johns is British icon Pattie ('Layla') Boyd's nephew and got to know his "Uncle Eric" as a boy, which included an introduction to his two lifelong loves: fishing and the guitar. His father is the late, great Andy Johns, legendary record producer and engineer for the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and Van Halen. It is this unique upbringing and DNA that has shaped Johns into the musician audiences know today - an artist whose 2021 release of BLUESDADDY went to the top of several charts worldwide.

East, having played the piano from four years of age and listened to his father play with Clapton before that, is thrilled to immerse himself in what he refers to as the soundtrack of his childhood: "I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to play Eric's music in a style like this, with such amazing musicians. Being so closely tied with the actual band, I think we're going to be able to capture the true essence of the music because we've been around it our whole lives," he says.

Dad Nathan has also expressed his excitement about this phase of his career being revisited by such close connections.

"I can't wait to catch The Cream of Clapton Band on the road! It's going to be such fun listening to this great family of musicians play these fabulous songs."

Hailing from New Zealand, Elise was also something of a child prodigy who grew up heavily influenced by British blues-rock and says of Johns and East, "with their connects and DNA, it makes this so much more authentic. We've got a lot to live up to, but I know we are going to deliver a show and experience like no other!"

The Samoan-British boy appeared on numerous national television shows as a young musician and has gone on to perform and teach internationally. Based now in Los Angeles, he has carved out a career and reputation as one of the world's most-watched drummers - his YouTube channel boasts over 30 million views.

Since 2005 Ball has been part of well-known Chicago based band, Mr. Blotto, and says he's been "wearing out grooves on Cream and Eric Clapton records since I was a kid." He's clocked up 3000 + shows over 30 years, including playing with Will Johns during the last Music of Cream tour, in 2022.

Says Ball on the ethos behind playing the music of an icon: "This is us paying tribute to the music that Eric Clapton made. We're not doing it exactly like he did, and we wouldn't want to, in the same way that Eric doesn't play the blues songs exactly like the bluesmen that he loves. He does it in his own way, and that is our goal."

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