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4 December 2013 7,841 views 5 Comments


A Celebration Of Bert Jansch – Royal Festival Hall London -Tuesday December 3rd 2013. Photo by DL for TBL.

To the Royal Festival Hall  – the last time I was here was for the Roy Harper 70th birthday show at which  Jimmy Page appeared. Unsurprisingly there were the usual rumours beforehand here of a Jimmy sighting. Unfortunately Eric Clapton and Roy Harper were unable to appear as billed – however this did not detract this wonderful tribute to the legacy of Bert Jansch from being an unqualified success.

The proceedings commenced with Ralph McTell performing Angi. The highlight of the first half for me was Pentangle’s Jacqui McShee, Danny Thompson and Terry  Cox running down a  beautifully laid back adaptation of Miles Davis All Blues sung as I’ve Got A Feeling.

Throughout the evening various pictorial and video clip tributes to Bert were screened including vintage cine film and a new clip of Neil Young performing Needle Of Death.

Opening the second half, Beverly Martyn added a little Zep touch to the proceedings with a spirited version of When The Levee Breaks. Ralph McTell was back on for A Kiss In The Rain, an affectionate tribute about Bert learning Blackwaterside from Anne Briggs. He then went on to perform the traditional ode made famous by Bert and adapted by Jimmy Page for Black Mountain Side on the debut Zep album. Martyn Carthy  ran through a passionate Rosemary Lane though struggled a little with the lyrics.

Robert strode on to mass applause and accompanied by Bernard Butler performed Go Your Way My Love, a number co-written by Bert with Anne Briggs for his 1967 album Nicola.

I have to say this was a vocal delivery of the highest calibre with Robert totally immersed in the song, reviving memories of the folk inspired Zep laments of the Zep III period. Robert spoke warmly of Bert noting how he’d missed his wedding with the quip ”Iwas getting my leather trousers cleaned”.

He stayed on to introduce Bonnie Dobson. I had a hunch he may well link up with Bonnie and sure enough they collaborated on her famous early 60s composition Morning Dew recorded as Robert noted beforehand, by Tim Rose and the Grateful Dead and by Robert himself on the Dreamland album. For this arrangement, Robert took to a chair to add bongo percussion, sing a verse on his own and then duet with Bonnie.  All in all a memorable one off performance.

Robert was back for the grand finale -a communal Strolling Down the Highway from Bert’s first album in 1965 with the whole cast on stage.

All in all, a night of warm regard for the legendary Bert Jansch. It was more than a pleasure to be in the glow of it all….and to witness yet another masterful demonstration of the supreme vocal talent of Robert Plant.

Dave Lewis – December 4th 2013.


Go Your Way My Love – Robert Plant with Bernard Butler

Morning Dew – Robert Plant with Bonnie Dodson and Bernard Butler


Until next time…Keep listening, keep reading…

Dave Lewis/Gary FoyDecember 4th, 2013.

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  • MaryElena Chase said:

    Always a pleasure to see and hear Robert vocalizing and playing with other talent.

  • Carol Plant said:

    Love the footage from the tribute concert- what beautiful voices- Robert and Bonnie on Morning Dew. Just wish the whole song had been recorded. I find it quite mesmerizing. Thanks for showing us!

  • Hiroshi said:

    An evening tremendously rich both musically and historically, that was.
    If only Eric and Roy had turned up…
    And I wonder why Jimmy wasn’t in the lineup — Blackwaterside anyone, with the vocal work by Robert?
    For the record, it was a duo of Martin Carthy and Lisa Knapp who performed the aforementioned song, not Ralph MacTell as Dave noted.

  • Andrew R said:

    Woderful piece of music Dave thanks for bringing it to us.
    I always thought it a Tim rose song,only heard the Annie Breddon original
    a couple of years ago! I find it completely spellbinding and chilling at the same time.

  • Acoustic Routes said:

    BERT JANSCH together with ANNE BRIGGS from the film ACOUSTIC ROUTES

    Following on from Robert’s wonderful performance thought you all might like to check out “Go Your Way My Love” performed by Bert and Anne;

    Also, you might like to hear the only recorded version of Bert and Anne together on “Blackwater Side”;

    Both tracks were specially filmed for Acoustic Routes.

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