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JIMMY PAGE JOINS DONOVAN LIVE ON STAGE AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL

4 June 2011 1,091 views 19 Comments

Jimmy Page made his first live UK appearance in three years last night when he joined 60’s folk rock legend Donovan at his Sunshine Superman performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Dave Lewis files this exclusive on the spot report for TBL.

In a move that mirrored the events of 21 years ago (see latest DL Diary entry), at very short notice yesterday afternoon I zipped in to London to attend Donovans’ Sunshine Superman performance at the Royal Albert Hall.

The first half of the show saw the 1960’s folk rock legend running through some of his greatest hits. He commenced proceedings with acoustic performances of Catch The Wind, Colours and Buffy St Marie’s Universal Soldier. He was then joined by the London Contemporary Orchestra conducted by John Cameron and soon had the receptive crowd with him every step of the way as he ran through Jennifer Juniper, Hurdy Gurdy Man, Goo Goo Barabajagal,There Is A Mountain and Mellow yellow.

The second half featured the complete performance of his 1966 album Sunshine Superman. Early in this part of the set he explained how he began recording the record in 1965 in Abbey Road Studios with a young session guitarist – ‘and it’s great to have him here tonight-  please welcome Jimmy Page’’

Jimmy entered stage right dressed in black shirt to a rapturous reception. Strapping on a Gibson Black Les Paul Custom with Bigsby arm (possibly the one he used on For Your Life at the 02 reunion), he accompanied Donovan on the track Sunshine Superman. Strumming along on the descending chord sequence he then opened up with a neat solo as the chorus came in. Smiling and waving to the crowd he then left the stage. Donovan  went on to perform the entire album accompanied by the orchestra and guests including Shawn Phillips on sitar and his son Donovan jr.

Before performing the uplifting finale of Atlantis, Donovan acknowledged the band and guests and Jimmy briefly came on to take the applause. That appeared to be the end of the evening but as the crowd gave Donovan a standing ovation he remained on stage and announced they were going to reprise the title track and once again Jimmy entered proceedings strapping on the Gibson as they once again ran through the jaunty Sunshine Superman with all and sundry on stage.

This was the cue for the TBL editor to make something of a Who/Kids Are Alright leap of faith from the stalls area down to the front and very soon I found myself directly in front of Donovan and Jimmy at the front of the stage. It was a tremendous thrill to be in such close proximity to the guitarist – not unlike the view I had in Cologne on the Over Europe tour all of 31 years ago this month.

After a triumphant Sunshine Superman, they all remained on stage for a rousing reprise of Mellow Yellow – this had Jimmy running through the strutting rhythm of the song smiling at Donovan and leading into a solo. Finally at the close of it all, Donovan and Jimmy embraced and they ambled off stage right as the crowd bayed for yet more.

This time it was all over.

To summarise: It was an absolute joy to see Jimmy Page once again adorn a stage with guitar in hand. He looked relaxed and full of smiles throughout. It was a real privilege to be in attendance at this celebration of the music of Donovan – a legendary folk/rock artist who in acknowledging his heritage, inspired a unique reunion with the guitarist who first lit up his Sunshine Superman album back in the mid 1960s.

‘’They call me mellow yellow – quite rightly”.

It’s that refrain that will be ringing in my ears all weekend as I recall the memorable events of the night Jimmy Page returned to a UK stage.

Dave Lewis – June 4th, 2011

 

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19 Comments »

  • russell ritchin said:

    GREAT REPORT AS USUAL DAVE WOW JIMMY APPEARING MUST HAVE BEEN A REAL
    ICING ON THE CAKE FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE (ONE OF THOSE WISH YOU WERE THERE MOMENTS FOR SURE) I CAN ONLY ECHO WHAT A LOT OF ZEP PEOPLE HAVE
    ALREADY SAID COME ON JIMMY HOW ABOUT A TOUR !!!

  • Wes said:

    Thought Jimmy was brilliant up there. He played great and was his usual modest self.
    Hope he makes playing live a priority, in any form.
    I’ve truly missed him.

  • Mark Donahue said:

    It looks like it was a wonderful show, all around. I’m delighted to see Jimmy back onstage, playing again. I hope this bodes well for future manifestations this year.

    That Black Beauty is lovely.

  • Jasmin Stanley said:

    Beautifully described, lovely photos, thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  • Kathy Urich said:

    Thanks Dave for the pics and the the clip. Jimmy I’m so looking forward to hearing you play again soon. Seeing you on stage with Gibson in hand what a thrill my heart just skipped several beats.

  • Michael Brazee said:

    Sooo Coool!

  • Lorraine Robertson said:

    How delicious Dave!!

  • lee litif said:

    what a translunarizing treat the ultraparapsychological james patrick page joining the intermerlinistic donovan on stage at the royal albert hall for sunshine superman a lengendary gathering of the intralegerdemaining icons

  • Tim said:

    So, is this what we’ve been waiting for, Jimmy?

  • Gavin said:

    Cool! Any videos posted yet??

  • Denzepp58 said:

    Taking this as a sign that Jimmy wil be performing live again soon. Also waiting for his website and some new music and THAT DVD to come out. It has been too long, Jimmy, your fans are more than ready for you to return to the spotlight where you belong. Peace…

  • Sharon Bond said:

    Best article I’ve read on this yet Dave! And how wonderful to have Jimmy back on stage!! Makes my heart happy!! You are soooo lucky to have witnessed it all!!
    Sharon

  • andrew R said:

    When i read about this upcoming concert showcasing Sunshine Superman i thought, wouldnt it be fun if the original session man would come out of retirement…… Now what else can i make come true! On a serious note How is Dave always in the right place at the right time?
    Spooky!

  • Joie Finley said:

    PHOTOS???

  • Ian said:

    I were there too and it was brilliant. There was so much light and shade in Jimmy’s solos and it was amazing to see him and Donovan hugging on a stage that recalled past glories for them both. Donovan hardly put a foot wrong and Danny Thompson was mega solid. Tie Die but loose!

  • Debby said:

    Good Stuff! Happy Jimmy, Lucky Dave.

  • Gerd Zaunig said:

    Great to see a musical sign of life by Mr. Page. We all hope that he will return on stage somewhen somewhere somehow.

  • Michaela Firth said:

    Amazing ! Should have come ! Next time …. If there is a next time ?
    Ps working way through the new book … Awesome x

  • Jim Sloane said:

    So – will we be seeing more of Jimmy then ?

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