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10 May 2018 2,547 views One Comment

Here’s the first part of a 25th Anniversary  TBL Fate Of Nations Archive special.

25 years….now where did that go?

It was all of 25 years ago this month that Robert Plant kicked off his Fate Of Nations touring campaign with two low ley appearances in Fulham. It was the beginning of a hugely enjoyable period as he toured across the globe in support of the truly excellent Fate Of Nations album. We pick up the story right at the beginning. These secret appearances were incredibly exciting and I count myself very lucky to have been right there in the forefront of a new Plant era. I actually got wind of the dates by a tip off from Charlie Jones at the press launch of the album in April 1993. He told me to look out for a band named Fate Of Nations in the coming weeks gig listings. Sure enough in the NME of week commencing May 10 there was the ad – Fate Of Nations -Kings Head Fulham May 14.

So it was on the afternoon of that day that we, that’s me Gary Foy, Krys Jantzen and Kam Assi turned up at the Kings Head pub. I was still in that seeing is believing mode as we grouped in the bar…then from the band room area we could hear the plaintive tones of an instrumental What Is And What Should Never Be.

We were on…big time!

So let’s travel back to the spring of that year when it was all happening down in Fulham…here’s the TBL on the spot report that appeared in issue 8:

First Night of the Fate Of Nations World Tour Reviewed

Rejuvenation in Fulham…       

What Is And What Should Definitely Be…


King’s Head, Fulham, May 14 1993

Just prior to their European dates, Robert Plant chose to premier his new touring band under the pseudonym Fate Of Nations for a date at London’s King’s Head, Fulham on the Friday preceding the FA Cup Final.

Although thousands will witness the projected 1993/4 Fate Of Nations tour, a mere 150 packed in to the South London pub to see Robert debut a new band and a new set. For the staff and locals it was no real surprise that Robert should select this venue for a warm-up as he and his band have used the place to rehearse throughout the past year.

One of the last times I had seen Robert perform in his own right was amongst the thousands at Knebworth ’90 and the opportunity to view the new line-up in this most intimate of surroundings was incredibly exciting and a throwback to those early ’80s Honeydripper days.

Even back then though, the stages were never as small as the one Robert walked on to around 10p.m. Dressed in black Jeans and a cut off T-shirt, emblazoned with what appeared to be an Arabic slogan. Flanked by Charlie, Phil, new guitarists Kevin Scott McMichael and Francis Dunnery plus drummer Michael Lee, he proceeded to kick start the 1993 campaign in to action with a vibrant ‘Calling To You’ which works great live. Over the next hour, the band ran through a tight no-messing selection of numbers which are likely to form the basis of the festival set they will take around Europe this summer. ‘Calling’ was followed by a return to active duty for ‘Trampled Underfoot’ played with a nagging insistency which then segued into Tall Cool One now devoid of all the samples and sounding well refreshed.

There was little in-between chat from Robert aside from the obligatory ‘’Good Evening’’ and a brief opening statement: “Welcome to the first night of a tour that takes in Morocco, Casablanca and many other strange places”. ’29 Palms’ came next, clearly the song of the moment to be found on radio, on TV and now live and happening in Fulham High Street and embellished with a slowed-down complete ending.

The new line up is firmly spearheaded by Francis Dunnery’s lead playing supplemented by Kevin Scott McMichael with Phil Johnstone concentrating on guitar rather than keyboards. This makes for a much punchier sound than the ’88 to ’90 outfit and the whole set up echoes the air of rejuvenation that Robert is experiencing with this new phase of his career. It was immediately apparent that on stage, he has already created a productive alliance between the two new guitarists.

Judging by this opening set, it would also seem that Roberts fave Zep album at the moment might well be ‘Led Zeppelin 2′ as there were no less than three selections included from that album.

First up was What Is And What Should Never Be’ (what a joy it is to write that statement!). Incredibly, it’s first live airing in 21 years. And it sounded wonderful, performed very faithful to the original right down to the stereo planning between the PA for the power chord guitar outro shared by Kevin and Francis. Following a passionate pairing of ‘Tie Dye On The Highway’ and ‘Nirvana’, Francis slugged out the intro to ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and Robert proceeded to re-enact a slice of his history with his first ever solo non-Zep reunion rendering of that old cock rock classic.

The middle part found Francis delivering the required fret board effects across Robert repeating the line “Just a little bit, just a little bit”, ala the old BBC Session version.

All too soon this compact performance was over, but not before the band were called back for two encores. They ran down the new ‘Promised Land’, a number that grows in stature on repeated hearings (I’m constantly waking up with the chorus in my head). Finally a rousing Livin Lovin’ Maid’ with Robert stalking the stage majestically and baptising the front row (yours truly included) in a shower of sweat in the process.

The message was clear for all those in attendance at this first night run through. The Fate Of Nations tour is underway and ready to trail blaze its way across Europe and beyond, with a vitality that will impress any audience it encounters.

“We must be in Heaven” laughed Plant as he left the stage, paraphrasing that Woodstock ‘Tie Dye On The Highway sample. Indeed we were . . .and incredibly, there is more to come at this venue very soon…

Dave Lewis  – May 16 1993


Venue: Kings Head Fulham

Friday, May 14, 1993

Background: Robert and the band have been consistent visitors to the popular London pub venue for the past year (pics of Robert and the staff adorn the walls in the public bar) and he had promised landlord Les a couple of warm up dates as far back as early April. This first show was much more low key than the May 20 show. Those with a keen eye would have seen a group called Fate Of Nations billed as the Friday attraction at the Kings Head in the NME gig guide for that week. The lucky few that were in the right place at the right time and paid the £5 entrance fee were treated to a very personable first night preview with around 150 in attendance.

In The Crowd/Backstage: Nigel Kennedy puts in a non playing appearance and Fontana’s Dave Bates and ‘Fate Of Nations’ engineer Mike Gregovich also spotted. General low key turn out mostly filled by Fulham set regulars with just a few lucky Plant/Zep heads down the front (say hello Gary, Krys, Kam and Julie!)

Soundcheck: The band (minus Robert) come in around 5pm and run through instrumental versions of ‘Trampled Underfoot, Tie Dye On The Highway’ and ‘Nirvana’. Francis practises the solo of ‘What Is And What Should Never Be.

Set List: Calling To You/Trampled Underfoot/Tall Cool One/29 Palms/What Is And What Should Never Be/Tie Dye On The Highway/Nirvana/Whole Lotta Love-Encores: Promised Land/Livin’ Lovin’ Maid. (NB – The written set list taped to the stage had ‘Heaven Knows’ crossed out after ‘What Is, so it can be assumed that number had been rehearsed).

Performance Notes: Robert wears a cut down ‘Om Kalsoum’ T-shirt and just for safe measure has the lyrics of Nirvana’, ‘Tall Cool One and ‘Hurting Kind’ taped to the floor of the stage (‘Hurting Kind’ is subsequently not performed). The band are a little rough at the edges but look to be well at ease with each other and perhaps well relieved to be finally playing in front of an audience. There’s a no messing approach to the set with little in between spiel. Trampled’ and Tall Cool One’ sound particularly vibrant in their new guise, but What Is And What Should Never Be is the song of the night, returning to live duty for the first time in 21 years and causing this writer to swoon just ever so slightly as Plant effortlessly delivers the opening line.

A truly manic ‘Livin’ Lovin’ Maid’ completes a great night in the most intimate of surroundings and for me personally the best live Zep related experience since Leicester University five years previous. The next day’s FA Cup Final stalemate draw between Arsenal and Sheffield Wednesday seemed all the more tedious with the hangover I was experiencing!

Dave Lewis – May 1993

More from the TBL Fate Of Nations Archive next time… 

Dedicated to the late Kevin Scott McMichael and Michael Lee.


Led Zeppelin News Update:

In conjunction with the Led Zep news site, each week I will be re- producing highlights from their weekly email update news summary. This goes out every Sunday. Sign up details are below. Many thanks to James Cook

Led Zeppelin

Jimmy Page

Robert Plant

Upcoming events:

May 17 – An updated version of Stephen Davis’ Led Zeppelin biography “Hammer of the Gods” will be released.
May 18 – “Still On The Run: The Jeff Beck Story,” the documentary which features Jimmy Page, will go on sale.
May 26 – Robert Plant will perform at the Bearded Theory Spring Gathering Festival in the UK.
May 27 – Robert Plant will perform at the Bath Festivals in Bath, UK.
June – The gold edition of “Five Glorious Nights” will be released.
June 8 – Robert Plant will perform in Atlanta, Georgia.
June 9 – John Paul Jones will be interviewed at the Borris House Festival of Writing and Ideas in Ireland about his upcoming opera.
June 10 – Robert Plant will perform in Richmond, Virginia.
June 12 – Robert Plant will perform in Columbia, Maryland.
June 13 – Robert Plant will perform in Forest Hills, New York.
June 15 – Robert Plant will perform in Toronto, Ontario.
June 17 – Robert Plant will perform in Chicago, Illinois.
June 19 – Robert Plant will perform in Vail, Colorado.
June 21 – Robert Plant will perform in Berkeley, California.
June 23 – Robert Plant will perform in Stateline, Nevada.
June 24 – Robert Plant will perform in Pasadena, California.
June 26 – Robert Plant will perform in Troutdale, Oregon.
June 27 – Robert Plant will perform in Redmond, Washington.
June 29 – Robert Plant will perform at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival in Canada.
July 17 – Robert Plant will perform at the Istanbul Jazz Festival in Turkey.
July 19 – Robert Plant will perform at the Black Sea Jazz Festival in Georgia.
July 22 – Robert Plant will perform at the Vielles Charrues Festival in Carhaix, France.
July 23 – Robert Plant will perform in Paris, France.
July 25 – “Led Zeppelin Live,” a photo book edited by Dave Lewis, will be released and Robert Plant will perform at the Festival de Carcassonne in France.
July 27 – Robert Plant will perform at the Milano Summer Festival 2018 in Milan, Italy.
July 29 – Robert Plant will perform at the Stimmen Festival in Lörrach, Germany.
July 31 – Robert Plant will perform in Pardubice, Czech Republic.
August 1 – Robert Plant will perform in Dresden, Germany.
August 11 – John Paul Jones will perform as part of Snoweye at the Varangerfestivalen in Norway.
September – Official celebrations of Led Zeppelin’s fiftieth anniversary are expected to start this month.
September 14 or 16 – Robert Plant will perform at the KAABOO festival in California.
September 15 – Robert Plant will perform at the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival in Colorado
September 23 – Robert Plant will perform at the Bourbon & Beyond festival in Louisville, Kentucky.
October – The official Led Zeppelin photo book will be released.
October 16 – “Bring it on Home,” a new biography of Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant, will be released.
October 26 – Robert Plant will perform in London, UK.
October 28 – Robert Plant will perform in Dublin, Ireland.

Many thanks to James Cook.

The complete Led Zeppelin News email goes out every weekend. To receive it each week sign up here:

Led Zeppelin News Website: Check out the Led Zeppelin news website at


And one more via LZ news::

Robert Plant played a surprise performance to celebrate Wolves being promoted to the Premier League:




Some dates for the diary ahead…

I’ve been looking at various dates and places to mark the Led Zeppelin 50th Anniversary in some way – so here’s some dates I’ve come up with to note ahead:



Saturday, September 8, 2018

VIP Victoria Record Fair -London:

That is the date of the VIP Victoria Record Fair in London – I intend to make this something of a gathering – as it will be a day on from the 50th anniversary of the first gig in Denmark of the line up that would become Led Zeppelin. This may, publishing schedules permitting act as a launch for the Evenings With book. More details on this as it unfolds.

And then…

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Atlas Pub Fulham, London: 

TBL Celebrates Led Zeppelin at 50 – It’s Been A Long Time 1968 -2018

Led Zeppelin 50th Anniversary TBL Celebration Day Event

 Julian Walker and myself have booked this date to stage a similar fan gathering to the one we staged at this pub last December to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the 02 Reunion.

The full story of how that event shaped up is here:

That occasion worked very well indeed – despite the adverse weather conditions. Soo we are looking to run a similar event. It will run from 12 to 8.30pm and we plan to screened rare video, run a quiz, present some guest speaker forums etc and more.  Again publishing schedules permitting, it will also act as a launch for the Evenings With book.

All in all, this return to the Atlas pub will be a great opportunity for like minded fans to gather and celebrate this landmark Led Zeppelin 50th anniversary. Full ticket entry details will follow soon.

We do have limited numbers on this as the venue is not huge. To get a pitch on numbers, if you are thinking of attending I would welcome an email registering your interest – to

So if you can, be sure to make a date for that one too…

More details to follow…

Dave Lewis & Julian Walker


Record Store Day Reviews:

Continuing the reviews of my Record Store Day purchasers:

DL Record Store Day Acquisitions – Review 3:

Beverley  – Where The Good Times Are (Fly Records)

I’ve been waiting for this one since last year’s Record Store Day releases.

I first became aware of Beverley’s Deram label output when John Paul Jones mentioned her in interview I did with him back in 2016.

One of the questions I asked was which of his 1960s session work stood out for him?

”I was on masses of stuff and every now and again I get reminded” John  commented. ” There was that one I put up on my Facebook page Beverley Martin’s version of Happy New Year. Steve Wynn of the Dream Syndicate who I have worked with sent me an email ‘Have you heard this?. It was his favourite song at the time and he researched who was on it and found it was me I listened to it. It’s almost a bass solo record. Beverley Martin is fantastic and it’s a great Randy Newman song that one.”

It was a pleasant surprise then when last year’s Record Store Day releases included another Beverley single – and one drawn from the same session that produced the Happy New Year single. These recordings were made with the illustrious help of the aforementioned John Paul Jones on bass along with Jimmy Page & John Renbourn (guitars), Alan White (drum), Nicky Hopkins (piano) and Mike Lease (organ) and produced by well known 60s producer Denny Cordell.

The young Beverley Martyn first performed with The Levee Breakers, a jug band featuring Mac McGann and Johnny Joyce, who played the folk circuit in south east England. At the age of 16 she recorded her first single. Babe I’m Leaving You, released on the Parlophone label in 1965.

A year later, Beverley was signed as a solo artist to the Deram Records label. Happy New Year was in fact the very first single release on the Deram label, distributed by Decca Records. Though critically acclaimed, Beverley’s Deram output failed to make a big impression – she would go on to find greater success in the company of John Martyn whom she later married.

Last year’s  Beverley RSD single featured two previously unreleased recordings – Picking Up The Sunshine (take 1) a Donavan composition while the The B side presented  an arrangement of the blues standard Gin House Blues titled here Me And My Gin aka Gin House Blues (take 1).

It was stated on the sleeve that an album of Beverley Deram recordings was on the way – and now here they are –packaged as a whole album titled Where the Good Times Are as part of this year’s Record Store Day releases.

So to backtrack:

Beverley Martyn was 18 and part of the British Folk scene when in 1966 she was the first artist to be signed to producer Denny Cordell’s production company, set up with music publisher David Platz.

Denny then assembled London’s elite session musicians – Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Nicky Hopkins, John Renbourn, Mike Lease, Alan White. However  over the months of recording she and Cordell acrimoniously split over musical differences and sessions halted leaving the tapes were discarded.

Some 50 years later Fly Records have unearthed the tapes and restored all the existing session tapes to create a representation of what would/could have been her debut album – a mono mix packed in an authentic retro feel sleeve with the original Deram label faithfully reproduced.

There’s a unique deep mature resonance to the young Beverley’s vocal – very mature for her age. Whilst Denny Cordell was clearly hoping this would appeal to the Marianne Faithful/Sandie Shaw/Lulu market – it’s evident that Beverley’s style was a little too sophisticated for mere pop songs.

Both sides of last year’s RSD single are featured in slightly different takes. Picking Up The Sunshine  a Donavan composition, commences with prominent piano from Nicky Hopkins and looping bass lines from JPJ. A jaunty affair with a slight Joplinesque slant to the vocals, it’s further benefited by a swirling organ from Mike Lease, very much in the vein of Alan Price’s work on The Animals House of The Rising Son. Jimmy’s role is more of a strumming rhythm contribution that adds to the swirling psyche like texture. Gin House Blues titled here Me And My Gin aka Gin House Blues I had previously heard this song as an A side to an early Amen Corner single (again on the Deram label) featuring Andy Fairweather Lowe. Beverley’s version is dominated by some barrelhouse piano from Hopkins and Jimmy gets in some pleasing Lemon Song type steely blues lines.

Very much in the same vein is a version of T Bone Walkers Call it Stormy Monday (But Tuesday is Just as Bad) dominated by the sleek paino work of Nicky Hopkins

There’s also a very  welcomed appearance of the Happy New Year single. This is a real stand out and as good as the likes of Marianne, Sandie and Lulu put out during the era. JPJ and Nicky Hopkins bring to the table the same assured musicianship theat lit up the Jeff Beck Beck’s Bolero session.

The title track Where The Good Times Are appears in two differing versions. The first one is the more assured take with Jimmy Page on fuzz guitar. He breaks into a spiraling solo that cuts right across the speakers.

As for the other Beverley originals featured – Get To the One I Want opens as a folksy lament and then lifts off via a an injection of brass. Tomorrow Time is a twee slightly psych affair her delivery of the line ‘’What’s the story morning glory’’ predates Liam and co by some 40 years.

Sweet Honesty backing track is rather nonscript work in progress affair. It would later appear on the John and Beverley Martyn album Stormbringer – there also exists a demo version with Elton John on vocals recorded for the rare Warlock Publishing sampler album.

Finally there’s Donovan’s Museum with it’s uplifting melody this is  another viable platform for Beverley’s off beat style.

Whilst much of the songs material here works well, it’s evident that Beverley’s vocal talent was worthy of more challenging material. She would go on to meet Paul Simon and then work with and marry John Martyn. Also of note is her association with Nick Drake – in 1974 they wrote a song together Reckless Jane though it remained unfinished. In 2014 Beverley recorded a comeback album The Phoenix And the Turtle and presented a finished version of the song – that album also includes her superb delivery of When The Levee Breaks.

Like a lot of the more obscure Record Store Day releases, Beverley’s Deram album has led me onto a thorough investigation of her catalogue and a very rewarding one it’s been too.

Dave Lewis – May 2 ,2018

DL Record Store Day acquisitions – Review 4:

Humble Pie

On 79th Street

Immediate Records – Record Store Day release – exclusive to Pie & Vinyl

Now here’s a beauty…

This 13 track Humble Pie compilation has been made available through Southsea’s Pie & Vinyl record shop/café

The idea for this special RSD release came about after record producer Rob Caiger, of London-based Immediate Records was taken to Pie & Vinyl by his partner, Katherine, who is originally from Portsmouth.

Rob had already been working on a major Humble Pie reissue remastering project, so while looking around the shop, an idea struck him – could they work together on something?

He subsequently hatched an idea to present an exclusive Humble Pie album for Pie & Vinyl to sell exclusively for Record Store day.

When he put the idea to the band’s surviving members Peter Frampton and Jerry Shirley, Jerry said: ‘We had to cancel a gig in Southsea for some reason, so we should do something special for them.’ Local music historian Dave Allen became involved and was able to piece the story together. The band had been due to play on South Parade Pier on Valentine’s Day, 1972, but the gig was cancelled at the last minute due to what turned out to be a bomb hoax.

Even though the deadlines for Record Store Day had long-passed, extra efforts were put in to turn the project around on time. Portsmouth record pressing company Vinyl Presents was drafted in to create a limited edition run of 1,000 copies.

The full story is explained on the excellent sleeve notes on the inner bag of the album. The whole package is superbly presented with historical information and images.

As for the album – what a delight it is. I was under the Humble Pie spell right from when they initially formed in 1969 – their debut single Natural Born Bugie was one of my faves of that year Very Beatlesish with a Get Back like swing to it. It still sounds great here.

Other highlights: An alternate version of The Sad Bag of Shaky Jake (new to vinyl) and the previously unreleased take 7 of 79th Street Blues which was recorded at Olympic Studios on 3 January 1970 – the same day The Beatles held their final recording session at Abbey Road. Steve Marriott’s vocals are outstanding on this.

All in all this, is everything a Record Store Day release should be – rare material brilliantly packed with love and care – and this Humble Pie release is everything I love about Record Store Day – even more so given the circumstances behind its creation.

Pie and vinyl – what’s not to like…

It’s still available to order via the following link:

Dave Lewis, May 3, 2018


DL Diary Blog Update:

Last Saturday it was my very good friend Mr Tom Locke’s Birthday.
When I first met Tom some 44 years ago, one of his ambitions was to see Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin live on stage – which he duly accomplished – in the case of Led Zeppelin, the pair of us would be lucky enough to witness them nine times together (Earls Court, Knebworth x 2, Cologne, Frankfurt, Mannheim x 2, Munich and the 02 Reunion). Also when I first met Tom in 1974 our combined ages were 34 – as of last Saturday they are 122…ageing for sure  but still rockin’





Last weekend was something of an action packed one – .what with the VIP Record Fair in Bedford and an overnight stay in London.I was up early to set up the TBL stall (thanks Nick C) and it was great to see Steve Livesley ,Jerry Keen , Adam Tibb, Jerry Bloom, Pete Burridge, Phil and Eileen and Keith Harlow all dropping by to say hi.

In the afternoon the good lady Janet and I travelled to London with our very good friends Max and Julie. This was to board the Soul Music Boat Cruise on the Thames. We have attended this for the past couple of years. It’s great to see and hear the passion for soul music those in attendance have – and the likes of Luther Vandross, Candy Staton etc. kept us grooving down the Thames – it was of course a thrill to see all the familiar sights of London on the way – here’s a pic of St Paul’s coming into view. On Sunday we revelled in some lovely sunny weather and there was time for a visit to Reckless Records and I was came upon this rather splendid 1970s relic – you’ve gotta love a Chopper bike!

Another one from last weekend – the good lady Janet admiring a piece of David Bowie artwork at the St Giles hotel we stayed in.  

On the Monday May Bank Holiday afternoon, I went to see Adam’s last Bedford Albion game of the season – a 4-2 win against Wilstead – after the match they were presented with the Bedfordshire Division 2 winner’s trophy – Here’s Adam (their second leading goalscorer this season with 15 goals) with the trophy and a very proud Dad…

Elsewhere there’s been the final run in of the Premier League to monitor. Spurs as usual did  not make it easy and had to fend off the threat of Chelsea creeping up to take the fourth Champions League qualifying place. However, last night’s 1-0 victory against Newcastle assured a place in the elite competition next season. Like all football fans, I am very relieved to hear that Sir Alex Ferguson is beginning to recover from his brain haemorrage -that was a real shock last weekend – here’s hoping the great man can soon get back to good health

Workload wise, there’s been some preliminary design and planning for the next TBL magazine issue 44 and continued focus on the Evenings With book. We are on the final design stages and also responding to a full proof read that publishers Omnibus Press have organised – it’s an intensive process to say the least.  Co-author Mike Tremaglio has yet again been a tower of strength in applying a diligence to the entire text and layout that is greatly benefitting the overall feel of the book. The quest goes on…

At Studio Mix on Tuesday it was time to wish  TBL designer Mick Lowe a Happy Birthday. A pic celebrating that fact with some of Mick’s greatest TBL hits…

Dave Lewis – May 10, 2018

Until next time, have a great weekend

Website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

with thanks to Gary Foy, Mike Tremaglio and James Cook

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One Comment »

  • Ed-Washington DC said:

    Good for Jimmy Page to refuse Eddie Trunk. While I appreciate Mr. Trunk’s enthusiasm and have found elements of his program entertaining, I don’t think it would’ve been an appropriate venue for Jimmy Page to promote the re-issues. And obviously Jimmy has the marketing prowess of Peter Grant, because he managed to handle his promotional duties to rather effectively in this past cycle without having to resort to campy media outlets.

    Fate of Nations was a true high water mark for Robert Plant’s solo career. My, how those songs have held up.

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