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”Can’t keep this airplane on…nah leave it” : More Plant purity in the open air

13 July 2006 2,058 views No Comment

Somerset House London, Monday July 10 2006

A damp and rainy Monday night in the capital. You never can trust the English weather.
Like buses it’s been no gigs for six months then two come along. This open air presentation in the stately surroundings of Somerset House offered the ideal opportunity to see Robert in London away from the usual haunts.
On the social side it was good to link up with Mr Linwood,Dave Fox,Rudi,Krys Jantzen,Mick Bulow and Billy and Alison Fletcher (apologies for missing you Terry and Kam but duty called!)

In front of an audience more accustomed to his idiosyncracities, Robert seemed very relaxed from the start with an opening salvo of Tin Pan Valley and the superb Love’s 7 and 7 Is.
Black Dog again really ignited the crowd into life – and there was a neat Zep reference when as a plane flew over above, Robert paraphrased that off mic opening to Graffiti’s Black Country Woman by exclaiming ”It’s an airplane…. nah leave it.”
The set deviated slightly from Saturday with Freedom (sadly ) missing and three additions. The slow paced delivery of 29 Palms seemed to make more sense this time with Plant turning in a beautifully controlled vocal. The contrasting guitar styles of Skin and Justin Adams aided just about every arrangement really peaking on a flowing Morning Dew and a brooding Enchanter (better placed earlier in the set). Friends was a Zep connoisseurs delight, and even the eventual drizzling rain could not dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd as the band romped through Four Sticks, Gallows Pole and encores of When The Levee Breaks and the perennial Whole Lotta Love.

So ends two days under the skies in the company of Robert Plant. For me personally it was good to get some inspiration before my 50th birthday beckons (57 days to go and counting!)
It was a welcome reminder of the qualities I’ve known and admired for so many of those years: The singer in question as usual never less than compelling, often stunning and vocally still in total control.

And that’s the way it’s been all through these nine lives and beyond.

Other stuff:
World Cup exits (don’t mention it – I’ll start blubbing again and moaning about what could and should have been!),Sam’s Prom ball ,Adam at football tournaments, the Virgin sale to mount etc etc has kept the summer pretty full on.
Within all that I’ve been chipping away at planning text for the mag etc – I have to say there’s a long way to go yet so hold on. Steve Jones has come in with some great stuff on Over Europe ’80 and with Robert’s recent activity there’s much to pack in. The quest continues.

Last mention of the World Cup: The winner of the Tight But Loose World Cup quiz is Alessandro Borri fittingly from Italy! Well done to him for some fantastic research – the answers will be on a web link soon.
Looking ahead there’s some interesting days coming up with Jimmy’s planned appearance with Roy Harper in early August and Robert’s Nine Lives box set project to follow in September.

Stimulants that have got us through the early summer: Intensive World Cup rendezvous with Max H (I wont mention it again!) even if the dismal outcome was inevitable…Pints of Fosters with Janet and J and S in the White Horse…Tennis with Adam on Sunday mornings…Sam belle of the Prom and looking most definitely a laydee!…Rolling Stones DVD’s (thanks John P)…Budgie on DVD….Peter Robinson’s brilliant novel Piece Of My Heart with many a Zep reference…while hot on the Totnes deck and i pod it’s been lots of Plant 66 To Timbuktu,Mighty R, Fate Of Nations plus customised Plant live i pod playlist (everything from Pledge Pin to Lazy Me etc)…Zep Listen To This Eddie CD (always a June fave),John Fogerty The Long Road Home, The Who Then And Now (couldn’t fit any gigs in on their tour myself but great to see them out there again),Richard Hawley Late Night Final, Eric Clapton 1970 debut reissued Deluxe edition, John Coltrane Ballads, Rolling Stones Black And Blue – and song of the moment has to be Plant/Strange Sensation Freedom Fries…which is where we came in.
Until next time
Dave Lewis July 13 2006

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