Eric Clapton left fans stunned and angry after suddenly leaving the stage at the Glasgow Hydro without apology or explanation.
The 69-year-old star unslung his guitar and made his way off stage a minute or so into the song Cocaine, with the rest of his band, seemingly taken by surprise, following him off.
Clapton returned a few minutes later saying “sorry about that” but lasted for just one song before picking up his jacket and walking off stage without so much as a “goodnight” to the 12,000 strong audience at Saturday night’s gig.
As the house lights went up, there was a chorus of boos from the audience, with management at the venue later issuing a statement saying a “technical issue” – believed to be a sound problem – was to blame.
Stewards struggled to deal with angry and upset fans who demanded refunds and quickly took to social media to express their anger after paying upwards of £67 on tickets to see the legendary star.
Stephen Houston, 47, from Troon, said: “He didn’t apologise, he just walked off. At first the stunned audience thought he might be going off but coming back for an encore, but the stage crew ran on and started dismantling the set.
“People were booing and jeering, the place was in an absolute uproar as almost 12,000 people realised Clapton wasn’t coming back. The lights went up and that was it. There wasn’t even an apologetic announcement from the Hydro staff.
“People were raging after spending £67 each on tickets, lots had come from afar and booked hotels too. I know he’s a perfectionist but that was just bloody rude.”
And writing on Facebook, Jim McNeil said: “Angry fans continued to boo for ages as they left demanding refunds. Think he has lost many fans tonight. Not a good move to make in Glasgow of all places.”
Car dealer Geoff Rider, 49, from Glasgow said: “I’ve never heard an angrier audience. They were booing and jeering and couldn’t believe they’d been treated like that.” Emily Dowd tweeted: “Eric Clapton broke my heart last night. Best gig ever to worst gig in seconds. An explanation would have been nice.”
The concert had appeared to be going down well with the audience with Clapton and his band, which included Andy Fairweather-Low and Paul Carrack, running through some blues standards and a handful of Clapton’s own hits, such as Layla and Tears in Heaven.
The energetic Scottish support act, Hunter and the Bear, had earlier described Clapton as “one hell of a headliner”.
Despite the walk-off some fans did seem to enjoy what they saw of the the star’s first concert in Glasgow for three years.
Jes Smith tweeted: “Great performance by Eric Clapton and co last night @ Glasgow Hydro. But very abrupt unexplained ending which angered some.”
A statement issued by the Hydro said: “The production team suffered a technical issue which resulted in the concert ending earlier than anticipated.
“By the time the venue had been made aware of the circumstances patrons were already leaving the bowl. However, our stewards and staff did their best to convey this information as it became known.”