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6 November 2011 11,290 views 19 Comments

Jimmy Page on stage with Roy Harper -Royal Festival Hall London Saturday November 5th 2011. Photo by Michael Rae for TBL.

Roy Harper was joined by Jimmy Page for his 70th birthday concert at the Royal Festival Hall in London last night. They performed a superb version of The Same Old Rock

On a night seeped in emotion, the 70 year old singer songwriter whose career has been intrinsically linked with Led Zeppelin, took to the stage to huge acclaim from the sold out audience.
‘‘I was as actually 70 on June 12th’’ he laughed. ‘’So this is my official birthday’’.

Roy was quick to pay homage to the sadly recently departed Bert Jansch (‘’I loved the guy more than words’’) and arranger David Bedford who had planned to be with him for this special show. ‘’He said he’d be here and on the Sunday he was gone’’. In tribute Roy dubbed the group of orchestral ensemble behind him ‘’The David Bedford Players’. An intensely moving delivery of North Country prompted Roy to state ‘’I seem to be having an emotional night.’’

Photo by Michael Rae for TBL
He was later joined on stage for guest spots by his son Nick and Joanna Newsom. ‘’This could be about any patch of ground in England’’ announced Roy before a peerless When An Old Cricketer Leaves The Crease. This brought forth it’s own emotion ties for me as this was the song we chose to play at Janet’s Dad’s funeral last year and I haven’t been able to play it since.  I had a big lump in my throat as it’s beautifully meandering lyric filled the hall. Other highlights of the set included Commune and 12 Hours Of Sunset. Throughout the show Roy kept up a good natured banter with frequent affectionate calls from the audience.

There was time for one more special guest. Speculation had been rife that Jimmy Page might well grace this occasion (at very late notice I had taken it upon myself to buy a ticket to be here) and for once the rumours proved correct. The place erupted when he ambled on with acoustic guitar in hand to join Roy for a performance of The Same Old Rock – the song Jimmy originally performed on under the pseudonym S. Flavious Mercurious on Roy’s 1971 Stormcock album.

Photo Michael Rae for TBL

By my reckoning this was the first time I’d seen Jimmy play an acoustic guitar since the Page & Plant Unledded tour in 1995. His delivery was superb – moving into a flamenco picking sequence with all the fluency of old. Looking down on him performing on a Martin acoustic guitar – (which I’m told is a custom made D28 that along the fret board has his Zoso symbol and astrological sign ), inspired flashbacks of the same view all those years back in Earls Court for this particular writer. Suffice to say for the duration of him performing, the atmosphere was electric.

Photo by Michael Rae for TBL

All too soon it was over but not before the audience had bust into a spontaneous chorus of Happy Birthday to Roy. ‘’It’s been a wonderful night – to me, my planet is my heaven’’.
This 70th birthday event duly brought a little bit of heaven to those lucky enough to be in attendance. Roy Harper’s quiet dignity and humility coupled with the appearance of the Lord of the Strings on acoustic guitar, made this a Saturday night to remember.
Dave Lewis
November 6th, 2011

Many Thanks to Michael Rae and Ian Avey for the photos. Hi to Steve Way and Kathy, Graeme, Pam, Michael & David Rae, Ian, Kevin, Allan Jones at Uncut and Chris at The Flood Gallery. Sorry I missed you Billy, Alison and Christophe.

More photos here: If re posted please credit and relevent photographer

Photo by Michael Rae for TBL

Photo by Ian Avey for TBL

Photo by Ian Avey for TBL


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  • Jimmy Page & Roy Harper Live 2011 - Heart of Markness said:

    […] back in the early 70’s. It’s great. Dave Lewis has an excellent write up of this gig on his site, if you want to know […]

  • ann said:

    Jimmy Page the genius guitar player

  • Peter said:

    Much belated deflated party balloons for Roy 🙂 Swiftly moving on to JP. Such a great pleasure to see these musical performances in a virtual environment and as well hope for more in the future in his adventures, there does seem from the outside to be a musical impasse of an official recording nature. I’d like to put my 2 pennies worth in to the hat and put forward an idea of how I’d like to see the path to open up. As Roy magnificently achieved with having guest spots, I’d like to see JP go that way. Particularly with not seeking male vocalists treading over the charged, energetic, magical, vocal memories that I have of his selfless, selfish, guitar artistry. I’d like to hear and see on a tour – (well, there’s a wish) female vocalists take on the many true classics that his ability has produced. The talent is too quiet at the moment, and I’d like (yeah, I am quite selfish) to see female vocal bands from the past few decades to gove, as JP has once said, and I paraphrase, the same picture but in a different frame. This is just an odea of mine and I’ve been drinking (and not sports drinks so my head’s going to be ‘humming, and it won’t go’) but anyway, I’ve been listening to En Vogue tonight and I’d forgotten just how good they are. I can picture a few beloved LZ and JP inspired tunes in their fashion… Just putting an idea out there 😉

    By the way Dave, love the site and love everything you do to report back to fellow fans. I really think what you do is pumping blood into the veins of Zep and I see you as integral into the way. God bless and fair way’s to you and your family.

  • Sc Galveston island said:

    Thanks for the post Dave. Roy and Jimmy have an undeniable sympathy towards each other every time they grace the stage together. A memerable and emotional moment in time. Peace.

  • Peter said:

    A little different then from the last Roy Harper gig I attended at SUssex University in late 1982 where he mooned at us for an encore!

  • Fiona de Boltz said:

    Glad you were there – good to read about this, & great pictures too. Hope the dentist sorts out your tooth tomorrow! Fiona x

  • Phil Egerton said:

    What a night – the most emotional gig I have ever attended. Thanks for the pics and videos. Love to Roy xxx

  • ann said:

    Jimmy Page is great!!!

  • Paulo Alm said:

    So incredible to see this happen! Big shame I’m too far from England at the moment and wasn’t able to attend this most special occasion. Both Roy and Jimmy are somehow in a state of semi-retirement so this is pure bliss for all the ones who caught it. Long live Roy, long live Jimmy!

  • Jez said:

    Great pics Dave Jimmy looks good.

  • Kathy Urich said:

    What a beautiful evening thank you for sharing and being there to represent the TBL fans. So happy to see Jimmy & Roy still providing the world with wonderful music.

  • Paul said:

    Was there myself, an excellent night, Roy was fantastic, great versions of so many songs and he started with my favourite ‘Highway Blues’. Joanna Newson sang ‘Another Day’and added quite a new deimension to. As to Page, well, an excellent supporting part, great to see him but very much Roy’s night.


    Yes indeed, it was truly superb – a great, energised performance from Jimmy – bodes well for the future !

    A really memorable night.

    Mark Williams.

  • Jim Sloane said:

    Yep – wish I had been there – wonder where Jimmy will play next ??

  • Lorraine Robertson said:

    A very emotional night Im sure Dave..superb reiview and its great to see JP with Roy and playing acoustic again…wish I could have heard him!!
    All the best!! xx

  • Graeme said: sure was emotional. A superb night capped with that stunning performance of The Same Old Rock. Great to see you again mate..will send over the few pics I took. Best, G

  • Chris Wright said:

    Ten years too late for me. Went to Roy’s 60th bash at the same venue, but no Jimmy, at least on stage. Now I’m 5000 miles away and couldn’t attend this. Pleased they finally got together to do this though. Also pleased that Roy’s profile has been in the ascendency of late. For me, he is the most underrated talent I can think of. So many amazing albums, full of great stuff. Hopefully this gets a video release and we can no doubt look forward to some interesting YouTube posts.

  • Jimmy Page Plays At Roy Harper's 70th Birthday Concert | Youdopia said:

    […] Harper threw a 70th birthday concert on 11/5 (or 5/11 to our brothers across the pond), and Jimmy Page came out for the encore. I have […]

  • JR Warner said:

    Hey Dave,
    I Loved that Martin D-28 Jimmy was Playing..awesome!

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