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SAVING GRACE EDINBURGH,GLASGOW AND PERTH – TBL ON THE SPOT REPORTS/LZ NEWS/TBL ARCHIVE – THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME PREMIERE/MORE TBL NOVEMBER ARCHIVES/FAIRPORT LP FIND/DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

10 November 2022 1,380 views One Comment
Robert Plant presents Saving Grace featuring Suzi Dian 
Edinburgh and Glasgow on the spot reports
Review and photos by Hiroshi…
“We are called Saving Grace. We come from the land of the ice and snow.”
Two years after the cancellation of the proposed tour, Saving Grace finally arrived in Scotland. Last time Robert Plant delivered his remarkable vocals in this realm was 2017. Back then, he was with the Sensational Space Shifters. One difference between the two outfits is the selection of the material to play on stage — while the repertoire of the SSS consisted of their originals and reworkings of Led Zeppelin songs, Saving Grace mostly play covers, many of which are rather obscure, unknown gems Robert digs out. Delve deeper is the keyword of his musical journey. You’ve got to pick up every stitch
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This time I saw them in Edinburgh and Glasgow. I attended their Warrington and Chesterfield shows in December last year and reported here. Over the year Saving Grace have developed the performing prowess and it showed. Suzi Dian now plays a bass for a few songs. Watching this graceful and charming lady picking the bass by Robert is fun. On the extended latter half of Season Of The Witch, Robert and Suzi interact with each other, like flirting by singing, giggles out and unsuppressed, culminating with their duetting the opening line of Black Dog, “Hey hey mama…”
The show is now longer than last year by ten minutes or so, running over an hour and forty-five minutes. Can’t say which show is the better of the two, like last two times I saw back-to-back, they are equally good. It seems that the performance level of Saving Grace is quite stable, and very high at that.
In Glasgow, prior to playing Monkey, the cover of US alternative rock trio Low, Robert informed the audience about the passing of their drummer/singer Mimi Parker the previous day, who was fighting cancer. The current live staple turning into a poignant tribute to the member of the seminal minimalist music collective who Robert owes some of the musical inspiration to. As for the set lists, over the two nights – as far as I recall, the songs played and running order were the same both nights.
I am always impressed by the choice of the destinations and venues on their tour itineraries. They often travel to play a remote place where musicians of Robert Plant’s calibre and fame seldom visit. And the venues include many traditional, old music hall types, which enhances intimacy. The capacities of the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh and the King’s Theatre in Glasgow are 900 and 1,785, respectively. The ticket price is very reasonable, around £40, while some of the other rock stars of his generation ask hundreds of quid for admission these days. Back to the roots not only musically but also logistically and financially. His attitude is consistent all the way through.
There is no merchandise in the foyer. A few years into their activity, Saving Grace still haven’t released music in available physical form, CD, vinyl or music tape whatsoever. They don’t even produce and sell their own T-shirts. Robert mentioned that from the stage in Glasgow, proclaiming loudly, “nothing but music!” A big cheer showered over him. He chooses the path where no one goes.
Robert Plant is a real musician who has dedicated his life to music.
Many thanks to Hiroshi for that excellent summary.
And finally….
The final night in Perth – November 9, 2022 – report from Mick Scullion:
I’m now something of a veteran of solo road trips. I love doing it, seen some great bands/singers in far flung places. What quite suddenly struck me tonight was that this was the first time I ever experienced a Zep member show on my own. It turned out to be quite profound…
Perth Concert Hall is a brilliant modern venue … Great organisation, wonderful staff & superb acoustics , kinda reminds me of The Sage in my hometown of Gateshead I got to the venue early just after “doors” and pulled up a seat in the bar. There was a real humdrum about & murmurs of positive anticipation in the air. A lot of smiling faces around
Watched the opening act, Rory Butler …really good. It takes something to get up there on your own I’d imagine, one man/one guitar/one voice but the lad excelled ,smashing original songs, extremely well played & sung.
Then Saving Grace….I almost have no words…. I sat in Hertfordshire field in August 1979, my first encounter with Robert.. I’ve seen him in every solo/band incarnation since … It’s a morning after from the hip reaction but I may not have seen a better performance than last night …
It was that good! I don’t recall ever hearing so many a cappella passages , in some moments those nuances with Ms Dian and at other times longer sections which of course culminated in the closing number “And We Bid You Goodnight” The band are just something else. I saw them at Middlesbrough in April, a fine show that – but they have come on with some hefty leap & bound since then to put it somewhat mildly.
Messrs Kelsey & Worley played just about every stringed instrument imaginable to great effect  – Oli Jefferson is a fine percussionist . What struck me was that, apart from a couple of numbers when Suzi Dian played 4 strings, there was no bass guitar  yet there still felt to be a good chunky bottom end feel throughout
.
From the set: Let The Four Winds Blow from Mighty Rearranger raised my eyebrow, brilliant version. Other highlights included Down To The Sea & I thought the first encore Angel Dance was immense -. every single song was great though However for me song of the night was the Moby Grape cover It’s A Beautiful Day Today. Not often it happens but I was literally moved to tears, quite a lot of them too  – It’s a moment I’ll never forget.
Robert Plant ? What can I say -. being there for his last gig of the year was special – I believe he is extremely relaxed surrounded by these great musicians-there is clearly a cultural bond of locale as they all inhabit the same corner of the universe – his voice for a man so mature in years is nothing short of remarkable – his onstage chat & wit remains untouchable..
Robert could have chosen many, many paths  but this feels just so right…. I love him dearly.
Suzi Dian ? She has turned into a real star , such a sweet voice, added bonus of bass & accordion… I think she has grown in confidence much since I last saw them … I hadn’t seen an Accordion swagger until last night…
All in all a mightily impressive performance from Saving Grace… Thank you so much… Here’s to more in 2023 …
Many thanks to Mick for that one…
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LZ News:

Here’s the latest round up from LZ News:

Led Zeppelin

  • Previously unseen photographs of members of Led Zeppelin backstage at the Singer Bowl in New York on July 13, 1969 were published online.

Jimmy Page

  • Jimmy Page paid tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis in a Facebook post on November 5. “He played with so much conviction and passion of what he, and only he, could do best: which was to be Jerry Lee Lewis,” Page wrote. Lewis died aged 87 on October 28.

Robert Plant

Upcoming events:

November 6 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Glasgow, Scotland.
November 8 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Aberdeen, Scotland.
November 9 – Robert Plant will perform with Saving Grace in Perth, Scotland.
December 22 – The paperback edition of “Beast: John Bonham and the Rise of Led Zeppelin” by C.M Kushins will be published.
Early 2023 – “A Whole Lotta Music: Life To My Ears,” the memoirs of Tight But Loose editor Dave Lewis, will be published.
2023 – The remastered and expanded 30th anniversary edition of “Coverdale–Page” will be released.

Many thanks to James Cook 

The complete Led Zeppelin News email goes out periodically. To receive it sign up here:http://tinyletter.com/LedZepNews

Led Zeppelin News Website: Check out the Led Zeppelin news website at

http://ledzepnews.com/

More news:

Robert Plant made a surprise appearance on stage at an open mic night at small pub in Aberdeen: See links below:

https://ledzepnews.com/2022/11/09/robert-plant-performed-at-an-open-mic-night-in-scotland/?fbclid=IwAR1hBzeRbkpEjkj_-MFazf2dvX33xuKDJ7r0G28O_P3kfOa6csVC79burY8

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-63569759?fbclid=IwAR345l3L3UYj_7YV-KStyVBSQUgMBJtp3Q83r5gReZxmyhjCbpw80G6H9-Q

Robert Plant will appear at the “Jools’ 30th Birthday Bash” show that will be broadcast on BBC Two at 9pm on November 12. It was filmed on October 5 in London

https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2022/46/jools-30th-birthday-bash?fbclid=IwAR2qAXnIU2gw7Tmq-SgHdYfySyQrcozx2tdCdm0vY8MuuLB5nHRR1cgTJ1M

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TBL Archive: The Song Remains The Same London premiere – it was 46 years ago…

After the excitement of The Song Remains The Same soundtrack double album release, 46 years ago this week saw the premiere of the accompanying movie. This occurred at the Warner West End cinema in London’s Leicester Square although such was the demand the film was also screened at the nearby Shaftesbury Avenue ABC Theatre.

My girlfriend Fiona and I  got tickets by queuing overnight in early October. Sleep was at a minimum that night as the disco next to the Warner West End cinema blasted out a diet of Barry White and the like until the early hours. All worth it of course…
Two nights before the premiere ,The Old Grey Whistle Test screened the famous river boat interview with Peter Grant and Robert Plant and the violin bow segment of Dazed And Confused leading up to the coloured swords being brandished . ‘’That’s an amazing piece of film’’ murmured the legendary Bob Harris -and indeed it was. Incidentally BBC’s Film Night aired a clip the following Sunday for which the long running presenter Barry Norman in his familiar style commented ‘’Let’s all go down like a Led Zeppelin…and why not.’’
The premiere on the night of Thursday November 4 1976 was another unforgettable occasion with many memories ingrained on my brain:

song premiere

Here’s a few: Jimmy being ushered up the stairs of the cinema on arrival by John Bindon right next to me….shaking hands with Peter Grant and Bonzo as they waited for the photo call….standing up to allow Roy Wood and Billy Connolly to get to his seat two along from where we sat….a standing ovation as Jimmy, Robert, John and Bonzo took their seats…..spontaneous applause after every song performance -it was almost like attending a gig…. Bonzo and Jonesy with families gathering in the foyer afterwards…passing Paul McCartney on the way into the toilet. Robert eyeing the cardboard obeleisk/object card board cut out that I wore around my neck entwined with my scarf for the occasion as we chatted in the foyer.

Let me explain this interesting fashion look. Basically I took one of the cardboard obelisks that made up the hanging Presence mobile I had and swung it around my neck in a unique (plainly odd!) fashion statement – I cant it say it’s a look that caught on but hey it was for a special occasion!….The aforementioned Billy Connolly telling me the film had been ‘’A wee bit brilliant’’ in his famous Scottish brogue…watching them all get into limos as they sped off for the aftershow party in Covent Garden. A simply unforgettable night in their company.
Fiona and I were back for the screening at the Warner West End the next night and on the Saturday. I went on to see the film over 30 times in various cinemas over the next 18 months – along with those first three nights it played in London, I saw it in Cambridge a couple of times the next week, every night (twice on Friday) of its seven day residency at Bedford’s Granada the following January , at a run down cinema in Western Favell in Northampton on a snow bound night that involved catching two busses to find the place…at a midnight night showing along with a couple of porn films in Luton and then there were periodical trips to a small picture house in London’s Wardour Street I think called the Electric Cinema that showed seasons of rock films in rotation (anyone else remember that tiny place?).
In early 1981 I brought it on a dreadful quality VHS bootleg copy in a shop off Tottenham Court Road – all colour drop out but hey any time I wanted I could rewind to Jimmy climbing that mountain so who cared!

All that endeavour seems a bit crazy now considering it’s all on YouTube …but back then it was the thrill of the search and as they couldn’t play live during that period, then the film was definitely the next best thing -and 46 years ago this week it was all happening at the Warner West End cinema. Being there in the cinema with the members of Led Zeppelin to see it unfold for the first time is an unforgettable memory…

Dave Lewis – November 2022

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More TBL November Archives..

More Wembley Empire Pool magic….in 1978..

When I first witnessed Led Zeppelin live on stage back in November 1971 at the Empire Pool Wembley, this then 15 year old could neve have imagined the events ahead and that I might one day actually meet and speak to Robert Plant in this very same venue.

But that is what came to pass as seven years later on November 4, 1978 I did just that.

By then my enthusiasm for all things Led Zep was pretty off the scale. I had met them all backstage at Earls Court and The Song Remains The Ssame premiere in London and at Heathrow Airport in May 1977.

The tragic passing of Robert’s son Karac had rendered the band inactive for many months –though there had been some stirrings in the spring of 1978 with a get together at Clearwell Castle. I had kept in contact with the Swan Song office and I knew that the recording of a new album was on the cards.

That year was a very memorable one for me – not least for leaping on stage at The Who Shepperton filming gig on May 25. Around the same time I was commissioned by Geoff Barton a journalist on Sounds music paper to work with him on an extensive feature they were running in September to mark the tenth anniversary of Led Zeppelin. Over the summer I collated a Zep career timeline plus an extensive discography that duly ran over four issues in September. It was an incredible thrill to see my work in print and it further fuelled my ambition to produce a Led Zeppelin magazine. This was an idea I had first mooted in late 1977 – I had already designed a few proto type pages and I had a name for it – ‘Tight But Loose’ – a phrase Jimmy and Robert had coined to describe the ban’s music in separate interviews during their 1977 US tour.

In early November 1978 as a fervent reader of the NME I spotted in a small news item that on Sunday, November 5 Robert would be appearing in the Goaldiggers five a side football tournament. The venue was the Empire Pool Wembley – scene of my first Led Zep live experience. I knew I had to be there again – simple as that.

I had been back to the esteemed venue a few of time since 1971. I saw The Rolling Stones afternoon show on September 8 1973 and two years later I was at a scintillating Who performance on October 23 1975. I was also at Elton John’s show there in November 1977.

Back to the story. I was playing football for the Wallbangers team on the Sunday morning but reckoned I could get away after the game and get on a train to London for the 4pm start of the tournament.

So after playing in a 4-3 defeat, I zipped over to Bedford railway station and headed for London. At this point I had no ticket for the tournament but hoped I could get one at the venue. With time running out at vast expense, I took a taxi direct to Wembley from St Pancreas station. Once outside the venue I scored a ticket from a tout. I found myself up the side behind one of the goals. Not a bad view –not that I was going to settle for that for too long. I had already made up my mind that I needed to talk to Robert Plant himself to find out the state of play. The mission was on…

This Goaldiggers football tournament was Robert’s first public appearance since the curtailed US tour. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to re -connect with the singer – as I had done previously – notably at Heathrow Airport.

Robert’s named Geriatric Rowdies comprised of singer Jess Conrad, singer turned WEA Record exec Dave Dee, comedian Jasper Carrot, then West Bromwich Albion manager Ron Atkinson and in the number 8 shirt the man himself. They met LBC in their first match and drew 2-2 the equalizer coming from Robert. The next encounter was with The Stranglers team and ended in another 2-2 draw.

This was not enough to see them through to the next phrase and from where I was up behind the goal, I could see Robert had now changed out of his kit watching by the sidelines

It was then I made my move – I made my way down to the sideline enclosure and with a confident ‘I’m with the players’ strut glided through to the side of the pitch and there I was right next to the man.

What a moment it was. He looked really well if radically different in a smart cut jacket and jeans – the hair cut back to pre 1969 length. A stark contrast to the ‘golden god’ figure I had approached at Heathrow Airport some 18 months ago. Here’s pic I took at that first sighting.

I introduced myself and he recognized me from Heathrow. He duly introduced me to his wife Maureen and daughter Carmen. I reminded him of the last time he was here with Zep and we laughed about the performing pigs that didn’t quite get it right on the night.

During our conversations, Robert told  me he was going to Stockholm the next week with the group to commence recording a new album at Abba’s studios.

As the tournament progressed I was with him as he cheered on the ELO team, Spurs player Ralph Coates spirited display with the team made up of The Darts group good naturedly jeering Rod Stewart and Elton john’s team

It was when watching the all ladies match featuring a team made up of page 3 models that a photographer captured the photo of us both laughing at the action.

Here’s another shot from that moment and rarely seen. I am wearing the Zep US tour t shirt that are commonplace now but at the time were very scares promotional t shirts – I and got mine from the lovely Unity Maclean at the Swan Song office.

Fond farewells were said and I told him I would be at the next gig whenever and wherever that would be. ”It’s all in the wind” he said enigmatically.

I floated back to Bedford on a pure high. I had been in the company of Robert Plant again and for this particular Led Zeppelin fan the future was bright ahead – I knew that because I had heard it from the man himself.

Robert’s Goaldiggers appearance attracted a few column inches in the press and there were more later in the week when it was announced Led Zeppelin would indeed be going to Abba’s Polar Studios to record what would become the In Through The Out Door album.

As for me, this meet with my hero was more than enough inspiration to get down to producing the first issue of Tight But Loose. I worked on it for the rest of the year booking ads for it in late 1978 in Sounds and NME. A further round of ads followed in January 1978 and on February 10,1979 the first issues went out from my Dents Road bedroom.

It would kick start an incredibly exiting year that would include the Knebworth comeback shows, another Goaldiggers rendezvous with Robert and a very exciting afternoon watching Robert, JPJ and Bonzo picking up seven Melody Maker awards at a reception at the Waldorf hotel in London.  More on all that soon.

It would be another six years before I saw Robert at the Empire Pool Wembley then renamed Wembley Arena – a memorable solo show on September 10,1985. Pic from outside the venue on that day here by Krys Jantzen.

 

One more footnote – little did I realize that many years hence on the night of December 10 2007 the pic of me and Robert laughing would be featured on the BBC Six O Clock News in their coverage of the Led Zeppelin 02 reunion which included a few words form me before the gig..

This incredibly memorable 1978 Robert Plant rendezvous all of 44 years ago today occurred when I was just 22 years old – I’m now 66 – as he once put it, it’s been a lifetime -but a second…

Dave Lewis – November 10,2022

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What We Did At The VIP Record Fair in Bedford…

Here’s a great story from long time TBL contributor and fellow record collecting comrade Ian Dixon…

Being of a certain age, record fairs have two main delights for me. Filling gaps in my back catalogue with well-known albums at ridiculously cheap prices, or finding something quirky and interesting to do with my favourite artists. I’m a big enthusiast of Fairport Convention, and I recently struck gold (or should that be white?) at the VIP record fair in Bedford  while Dave Lewis was also there to witness my triumph.

For the bargain price of £15, I picked up a test pressing of “What We Did On Our Holidays” the Fairport’s second LP, first to feature Sandy Denny and first on Island Records; released at the end of 1968 start of ‘69.  Both sides of the album had a white label over which someone had handwritten the track listing.

Well chuffed, I enjoyed a post fair pint with Dave and fiends before going home.

When I later looked at the handwritten label in detail, I noticed someone had written “IANS” on the right hand side  of side 2. Apart from the coincidence to my name, I seriously wondered if my copy had once belonged to original Fairport vocalist Ian (now Iain) Matthews; who later went on to have a No 1 UK single, with a cover Woodstock under the group name Matthews Southern Comfort.

How could I test out my theory? Google told me Iain’s UK booking agent was a chap called Tristan, who I also knew had done work on modern Fairport’s live and studio sound. So I contacted Tristan’s business, who emailed Iain Matthews who said…. Yes, he’d owned a white label, but he wrote out his own track listing on it, and my copy was not in his hand. Iain suggested that it maybe it had been done by Ashley…”

The search was well and truly on. Ashley is Ashley Hutchings, Fairport’s original bass player, who left at the end of 1969 to form Steeleye Span with Maddie Prior and later started The Albian Band.  I checked some online images of both Ashley’s autograph and album artworks against my record label. Similarities there definitely were, especially in the way the double T of “Nottamun” was crossed with a single stroke.  Armed with this info, my final step was to contact Fairport Convention themselves, through their official website.

I was lucky enough to get a response from Simon Nicol (original rhythm guitarist and still a member of this long surviving and evolving band) who had checked with Ashley himself and yes it was his writing! Result, not for nothing is Ashley Hutchings nicknamed ‘The Governor!’

So what was initially a random find at the VIP Record Fair turned out to be something rather special.

I am absolutely delighted to own this piece of history.  Something very tangible relating to one of their ground breaking albums that passed through the hands of one of the group members.

It is very easy to imagine the young Ashley getting six test pressings of his group’s new album via the Island Records office and writing up the track listing, one for each band member. Maybe Iain received another blank copy through the label or management; and what happened to my disc between 1969 and 2022 is anyone’s guess?

To own this a rare copy of Fairport Convention’s second album and something so very connected to this iconic band is very precious to me.  It’s what I did at the VIP Record Fair in Bedford – and what they did in their holidays handwritten labels and all…

Many thanks to Ian for relaying that story of an amazing find…

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DL Diary Blog Update:

Friday November 4:

Friday night is Singles night – spinning at 45 rpm here the rather splendid Thunderbirds theme…

Saturday November 5:

Saturday is platterday…after Wednesday’s Saving Grace high in Wexford, keeping up the Robert Plant vibe and on the player the brilliant 1993 Robert Plant Fate of Nations album – perhaps his very best…

For all those going to see Saving Grace on their Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Perth Scottish dates in the next few days – have a

wonderful time – you are all in for a treat…

Saturday November 5:

Very impressive new issue of Uncut with David Bowie cover feature on the 1971 Hunky Dory era soon to be extensively profiled on the new Divine Symmetry box set – plus two bonus prints…

Monday November 7:

Celebrating her Birthday today so on the player Joni Mitchell’s For The Roses …sounding rather splendid indeed…

Wednesday November 9:

It was 54 years ago today…

Yardbirds now known as Led Zeppelin at the Roundhouse with John Lee Hooker… I would like to have been at this one …

Update here:

It’s been great reading the many positive feedback reports form those lucky enough to catch the Irish and Scottish Saving Grace. I am certainly not the only one who has been mightily impressed at this latest round of gigs.

Unsurprisingly, it took me a few days to get over my whirlwind 14 hours in Ireland – it really was the most incredible experience and something I could not have envisaged pulling off a few months back. That gig will remain very special to me for many reasons.

It’s been back on various projects here – I am continuing to collate material for the DL memoirs and to that end, I am lining up a couple of visits to see some important people who will fill in some gaps in the story. The Five Glorious Nights Led Zeppelin at Earls Court revised and expanded edition is at the printers now and I’ll have more news on all that soon.

As ever there have been plenty of inspirational sounds around here and here’s the current playlist:

Robert Plant – Fate Of Nations LP

Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin IV 2 LP reissue

The Honeydrippers – The Honeydrippers Vol One – mini LP

The Beatles – Revolver special edition 5 CD box set

The Beatles Get Back  The Rooftop Performance LP

Lyndsey Buckingham – Solo Anthology -3 CD

Joni Mitchell – Miles Of Aisles CD

Jethro Tull – Stand Up 2 CD

Dusty Springfield – Dusty Sings Soul CD

Julie Driscoll & Brian Auger – This Wheels On Fire -More Lost Broadcasts CD

Billy Fury – The Sound of Fury 40th Anniversary Edition 2 CD

Thanks for listening 

Until next time…

Dave  Lewis –  November 10, 2022

TBL website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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One Comment »

  • Brian Ross said:

    Loving the rare 1978 photo of you and Robert at Empire. I’ve been reading your publishings for forty years Dave – seen the other two Empire photos many times but the third was new. Thank you for sharing!

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