It was big news when guitarist Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker from the recently-disbanded Cream joined forces with keyboardist-singer Steve Winwood, whose history with Traffic and the Spencer Davis Group had made him one of Britain's most admired young musicians (bass player Rick Grech came from the more obscure Brit group Family), and the buzz must have been palpable when they took the stage before hundreds of thousands of fans on a June afternoon in 1969. They were known as rock's first supergroup, but there's nothing all that super about Blind Faith - London Hyde Park 1969
, a record of the quartet's debut performance. In fairness, the group hadn't been together very long, and their one and only album hadn't been released yet; perhaps they were also taken aback by the size of the crowd and the hype that already engulfed them. Still, their 40-minute set (the DVD is padded with a ten-minute introduction) is surprisingly listless, not to mention out of tune. Having cemented his god-like status by way of Cream's endless bravura jamming, Clapton was clearly looking for something mellower and more song-oriented, but despite a few stellar moments, here he appears dour and uninterested. Winwood, meanwhile, seems to be searching for notes a step or two above his range, with the result that he fairly shrieks his way through all six tunes from the Blind Faith
album (along with a pointless cover of the Rolling Stones' "Under My Thumb" and two others); it's Baker who provides the fire, especially on "Presence of the Lord" and the drum showcase "Do What You Like." The audio and video are surprisingly crisp and clear, which helps make up for the fact that the camera was apparently hand-held by a drunk who couldn't figure out what he wanted to shoot. It's cool to see these guys in action, but overall, interest in this document will primarily be due to the fact that it exists at all. --Sam Graham
Blind Faith's debut gig was in front of a cool 100,000 people on a warm day in Hyde Park. Since 7th June, 1969 when this concert took place, it has never been seen in its entirety. This is a unique opportunity to see the world's first Supergroup perform for the very first time. The audience gathered in London's central Hyde Park, were filled with anticipation awaiting Blind Faith's debut. The newly formed collective of four virtuoso musicians who individually were already rock royalty, were the talk of the town and expectations both within the band and out amongst the counter-culture generation crowd, were high. Fusing the psychedelic blues of Eric Clapton and the soulful vocals and keyboards of Steve Winwood, with Rick Grech on bass and the phenomenal Ginger Baker on drums, they didn't disappoint. The set may have lasted just over 40 minutes long, but fans were treated to a selection of timeless tracks including 'Presence Of The Lord', 'Sleeping In The Ground' and The Stones classic 'Under My Thumb'. The DVD also boasts archive footage of the various members of Blind Faith performing within their earlier musical guises. Clips of the Spencer Davies Group performing 'I'm A Man', Traffic's 'Hole In My Shoe', Family performing 'Dim' and Cream with 'Sunshine of Your Love', act as a gentle introduction to the main concert event.