Blind Faith in Hyde Park

7th June 1969

 Blind Faith had been struggling to complete an album since 18th February.  A major US tour was booked to commence in July just over a month after this debut concert.  Robert Stigwood took the opportunity to promote them through a free gig in Hyde Park.  It was to be their only UK performance.  This was followed by a short and very successful tour of Scandinavia.  On return they finalised the album.

To ensure plenty of potential promotional material Stigwood engaged the Australian film maker Peter Clinton to capture the concert on 16mm film.  This he did but on a restricted budget with just two cameras.  To recoup the cost and gain some cross-promotion Stigwood inserted part of the “Well Alright” performance into the Bee Gees TV special Cucumber Castle – recorded in August 1969 and first broadcast in 1971.  Cucumber Castle was a lightweight piece of pop fluff in the Monkees vein but with a decidedly weaker humour – I actually suffered through it to just see Blind Faith near the end!  The Bee Gees were Stigwood’s preferred act and he had used the revenue generated by Cream to promote their careers.  Baker wreaked some revenge however:  Baker, Clapton and Winwood were waiting in Stigwood’s office enjoying his brandy with Baker rifling through the desk drawers.  Behold he finds the final mix tape of the Bee Gees next single, pours brandy over it and adds flame.  They didn’t hang around for Stigwood’s arrival.  

 The Concert

This DVD almost reproduces the full concert.  The opening Well Alright is the heavily edited version patched into Cucumber Castle – basically starts after the instrumental break.  Other parts of the show are padded out with crowd and park shots to fill out the visuals to match up to the audio recording – synchronisation is far from perfect but quite acceptable.  Do What You Like is also incomplete missing all the solos except for part of Baker’s.  This looks more like that the film had run out mid performance.

 They are using a WEM PA system and it is notable that Ginger has a fold back.  The sound would have been pretty ordinary by todays standards but probably good for those days. Four Marshall stacks are on stage but one is a spare  

Well Allright

Incomplete with split screen effects to make it look more impressive for Cucumber Castle.  Steve is playing an RMI Electronic Piano.  A solid if uninspired performance.

Sea of Joy

This works surprisingly well despite Eric being very laid back.  Ginger is working hard locking in Rick.  Unfortunately the recording is off-pitch – flat.  

Sleeping in the Ground

This song never got any better then ordinary.

Under My Thumb

Steve moves to Hammond and puts in a quite spirited performance on the Stones number.  It is notable in this that Baker has now locked Rick in and is working with Winwood.  Clearly Steve is enjoying having Baker provide the rhythmic drive allowing him to focus on keys and vocals.  His vocal performances are the highlight of the whole show.  

Can’t Find My Way Home

The electric version is still haunting – a very strong performance and again great singing.


Do What You Like

We get the vocals, organ solo and some drum solo.  The batter of Ginger’s left kick drum has split but he plays on undeterred.  His black Leedy snare is behind him as a spare.  Some more split screen effects  

Presence of the Lord

Steve switches back to Piano and Eric carries off a quite excellent solo.  He gets a great tone out of his Telecaster with the Strat neck.  

Means to an End

This is announced as the last number but is followed by the more exciting  

 Had to Cry Today

Steve plays the RMI not guitar - disappointing even though his guitar is there.  EC's solo is laid back but shows off a great tone.  He is in the throws of reinventing his style.

© Graeme Pattingale 2006