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ROBERT PLANT PRESENTS SENSATIONAL SPACE SHIFTERS AT BLUESFEST ROYAL ALBERT HALL/ JIMMY IN MOJO/ MIKE MILLARD FEATURE/KNEBWORTH BOOK LAUNCH/DL DIARY UPDATE

1 November 2013 1,304 views 9 Comments

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Robert Plant Presents Sensational Space Shifters at Bluesfest – Royal Albert Hall, October 31st, 2013:  

Set List:  Babe I’m Gonna Leave You/Satan Your Kingdom Will Come Down/Spoonful/Black Dog/Another Tribe/Going to California/The Enchanter /Four Sticks/Fixin’ To Die/What Is And What Should Never Be/Whole Lotta Love/Encores/If I Ever Get Lucky /Rock And Roll. Above photo by DL for TBL

To London for the last blast of the Sensational Space Shifters of this particular stage of the saga…and to the always suitably regal Royal Albert Hall.

Travelling down on the train with Tom, our journey was slightly delayed with the rather bizarre announcement that there was a bull on the tracks….said bull eventually moved back to the field thus avoiding a case of ”catch bull at four ” to quote a famous Cat Stevens album…and we arrived in good time.

Before the gig , it was great to hook up with many visiting fans including Simona and Mario from Switzerland, Tiina and Minna from Finland, Gus and Amy from New York. The devotion of people who ‘’came so far on a blind date’’ as Robert once remarketed from that stage in a field outside Stevenage… is always just so awe inspiring.

It was all a little surreal moving into a gig at a fairly late hour as the Bluesfest schedule had earlier accommodated Chris Rea. We had a very good position at the front of the stalls looking across the stage. Given tonight’s all seated arrangements, this was always going to be a much more relaxed affair than the Bristol and Wolverhampton gigs – it took a while to get used to the lack of intensity amongst the crowd but this did provide the opportunity to really soak up the onstage action. It was therefore a sheer joy to scrutinise more clearly than ever the interplay of this quite remarkable band of musicians.

That interplay was evident from the moment Skin Tyson delicately picked out the seductive intro to Babe I’m Gonna Leave You – and there was the man looking and singing great and with a conviction that never fails to impress.

Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down followed with Justin’s string bending intro and a spine shivering vocal performance that was masterful in its restraint.

Johnny Baggott’s keyboard motiv provided the foundation for the band to drive though a rousing delivery of Spoonful with Robert pleasingly throwing in phrases from In My Time of Dying towards the close.

Black Dog brought the ever eclectic Juldeh Camera to the fore with his quivering ritti playing and wailing vocal a sharp juxtaposition against Robert’s more familiar vocal lines .

Another Tribe with Skin and Justin scrubbing away on duel acoustic guitars continues to be an unexpected highlight of the whole show for me. What I once considered to be a fairly standard opener to the Mighty ReArranger album has elevated on stage into an incessant groove that demonstrates the synergy of the David Smith and Billy Fuller rhythm section.

Going To California was welcomed like an old friend – and came complete with a subtle false ending before the final crowd pleasing finale.

‘’I remember this place… the flowerpots at the front’’ was Robert’s wry observation on the Zep 1969 Albert Hall appearance.  Justin (”the sheriff” as Robert remarked) then led the way on the moody The Enchanter.

Four Sticks elevated into a mighty rumble with Juldeh taking it all out on a tangent while in stark contrast, a crisp and concise What is And What Should Never Be  was performed entirely in keeping with the Led Zep II original.

Fixin To Die (‘’I’ve been carrying it under my arm since I was 14’) was where it all upped a gear –Justin taking stage centre to add a power chording thrust to the proceedings and Johnny Baggott supplementing it all with a relentless keyboard shuffle.

Whole Lotta Love (dedicated to Mavis Staples) was unsurprisingly the moment that brought the crowd to their feet –and there was another Space Shifting pivotal moment to savour as Robert segued the song into Who Do You Love with masterful intent.

There was no Big Log tonight, Robert opting to revive memories of travels in the desert, delivering the moody swirl of If I Ever Get Lucky.

The tempo lifted again for that old folk standard Rock And Roll and then they were gone. All that was left was to find a taxi across London (thank you Tony and Julie) and a late train home with tales to tell of another prime occasion down at Albert’s place.

rah set list

 

Set list photo by Krys Jantzen for TBL

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In summary: Three years ago almost to the day I was marvelling at Robert’s performance at the Roundhouse as part of the BBC Proms series of gigs. ‘’Band of Joy….band of inspiration and then some” I observed.

Here we are three years on and that inspiration shines ever brightly – in yet another re invention. For as these recent Space Shifters gigs have aptly demonstrated, this is a band of musicians in total control – nurturing and pushing their talents to new heights.

I can get on the bus and go anywhere for nothing ’’ may have been Robert’s tongue in cheek riposte to his coming of age…but he really can go anywhere with this unit.

A studio album ahead is a mouth-watering prospect and it’s evident there’s more space shifting to be done.

Robert Plant’s journey continues and as all those who have come far and wide to witness these remarkable gigs will testify…the ride is proving to be invigorating and inspiring in equal measures…

Dave Lewis, November 1st 2013.

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Jimmy Page in  Mojo magazine 20th anniversary issue:

Jimmy Page is among a number of artists interviewed to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Mojo magazine. He is asked to relay his thoughts on when he was aged 20 in January 1964.

He duly recounts his memories of his early session days. It’s an excellent piece…

mojo-20-241-crop

Here’s preview via Mojo web site

One of the many tracks cut by Jimmy Page in his pre-Led Zeppelin days as a session man has surfaced on a television trailer for the BBC’s weather forecast.

The track, I’ve Got Everything You Need Babe by cult British beat combo The Fenmen was released on the Decca label in 1965 following the band’s split with frontman Bern Elliott, but it did not replicate the success of earlier singles, Money and New Orleans.

Page, who estimates he recorded three sessions per day in 1964 and 1965, identified his presence on the track when he saw the trailer on television.

“I heard the track the other day while I was watching TV,” he tells MOJO magazine. “I thought, ‘Oh. That sound familiar.’ Then, all of a sudden there’s a solo that comes in and I go, ‘That is me!’ It’s something that I would have forgotten about had I not heard it again. In fact, if they hadn’t left the solo on the trailer, I may not have known I’d even played on that track.”

Page is one of 20 visionary musicians who re-live the year they turned 20 in MOJO’s 20th anniversary issue. In Page’s case, the year is 1964 – a pivotal 12-month period where, as he puts it, “I went full-on into session work.”

In a revelatory interview Page recalls playing on records by artists as diverse as The Kinks, The Who and Petula Clark.

“I did so many sessions and not all of them were big. But I was on all of those big sessions with Tony Hatch and I did a string of records with Petula Clark that did really well. You know what? I think I might even have been on a Benny Hill track, that’s how varied things were!” he laughs, recalling endeavours that took place prior to his joining The Yardbirds.

“You know what? I think I might even have been on a Benny Hill track.”

Page turned down the first invitation to join that band, suggesting his friend Jeff Beck as the replacement for the departing Eric Clapton.

“I knew Eric but I didn’t want to get involved in the politics of it all. [Manager] Giorgio Gomelsky asked me but I suggested Jeff instead,” admits Jimmy. “I knew Jeff from the time before any of us were in any proper bands and we were still making homemade guitars and I thought he’d be great in that band.”

Page would eventually join The Yardbirds in the summer of ’66 before forming Led Zeppelin in 1968. He still credits his days as London’s most in-demand session player with a lasting impact on his career as a guitarist and producer.

“I didn’t realize how much I learnt at the time. But when I came out of the session work, I was raring to go and that bow was out in a fraction!”

Read the full interview with Jimmy Page in MOJO’s 20th Anniversary Issue, on sale on October 29. The issue features exclusive cover artwork hand-drawn by Kate Bush and features a 20 From 20 CD that features tracks by Björk, Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, John Grant, The Black Keys and more.

http://www.mojo4music.com/8059/led-zeppelin-leaders-lost-track-surfaces-on-tv-weather-trailer/

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Celebration Day Wins Best Live Coverage at UK Music Video Awards 2013:

This one via Jeff Strawman  at

http://www.led-zeppelin.org/

Monday, 28th October the 6th annual UK Music Video Awards were held in London at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, where a throng of British and International filmmakers assembled to celebrate creative and technical excellence in music videos.

This year saw some of the UK’s most exciting new talent win awards for outstanding music videos. Best Dance Video went to the Josh Cole directed ‘Not Giving In’ by Rudimental (featuring John Newman and Alex Clare), Best Alternative Video went to the BISON directed ‘Wasting My Young Years’ by London Grammar, Best Music Ad went to the Powster directed ‘Sing To The Moon’ by Laura Mvula and the VEVO Best New Artist award went to Naughty Boy featuring Sam Smith for ‘La La La’.

Celebrated British filmmaker Dick Carruthers won the Best Live Coverage award for Led Zeppelin’s Celebration Day.

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Mike Millard taper story: 

Interesting blog feature here on the legendary taper of Zep concerts Mike Millard via James Cook:

http://www.kernelmag.com/features/report/6498/the-tragic-tale-of-a-legendary-concert-taper/#

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Led Zeppelin Then As it Was – At Knebworth 1979 Book Launch at London Olympia November 16th and 17th

As previously mentioned my new long awaited new book Led Zeppelin Then As It Was –At Knebworth 1979 will be officially launched at the VIP Musicmania Fair at London’s Olympia on Saturday November 16th /Sunday November 17th.

The Musicmania Fair is the largest Record/CD/Book and memorabilia gathering in the UK. Staged over two days it draws buyers and traders from America, Australia, Japan and the UK to London’s Olympia exhibition hall.

I will be in attendance over the two days signing copies of the book from the TBL stall. A variety of Tight But Loose products, the new issue of the Tight But Loose Led Zeppelin magazine will also be available.

Web-Kneb-2013-2

For venue and Musicmania Fair details visit  http://www.vip-24.com/olympia.htm

More details on this to follow.

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Gary Foy:

Unfortunately Gary Foy was unable to attend last night’s Bluesfest gig. Gary has been in hospital for some tests on a gall bladder problem – I know I speak for all TBL people in wishing him a speedy recovery…get well soon mate…you can email Gary at garyfoy@live.co.uk

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Dave Lewis Diary Update:

Suddenly it’s November …and this is going to some month in terms of TBL new products…

TBL 36 is very nearly a wrap with just some final text and design to complete over the weekend – I hope to have it at the printers next week for distribution late November….the Knebworth book is at the printers now and again I’m aiming at November distribution…more on all this soon…there was a bit of respite from all the TBL frenzy on Wednesday when the good lady Janet and myself had a day in St.Albans. While in the very fine city, we called in at the excellent Empire Records store – it was great to meet with the very amiable owner Derek who had recently subscribed to the TBL mag. I picked up the Play it Dirty Play it Class album by Jess Roden which I’d been looking for.  Here’s me with Derek inspecting an original Physical Graffiti double LP on UK Swan Song.  I already have a fair few of these!  If you are in the area be sure to check out the Empire Record store. visit their website at http://www.empirestalbans.com/#

empire records

I also picked up a copy of the 1975 Virgin Records compilation V and the Joan Baez album Diamonds And Rust…both of which have been on the player…also on the playlist  – the Jimi Hendrix album  In the West inspired by watching the excellent BBC1 screening of the Hear My Train a Comin’ Hendrix documentary – and Miles Davis In A Silent Way which I picked up in the card sleeve CD edition for just £3 in Fopp as we travelled to the gig yesterday .

This is proving to be a suitably subtle soundtrack as I grapple with the lack of sleep after last night’s superb gig and talking of which…. finally here’s some great live in London YouTube clips via MsMonekybird…

Babe I’m Gonna Leave You:

Going To California:

What Is And What Should Never Be:

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Until next time…Keep listening, keep reading…

Have a great weekend…

Dave Lewis/Gary FoyNovember 1st, 2013.

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9 Comments »

  • Graeme said:

    Hi Dave. Great reviews and write ups as ever. Brilliant stuff. So sorry to hear about Gary F. Get well soon you old bugger. Hope to catch up with you both very soon. Best wishes, Graeme

  • Matt Donnelly said:

    I was fascinated by the Mike Millard blog posting. I attended Mount San Antonio College (MtSac as it is known) in the early nineties. Many of my first bootlegs came pouring it at that time. Lacking a really nice sound system at the time I utilized the audio visual department’s equipment to give many of the bootlegs a listen. The Eddie and LB shows was some of those. Strange that I would have been listening to shows in the rooms where the taper actually worked.

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Lyra
    Thanks for great comments!

  • Lyra W said:

    We were there Dave in the bank of people in the opposite stall visible in your photo. It was a great evening – loved this incarnation of the Sensational Space Shifters and Robert’s voice as it is now, for me, made ‘Babe I’m going to leave you’ have that extra something which (dare I say it) I actually preferred to the original. As that is one of my early Zep favourites I can’t believe I am saying that. Dave Smyth in his review of the gig in the Evening Standard has got it exactly right, praising Plant for giving ‘old favourites a new, loose-limbed lease of life’ and saying what he is doing ‘Contrasts starkly with so many of Plant’s peers, trapped by the need to photocopy their greatest hits.’ Absolutely.

  • stewart gunn said:

    good review…would have liked to go to gig but too expensive & too late…what was attendance like?

    Robert cuts it …Jimmy doesn’t…
    .what has he done since….hhmm, I don’t know when…..?

  • Kirk Woods said:

    Wow Dave, that guy looks just like Jeff Goldblum!

  • Michael In Melbourne said:

    First up, I’m sorry to learn you’re unwell, Gary. All the best for a speedy recovery. What a time to fall ill! I experienced a similarly ill-timed illness w-a-y back in 1974. Aged 16, I succumbed to german measles and missed out seeing Black Sabbath play in Sydney, with AC/DC (with Bon Scott) as the support act! Aaarrgggh!

    Another great review, Dave. Good to hear that Mr Plant and the band played as well in London as they did here in Melbourne earlier in the year. Like the other Michael’s story, Adam, my 13 year old son, still regularly refers to the joy of seeing Robert perform here.

    2014 appears set to be a big year for new and old music: a new Space Shifters album and the long-mooted reissues (plus extras) of the Led Zeppelin catalogue. A marvelous case of when too much music is barely enough!

    Cheers, Michael

  • Dave Lewis (author) said:

    Great story Michael!

  • Michael Brazee said:

    Another superb review of another superb Robert Plant concert.
    I was reliving the NYC concert from July 27th as I read the review.
    Such a great show it was. My youngest son and my nephew were totally blown out. My son saw him in Toronto with Strange Sensation, so he had an idea of what to expect, but my nephew, who until early that morning, had no idea he would be going (my son’s friend couldn’t go) became a huge Robert Plant (and a huge Uncle Mike fan) that day.
    He still thanks me when he sees me 🙂
    Wish I could have gone to this one as well.

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