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Robert Plant joins Womad line-up in Abu Dhabi

21 April 2009 4,480 views 5 Comments


It has been announced that Robert Plant is to join forces with Strange Sensation guitarist Justin Adams and the West African riti (a one-string violin) master Juldeh Camara for the finale of the three day Womad Festival in Abu Dhabi. Around 50,000 people are expected to attend each of the free Womad concerts, which will take place on the Corniche public beach from April 23 to April 25.

The signing of Plant is regarded as a coup for the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (Adach) and for Womad, whose director, Chris Smith, had been negotiating with the musician’s management for several months. They were able to confirm the 11th-hour booking last night.

“The fact is that Robert Plant only does things that he wants to do,” said Mr Smith.

“He was excited by the thought of performing at a free festival in Abu Dhabi. This is going to be a chance of a lifetime to hear such a unique combination. Robert is a lovely guy who is very keen not to steal the thunder from the others.”

Originally Smith invited Plant, who has supported Womad in the past, to perform along Alison Krauss, with whom he made the Grammy award-winning album Raising Sand, but she was unable to make the date.

An Adach official said the authority was “absolutely thrilled” that Plant would be coming to the capital.

“Even more exciting, though, is the fact that he is in rehearsal as we speak … to create a whole new performance especially for Abu Dhabi.”

“This festival is above all a celebration of world music and Robert Plant, ever inventive with his musical journeys over the years, is playing in the Womad spirit – a real original gift for music lovers.”

Robert will spend two days at Peter Gabriel’s Real World recording studio in Wiltshire, England, with Adams and Camara putting together a special show for Abu Dhabi.

Adams and Camara have performed together extensively over the last three years and in 2007 the pair recorded an album together, Soul Science, which won a Radio 3 World Music award. Their music weaves an exotic tapestry of African beats and rhythms that I personally witnessed at Coventry two years ago, and with Robert joining the mix this should be a very special gig.

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  • Janice said:

    I am thrilled to hear that Robert Plant is embracing back the original side of his solo artistry as opposed to doing other things. I agree that Robert needs to fully express himself and let himself go when he is on stage. His voice is fully matured now and he does tend to strink too much when in the presence of others in order to not steal their thunder so to speak. Why? Not everyone can say that they were the frontman from the worlds greatest rock and roll back ever formed, that which is Led Zeppelin. Robert, embrace who you are and start blowing the roof off everywhere you go. You deserve it baby. And I hope to see you back with your band Strange Sensation. You are incredible!

  • Andy said:

    first video clips are already on youtube…

  • Shayne said:

    Even though Plant disapointed with his decision not to play with Zep, it’s cool to see him branching out still as he always has. It would be different if he said he didn’t want to play with Zep because he had other interests but then never did anything else. At least he’s showing he’s serious about doing different things. As long as he’s still playing maybe we still somehow have a chance at getting him back to Zep. At least he hasn’t given up on performing altogether.

  • Jim Sloane said:

    Great news ! Shame I`m not in Abu Dhabi !!

  • Stephen Humphries said:

    Here’s a great interview with Robert about the rehearsals for the WOMAD gig:

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