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ROBERT PLANT & SAVING GRACE IN WORTHING & BEXHILL /LZ NEWS/PAGE & PLANT UK TOUR – IT WAS 26 YEARS AGO/LZ NEWS/ DL DIARY BLOG UPDATE

22 July 2021 2,003 views 4 Comments

Robert Plant and Saving Grace featuring Suzi Dian with special guest Scott Matthews:

July 19: Pavilion Theatre Worthing …

This via the Ultimate Classic Rock website:

Robert Plant returned to the stage last night in Worthington, England, for his first post-pandemic concert since 2019.

The former Led Zeppelin frontman performed with his new band, Saving Grace, which also includes vocalist Suzy Dian, mandolinist and guitar player Tony Kelsey, banjo and guitar player Matt Worley and percussionist Oli Jefferson.

The group’s set list included a mix of traditional songs and covers of Levon Helm’s “Move Along Train,” Los Lobos’ “Angel Dance, the Derek Trucks Band’s “Chevrolet” and Donovan’s “Season of the Witch.”

Saving Grace were originally scheduled to play a U.S. tour in March 2020, but those dates, along with multiple U.K. shows slated for earlier this year, were postponed. The band will now finish out the remainder of the U.K. concerts, which will run through early August and include several stops in the West Midlands county of England, where Plant lives.

. “In the days when I first starting performing around the Black Country, it was very evident that each area was its’ own community/little town … and each community had its own venue: Dudley Town Hall, Stourbridge Town Hall, Regis Hall, Brierley Hill Civic, Old Hill Plaza, Tipton Baths, Queen Mary Ballroom,” Plant said before the tour started.

For more info see Ultimate Classic Rock website link at:

https://ultimateclassicrock.com/robert-plant-saving-grace-first-show/?fbclid=IwAR2uoOJafH1IFIOInoC1hA7Kq_wkO9sOs9Bt6G2u52MgWHCsrVOhgFmj_lw

Some on the spot feedback:

That was magnificent, Dave. A very Saving Grace Welsh mountains to the Appalachians-type vibe. Please read my letter. Moby Grape. Richard Thompson. Superb musicianship. Robert on great form. Suzi mesmerising – Mark White.

……………….

Well the band were mesmerising. The vocals and musicianship of all of them was astounding. The band were ethereal one minute could also really rock the next. There Were a couple if little fuck ups but Robert just went “Ok let’s try that bit again” and everyone laughed including him. The vocals from Robert and Suzi Dian were just amazing and coiled around each other beautifully. Tracks included House of Cards, Cindy, Season of the Witch, Please Read the Letter Angel Dance Satan Your Kingdom with a snatch of In My Time of Dying, and even some Moby Grape. There were loads of others but they came from everywhere except “the pop and rock mainstream,” and I didn’t know many. “Sometimes you can sing the same songs for a very long time and we want to play stuff no one has heard.” It was a magical –  Richard Clayton  

…………………………

The day that live music returned (for me)

On a lovely summers evening at the Pavilion in Worthing – 18 months of hurt ( to paraphrase a football song) disappeared.

Nearly 18 months ago – little did we know that that The Deborah Bonham band gig with the incomparable Pete Bullick in Bewdley with Robert Plant hovering around in the shadows, but not joining in – would be our last live entertainment for what seemed like a life time.

Last night with rolls slightly reversed- it was a privilege to be at Robert Plants band Saving Grace show, whilst Pete and Deborah joined the rest of us in what was an emotional and inspirational evening of music.

Luckily I get to do it all again tonight  – Steve Way

 

July 20: De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill…  

Two gigs in two days – how extraordinary

Beneath the twin towers of Bexhill- another show right by the sea….bit further away tonight but no less stunning – Steve Way  -all photos courtesy Steve

 

It’s a hot summers night on the south coast of England and Covid remains a big problem both here and across the world but, at long last, a light at the end of the tunnel, yes live music is back.

 

Can’t honestly remember the last live show I attended but it was before March 2020. It’s the third time I have seen Robert in Sussex as it doesn’t seem to be a regular stop off for him. The 1st time as a 16 year old was 20th December 1972 in Led Zeppelin my first ever rock show. The second time as a solo artist on 17th December 1983 and now, tonight. Not quite the excitement of December 1972 but nonetheless another big moment.

The De La Warr is a grade 1 listed building built in 1935 and is right on the seafront so a perfect venue for a perfect night in the middle of summer and the weather has not let us down. It holds around 1100 people and tonight is virtually full which surprised me in these Covid times.

Support tonight is Scott Matthews who I had not heard of but he played an interesting set of acoustic music which put me in mind of Neil Young, another of my favourites. Scott’s music is something I will investigate further.

So, onto Saving Grace. I didn’t know what to expect to be honest but Dave Lewis had said a sort of folky style to it. Well, from the introduction it reminded me of the Moroccan music we have become familiar with through Strange Sensations and it’s incarnations. It was a lovely show lasting about 90 minutes with music which,in the main,was unfamiliar to me but certainly had that African feel throughout. Robert, as always, was able to engage the audience with stories about the music he loves and put his interpretations on the songs. The band and Robert were clearly enjoying being back onstage saying that it had taken a very long time to play 20 gigs. There was talk of some rustiness at the first show at Worthing on 19th July but no evidence of that tonight. A brief word about Saving Grace. Suzi Dian on vocals was a relevation, certainly the voices blended beautifully very much in the vein of Robert and Alison Krauss. The three other members are Oli Jefferson on percussion, Tony Kelsey on mandolin and guitar and Matt Worley on banjo and guitars and that were all superb.

Whilst talking about Alison Krauss at the De La Warr there is a vinyl store called Musics not Dead and I bought a copy of Raising Sand on grey vinyl. There was plenty of other vinyl available.

Finally a set list. Now, I have to say many of the song titles I have guessed at as they were unfamiliar. I am sure someone more knowledgeable than me will be able to produce the proper titles. So, here we go.

Jack of Diamonds /4th of July

Hold On

You Gotta Move On/Heavy Load

Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down

House of Cards

Beautiful Day (Moby Grape)

Two Coats

I’m Lost Again

Everybody’s Song (a Low cover)

Just Do Something For You Now (Memphis Minnie)

Cindy I’m Gonna Marry You Some Say

Season Of The Witch

Please Read The Letter

Encore

As I rode Out

Angel Dance

So there we have it – a lovely night of live music on a beautiful summers evening right on the beach with Robert Plant. Who could ask for more? Live music is back and much welcomed…

John Webster

Two great shows, but Worthing shaded it for me. Seemed to be more audience reaction, & the love certainly went both ways that night. Worthing got more songs, & extended encores with harp playing..Thanks to Coastal Events for promoting these shows – Stewart Gunn

Many thanks to all that contributed to these reports form the opening Saving Grace gigs.

YouTube clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3LXC_pw5Hg

Another review:

https://www.brightonandhovenews.org/2021/07/21/its-been-a-long-time-but-full-capacity-is-back-with-robert-plants-saving-grace/

Bexhill Setlist:

Here’s the full setlist from the Bexhill gig:

‘Cuckoo’ (Clarence Ashley cover)

‘Gospel Plow’ (traditional)

‘Move Along Train’ (Levon Helm cover)

‘Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down’ (traditional)/‘In My Time Of Dying’ (Blind Willie Johnson cover)

‘House Of Cards’ (Richard & Linda Thompson cover)

‘It’s A Beautiful Day Today’ (Moby Grape cover)

‘Too Far From You’ (Sarah Siskind cover)

‘Everybody’s Song’ (Low cover)

‘Two Coats’ (traditional/Ralph Stanley)

‘Can I Do It For You’ (Memphis Minnie cover)

‘Cindy I’ll Marry You Someday’ (traditional)

‘Season Of The Witch’ (Donovan cover)

‘Please Read The Letter’

(encore)

‘As I Roved Out’ (Sam Amidon cover)

‘Angel Dance’ (Los Lobos cover)

 

…………………….

ANDY ADAMS

The renowned Led Zep chronicler, Celebrations Day Facebook group leader and our very good friend Andy Adams was also due to review the Bexhill show for the TBL website. However, unfortunately Andy was taken ill before the show and I had to undergo some tests overnight in hospital. He is now recuperating at home.

I am sure I speak for everyone in wishing Andy well and our thoughts are with him.

Dave Lewis – July 22,2020

Here’s an update from Andy this morning (July 22)

Hi Dave. Thanks so much for your kind words and support over these past days. I’d like to assure everyone I’m recuperating at home and a few quite days despite the heat should, along with medication and advice from the good people at Eastbourne DGH, help me overcome these latest health issues…

 


LZ News

Led Zeppelin News Update:

For all the latest Zep and related news check out the Led Zeppelin news website at:

http://ledzepnews.com/


It was 26 years ago:

TBL Archive: Jimmy Page & Robert Plant: 1995 UK Tour:

Leading on from last week’s Page & Plant retro focus – here is Part Two of  the piece that originally ran in TBL 11: It focuses on an imaginary 4 CD compilation of the tour: CD 2 rounds up the 1995 Europe and UK leg. 

 

It was a glorious period as long time fans and those too young to have seen Zep in their prime revelled in what was all in name the Zeppelin reunion we had all hoped for. By the tour’s end it was evident that Jimmy Page was playing better than at any time during the previous fifteen years. Indeed for a project that began as a request to strum a few Zep tunes unledded style for MTV’s acoustic showcase, when played live night after night this reappraisal of the Zeppelin catalogue developed into a fully ledded experience. A trend that would continue when they returned to the live action in 1998.

With so many tapes at our disposal, there is ample scope to take a retrospective view of the tour. Having listened to hours of material drawn from the many tapes of the tour, I have compiled an imaginary four-CD compilation that takes in all the major developments along the way. It includes the one-off gems slotted in, the stand-out performances, the offbeat sequences and all the historic moments building into a true overview of the entire tour. It features 53 extracts drawn from 26 different locations spread over 28 shows; nearly five hours of musical Page and Plant highlights that capture the often barely believable events that thousands of fans were privileged to enjoy during those 370 days. So this is Page and Plant on tour together at last in 1995 and 1996. Proving conclusively that the evolution of Led Zeppelin continues…

CD2 – Europe/UK

Dancing Days’/’Down By The Seaside’ sequence

(Omnisports, Bercy, Paris, June 6 1995)

Page was on blistering form on the opening night of the European trek, in turn inspiring Robert to lift his performance to new heights. Two selections form the Bercy date: ‘Dancing Days’ had been included in the set in an all electric arrangement early on the US tour and then in an alternate arrangement with the Egyptians from mid May. It’s the latter version that Plant introduced in both French and English on this opening night in Europe. A wonderfully relaxed affair with the shrill Egyptian violins merging with Jimmy’s powerful riffing.

‘Down By The Seaside’ was a regular insert into the ‘Calling To You’ medley. It was presented in the new slower arrangement Plant had used to record the version with Tori Amos that appeared on the then just released Encomium tribute album. Plant’s vocal delivery in Paris was sheer perfection, adding all the original nuances (“Yes she will, yes she will”) to a song that was enjoying renewed recognition during this period.

‘In The Evening’

(Glastonbury Festival, June 25 1995)

Into the open air for a memorable performance at the Glastonbury Festival. Their appearance in the veterans slot earned them a healthy respect from the vast crowd present and the thousands watching the live Channel 4 coverage. This latter day Zep standard had already established itself as one of the tours favourites. In the early evening sun it shone as brightly as ever, capturing that dramatic intro with Plant’s vocals echoing across the fields, Page manically stringbending over the Stratocaster and the Pharaohs dancing with delight behind them.

The Crunge’ sequence

(SECC Arena, Glasgow, July 12 1995)

It was evident on the Europe tour how much more relaxed the pair had become since the tensions during the early part of the US tour. This lighter mood spilled over into moments such as this occasion in Glasgow. When the double neck guitar needed tuning before ‘The Song Remains The Same’, Jimmy was left with no instrument. This inspired Plant to fill the void by leading Michael and Charlie through a spontaneous version of ‘The Crunge’. The ad-libbed lyrics found Plant humourously sniping at Jimmy’s guitar tech Lionel: “I can see Lionel wages going out of the window… it’s not like working for The Searchers and it’s not like working for The Shadows…”.

Since I’ve Been Loving You’

(Sheffield Arena, Sheffield, July 13 1995)

Ten years on from Live Aid another special night. Sheffield was an outstanding show, made all the more impressive by a remarkable delivery of ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’. On the spur of the moment Plant began inserting verses from the then unplayed Presence Zep track ‘Tea For One’. It created a unique hybrid delivery of two of their most notable custom blues compositions.

‘Whole Lotta Love’

(St Austell Coliseum, Carylon Bay St Austell, July 15 1995)

A rare medley-less delivery of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ was a surprise set opener for this date at, as it was billed “The entertainment centre of the west”. A throwback to the version Zeppelin first employed back in 1970, this new 1995 version really packed a punch with Page exhorting the classic riff from his new sparkle red Transperformer Gibson guitar.

‘Blue Jean Bop’/’Black Dog’

(St. Austell Coliseum, July 15 1995)

The intimate confines of the St Austell Coliseum found them in playful mood on a hot Saturday night. From the early US dates it became a nightly ritual for Page to warm up ‘Black Dog’ with a random run of teasing riffs including moments from the likes of ‘In My Time of Dying’ and ‘Out On The Tiles’. On this occasion it went one step further as Plant kicked them into an ad-hoc delivery of Gene Vincent’s ‘Blue Jean Bop’ that collapsed playfully under Michael Lee’s attempt to bring in the proper ‘Black Dog’ riff. This prompted a smiling Page to apologise for the breakdown on mike. A fully fledged ‘Black Dog’ followed – another tour highlight as Plant tossed away his inibitions, ripped the mike off the stand and rocked out in a manner reminiscent of the golden age.

Egyptian Intro’/’Celebration Day’

(The Point, Dublin, July 20 1995)

Robin Williamson’s Tales Of Bron poem had by now been replaced by an Egyptian music intro tape that began serenely and then built up the drama, usually accompanied by the arrival of a silhouetted Page dancing along to the tempo. As an opener for this Dublin date they pulled out a fast and furious rendition of the Zep III rocker ‘Celebration Day’ (rarely played on the early US tour) indicating this might be a night of surprises.

‘Custard Pie’

(The Point, Dublin, July 20 1995)

… And surprises there were. ‘Custard Pie’ – never performed live by Zeppelin – was wheeled out in an arrangement similar to the one Jimmy played on the Outrider tour. Page lashed out wah wah runs in between the muscular drive of Michael Lee’s drumming, and Plant threw in a spirited harmonica solo and at the close while Page inserted a riff from ‘The Ocean’. It’s revival prompted Plant to inform the crowd afterwards “We’re gonna try some different things tonight. That was the first different thing. I don’t think we’ve played that for 17… 18… 20… 27,000 years!”

‘The Battle Of Evermore’

(NEC, Birmingham, July 23 1995)

This esoteric version of ‘The Battle Of Evermore’ was a highlight of the MTV Unledded filming and finally made its presence felt live again during the night of surprises in Dublin. It was retained for the Birmingham and London gigs. This gave Plant the opportunity to duet with Najma Achtar who added a suitably exotic edge to the familiar Zep IV song. The pair’s closing “Ah ah ha” refrain smouldered above Page’s triple-neck mandolin.

‘Thank You’/’Going To California’

(Wembley Arena, London, July 26 1995)

From its introduction at the beginning of the MTV filming and its frequent inclusion on the tour ‘Thank You’ had developed into something of a signature tune for the whole Page Plant reunion. There were many great deliveries of the song along the way (Meadowlands, San Jose and Paris to name but three), but there was something almost spiritual on the final night of the UK tour. Perhaps it was the presence of Peter Grant, or the knowing that they would not be performing it again for some time. Whatever it was, the commitment of both Page and Plant on this outing was more than evident. Page lurched magnificently into the solo as Plant passionateley ad-libbed the final lines finally echoing out the final “I wanna thank you…” A mesmerising performance.

‘Going To California’ was another new addition to the final part of the UK leg. A delicate rendering made all the more so with the aid of a subtle orchestral string backing.

Candy Store Rock’ sequence

(Wembley Arena, London, July 26 1995)

A final UK soundbite incorporating Plant’s acknowledgement of Peter Grant’s presence (“And a special thank you Bill Curbishley and Mr Peter Grant who is with us tonight”), leading into the pairs playful skit around ‘Candy Store Rock’ preceding the encore of ‘Black Dog’. It signalled the end of the 1995 UK tour.

Dave Lewis – first published in TBL 12 

Part 3 to follow…


 

Digging Deep, The Robert Plant Podcast – Series 4 Episode 5 – Life Begin Again

Here’s the info about the latest in the excellent Digging Deep Podcasts…

It seemed inevitable that Robert Plant and Afro Celt Sound System would end up working together. Both trade in blending music from disparate geographical locations and find real pleasure in the unexpected results of unscripted collaborations. The only real surprise was why it took till 2001 for Robert and these sonic pioneers to get together. Fortunately, when they did. It was well worth the wait.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doiH0NZmNAY


DL Diary Blog Update:

Friday July 16:

Great to have a visit this afternoon from long time TBL supporter, fellow record collecting comrade and all round top man Ian Saikia – he was able to catch up on one or two TBL mag back issues from the TBL pop up shop here – cheers mate!

Saturday July 17:

Fourth in the queue for Slide Record Shop Record Store Day Drop 2…the countdown commences…

Saturday July 17:

Record Store Day Drop 2 mission accomplished…

Fantastic released from The Rolling Stones, Crosby Stills, Nash & Young, Cat Stevens plus Bobbie Gentry, Miles Davis, The Sweet and The Flirtations seven inch single all sorted and my list 100% fulfilled…

Many thanks again to Nerys and Warren at the excellent Slide Record Shop in Bedford for a fantastic service and not just on Record Store Days but all year round…be sure to check the shop out if you are in the area…

Saturday July 17:

‘’Record stores can’t save your life. But they can give you a better one.”

It certainly inspired mine today with this fantastic haul thanks to the lovely folks at the Slide Record shop in Bedford – and I am sure it will do the same for countless record collecting enthusiasts across the globe today as they seek out the many excellent releases that make up Record Store Day Drop 2…

Saturday July 17:

I’ve been struggling these past few days mentally for a number of reasons – I know I am not the only one by any means and I am not looking for sympathy or answers –I know we have a lot to be thankful for here but there can be tears behind the smiles..

What I can say is on Record Store Day Drop 2,it’s made me realise that this passion for music and collecting records leads to friendships and connections that are deeply affecting and often of huge salvation…

Here’s a pic taken at Steve’s this afternoon with my fellow very good friends and record colleting comrades Steve, Ian and James –they really inspired me today when I needed it – thanks folks for the friendship and connection – it means such a lot to me….

Sunday July 18:

On the bike ride this afternoon to quote the man himself, ‘’I found myself in a Strange Town ‘’ for at first glance I thought the villages of Shortstown and Cardington in Bedfordshire had bestowed an honour upon the Modfather Paul Weller and named an avenue in his greatness…but on closer inspection I realised it was one letter out – oh well, to paraphrase the man again ‘’That’s entertainment’’…

Sunday July 18:

Sunday sounds on CD – loading up the superb Nina Simone album on CD Here Comes The Sun – perfect for a sunny early evening and matching a melancholy mood here……this is right up there as one of my all time fave summer albums…

Monday July 19: Interesting quote from an interview with Ronnie Wood in The Times at the weekend…40th anniversary issue of Tattoo You…new Faces music – count me in!

Tuesday July 20:

Tuesday treats at the Slide Record Shop in Bedford…

Just before a great meet up with archivist Paul Cox who supplies me with the weekly Beds and Bucks Reporter newspaper 1970/71 pop columns, there was time for a quick visit to the Slide Record Shop

I was well pleased to find a copy of the seven LP 1988 box set Island Life -25 Years of island Records – a 14 side career spanning over view of the esteemed label from the Spencer Davis Group through to Courtney Pine via the likes of Free, Nick Drake, Grace Jones, Tom Waits and Third World – complete with booklet and all in very good condition –top stuff! Thank you Warren and Nerys!

Wednesday July 21:

A misty start to the day as seen on the early morning bike ride – it’s going to be another hot one here ….

 

 

Some particular inspirations this past week…

A visit from Ian Saikia…

Steve L. being a great host on Saturday afternoon…

Meet ups with Paul Cox and Chris West…

Some inspiring communication with Dave Ling…

Watching the excellent Festivals documentary on Sky Arts…

An eight mile bike ride to get out in the air on Sunday afternoon…

Update here:

As can be seen above – a busy few days with some ups and some downs. I did have a plan to attend the Saving Grace Bexhill gig but I had to shelve it – it was too much to ask with trains and a hotel to sort and an overnight stay. The ongoing anxiety of the unlocking was also on my mind and I really did not want to leave Janet on her own. She also went down with a very bad cold last weekend which was worrying. Thankfully Janet is feeling better this week. It was also very concerning to hear of Andy’s health issues in Bexhill and again I’d like to pass on my best wishes to him from us here. The hot weather though much welcomed, has been at times a bit too hot and for various reasons it’s been an effort to get all this together this week.

There has been some key work on the planning ahead for some key TBL projects, more of which I hope to reveal soon.

Thanks for listening – stay safe and well you very lovely people…

Dave  Lewis – July 22,2021

TBL website updates written and compiled by Dave Lewis

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4 Comments »

  • Swin said:

    Dave, was at the Dudley gig last night. Awesome, Robert looked fit & well and was in great form. Suzi sang like an angel, and the rest of the band nailed it.Met up with fellow Zep head Paul Harper.We had a great time. Local gig thusday, Buxton Opera house, 20 minutes up the road. RP can do no wrong.Happy daze!!!!!!!!

  • Hiroshi said:

    Dave,

    I for one time considered going to the Buxton Opera House to see Saving Grace (on July 29), which I haven’t yet had a chance to catch live. I used to live in an area not too far away, about half an hour by train, and attended a concert at this elegant venue a couple of times (Lucinda Williams and Paul Carrack). Knowing how sublime the house’s acoustics were — the sound I heard on the stalls was so sweet and velvety it was almost intoxicating — the news Robert & Co. was booked there to perform was the icing on the cake. But, no, the threat of the pandemic still being felt intact as ever, five hours’ train journey including the connection, sitting inside an indoor venue among the crowd and staying overnight in a hotel room away from home would not seem feasible — even though I got double vaccinated and wear a mask during the show. To think of my beloved one and a possibility of contracting the virus, it would be too big a risk to take, “the venue too far”.

    I’m away from a gig of any sort for over a year and a half — unprecedented times indeed. I do hope the World will get back to the normalcy as we knew it sooner rather than later — and that Robert will reschedule the aborted Saving Grace Scottish tour someday soon.

  • Robert Thornton said:

    Full setlists for Worthing and Bexhill are up on Setlist.fm. Robert said at Bexhill that Chevrolet was produced by Mickey Most, which may be different from the Derek Trucks version of the song, but definitely the same song (based on googling the lyrics). He also said that the same song was recorded by Memphis Minnie as Just Do Something For You. But it was Chevrolet on the printed setlist.

  • Andy Adams said:

    Hi Dave. Thanks so much for your kind words and support over these past days. I’d like to assure everyone I’m recuperating at home and a few quite days despite the heat should, along with medication and advice from the good people at Eastbourne DGH, help me overcome these latest health issues…

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