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Robert Plant and The Band Of Joy – Olympia, Dublin, Ireland

1 November 2010 6,234 views 10 Comments

Picture by Ian Avey

The evening was opened by Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara doing … well I’m not sure how or even if it should be described, but it becomes kinda groovy after a while – an almost-endless succession of bluesy riffs overlain with homemade banjos and fiddles (Justin Adams description, not mine!) African vocals, and a wonderfully infectious piece where everyone was just playing percussion.

With the arrival of the Band of Joy onstage, the evening becomes the same voice but a different artist. This is so different from the solo work, Page & Plant, the Priory of Brion, & the Strange Sensation etc. While the Zep tunes aren’t exactly out-of-place here, they seem to be works in progress moving to a destination unknown. Misty Mountain Hop has changed again, with the loss of that fat big riff from earlier in the tour as the vocals take the forefront. Indeed for a band which changes guitars for every song, it’s very much a vocal-dominated set … even the familiarity of the Zep tunes is drawn from the vocal melody, and the guitar, bass & drums of yesteryear have morphed to blend nigh-seamlessly with the tracks of the new album.

The ‘revue’ section was an eye-opener, as these certainly aren’t artists I would have normally listened to.  While Buddy Miller gets most of the press, Patty Griffin plays a mean pair of wooden spoons, and Darrell’s Scott turn as front man was a searing moment of Americana, and an example of how much has changed over the years – it’s hard to imagine RP taking a back-seat to Francis Dunnery in a previous incarnation for example. With ‘Robert Plant on backing vocals’, you get the surreal feeling you’ve just changed room to see another concert. But in spite of the talent and vibrant vocal harmonies of everyone else, they’re not the reason we came. It’s hard not to grin when RP inadvertently slips into character and dominates centre stage on his return from the shadows beside the drum kit. The evening built up to Rock and Roll, and as the crowd volume intensified, the band just stepped back at the end and let the audience sing it. The Band of Joy is certainly fun, and joyous – can’t wait to see what happens next.

Review by Jason Bolton

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)


  • Danny Wilson said:

    Cheers William!!

  • William Hemphill said:

    Thankyou – I Didn’t Know That! 😉

  • Danny Wilson said:

    May `71 was the first live airing of Misty Mountain Hop,hence the mention in the intro for song!! “this next song takes me back to may 1971” RP.

  • William Hemphill said:

    I Must Have Misheard Planty – What Was The Reference To May 1971 For Then?

  • Danny Wilson said:

    Shame on you Mr Hemphill The Golden God`s reference to May 1971 at the Belfast gig was during the introduction to Misty Mountain Hop and not that famous night in March 1971 where something else very special took place”listen to this Murphy” in hope of not another 39 year wait……………..

  • William Hemphill said:

    Saw The Show In Belfast The Very Next Evening – Well Worth The Wait – Planty Continues To Move In The Directions He Pleases…Nearly 40 Years Since His Last Belfast Appearance – He Got The Month Wrong It Was March 1971 – Planty Said May On Stage! Well It Was A Long Time Ago! Great Band Great Players Great Frontman! Very Enjoyable Evening – For Any Zep Fans Who Had Their Doubts (And I Know A Few!) They Missed A Treat – Highlights Were Too Many – It Was All Good! Band Of Joy Is Just That – A Joy!

  • Lorraine Robertson said:

    Great review Jason..wish I’d been there! Its a great theatre to see Robert in. I saw him there with SS and he blew me a kiss! Justin and Juldeh are remarkable and I had the pleasure of being at Edinburgh and Brum. Robert…well what can one say???? stupendous!! Cant wait for his next gift to us all !!Thanks x

  • William Misata said:

    Amazing amazing gig. Robert was in fine form as were the Band of Joy.

    Not sure if anyone else noticed but Roy Harper was sitting in the bottom box on the left as you faced the stage…

  • Jeff Nelson said:

    Went last night and going to Belfast tonight. Robert fest!

    Setlist, same as the Roundhouse, but songs changed around slighty.

    Robert was in really good form and his voice was in great shape. Buddy Miller and Daryll Scott were fantastic. Patty Griffin has such a great voice and was wonderful in the harmonies. It was strange to see Robert standing at the back playing harmonica, but a compliment to the others.

    I enjoyed this show more than the Strange Sensations one a few years ago.

    The support was Justin Adams and Juldeh Camera. They played a lively and highly entertaining set. Mix of rock/blues and African music. They had the crowd rocking by the end of their stint. Good to see.

    I always have to have a slight moan:

    Gallows Pole should be retired.
    Beer drinkers should be catheterised.

  • Colin Sheil said:

    I was priviledged to be there last night to witness the genius of the great man. His voice has a depth, warmth and accuracy which has only benefitted from his venture into Americana. The Olympia is a wonderful venue & the crowd was excellent. Personal highlights were Monkey, Satan your Kingdom.. & Gallows Pole. Liked the reworkings of Misty Mountain & Houses of the Holy too. – Not so keen on Tangerine – Storming version of Rock & Roll.Loved the Band of Joy – Patsy Griffin has such a beautiful American voice. It really struck me what a great artist Robert is – he could be filling stadiums singing songs from 40 years ago but he has chosen the honorable path, exploring his full potential & enjoying a wonderful journey that brings endless pleasure to us all. The man always delivers & last night he did so in spades. Roll on the next time……..

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