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Robert Plant and The Band Of Joy – The Roundhouse, London

29 October 2010 11,584 views 13 Comments

ROBERT PLANT & THE BAND OF JOY – ROUNDHOUSE LONDON – BBC RADIO 2 ELECTRIC PROMS OCTOBER 29th 2010: ”VERY NICE TO BE BACK HERE”

Set List:
Down To The Sea/ Angel Dance/ House Of Cards/ Please Read The Letter/ Misty Mountain Hop/  Somewhere Trouble/ Satisfied Mind/ Move Up/ Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down/ Tangerine/ Central 209/ Monkey/ Houses Of The Holy/ You Cant Buy Me Love/ Tall Cool One/ Gallows Pole/ Harms Swift Way/ Rock And Roll/ I Twelve Gates medley/ Bid You Goodnight

As millions would have heard last night on the live broadcast, Robert Plant & The Band Of Joy produced a performance to match the unique occasion of this prestigious BBC Radio 2 Electric Proms event.

And it really did feel like an event. Jo Whiley’s introduction of ‘’Robert Plant’’ was quickly amended by the singer himself to ‘’and the Band Of Joy…’’ and if ever a band lived up to their name, well it was this amazing unit.

From a storming Down To The Sea through to the emotional finale with the London Oriana Choir this was a magical evening.

So many highlight along the way. Robert’s acknowledging the heritage of this wonderful Roundhouse venue….recalling his appearance supporting Fairport in ’68 and then going on to perform a mesmerising House of Cards….the loud scream from somebody in the audience that greeted Tangerine…Monkey again an absolute stand out performance from Buddy…the retro delight of Houses Of The Holy (instant recollections of working out the lyrics in my bedroom all those years back)….the way he stalked the stage moving from the rear to the front capturing every inch of drama of the simply masterful vocal performance Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down…Rock And Roll and looking over at the audience from our view high above the stage and seeing the sheer delight of the audience.

Photo Gary Foy/TBL

Then came the choir… oh yes the choir – one of the most moving segments of live performance I’ve ever had the privilege to witness. When he kicked in to the lyrics of In My Time Of Dying during the Twelve  Gates medley, well it was a moment of sheer magic -one of those moments nobody present will ever forget.

And then the finale of Goodnight…I’ll let Krys Jantzen relay his view from down the front.

‘’Highlights of the night from this vantage point were many, though it was probably seeing Robert up close during the moment the choir swelled near the conclusion of Goodnight. Caught off guard by the power of the choir you could see he was visibly overcome and for a moment looked like he was not going to be able to hold it together. Patty caught his eye and saw what was happening. Emotional stuff! Everyone in the front row could talk of nothing else when the house light went up. The power of music…’’

Indeed the power of the music …the power of this remarkable event. At the close Robert turned to acknowledge David Drummond and The London Oriana Choir. ‘’Goodnight very nice to be back here’’ was the parting words as this true Band Of Joy left the stage and the sounds of Harry J’s Liquidator boomed over the pa.

Suffice to say I’ve been privileged to witness some very memorable Robert Plant performances over the years. This Radio 2 Electric Proms event can take its place right up there with the most special of occasions spent in his company.

After the show I had a quick chat with Patty Griffin. Having been on the road since March with her own touring and then with Robert, Patty is looking forward to a little break after next weeks show’s. She told me how much she has enjoyed covering the Zep songs and mentioned that Going To California would be on her wish list of potential Zep numbers to perform. Also had a chat with two of the Earls Court DJ’s Bob Harris and Johnnie Walker and Jeff Dexter- legendary DJ who mce’d at many a Zep show including their appearance at The Roundhouse in November 9th 1968.

So ends an amazing week.  And a personal journey of witnessing Robert Plant live that began back in Febraury on a wet night in Abbey Road. The London oriana Choir were mighty impressive that night and in between watching them with Robert back then and again last night, well a whole new chapter in the career of Robert Plant has unfolded.

In my review of the Band Of Joy album back in August, I predicted that this would be the only sound that matters this autumn. For myself and thousands of other fans who have been lucky to catch this show –well that’s the way it’s been.

Manchester, Dublin and Belfast will be the next recipients of this astonishing act. I’m envious already but so thankful to have been in attendance at some of the most enjoyable Robert Plant performances of my long gig going career.

Band of Joy? Band of inspiration and then some…

Dave Lewis – October 30 2010

* Simon Mayo’s BBC Radio 2 Drivetime show which includes interviews with Robert, Patty and Buddy and yours truly can be heard on the Listen Again facility at

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b00vgb1s/Simon_Mayo_Drivetime_29_10_2010

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13 Comments »

  • Damian said:

    I was not able to listen to the concert until today and it struck me as a good but not great performance. Robert and Patti seemed off key at various points during the show. However, I await the TV broadcast to see if the minor audio flaws were overcome by the strength of the performance – after all 93% of all communication is non-verbal! The three phases of Robert’s career were well represented and reflected in the relative strengths of the performance. The Band of Joy material was by far the strongest as you would expect of the band who were its creators. The solo material seemed to lack the power of the originals with the opening song Down to the Sea being particularly insipid. As to the Zeppelin numbers, Robert seems to have become his own parody tribute band. For me, recasting classic songs in a new idiom misses the point and the impact of the originals. Would Robert ever recast any of the current album into a heavy metal format? I think not so why disrespect the Zeppelin originals? The highlight of the show for me was the sampling of In my Time of Dying during the Twelve Gates Medley which is closer to the original Jesus gonna make up my dyin’ bed by Josh White.

    PS: One tiny correction to the set list – Tangerine followed Misty Mountain Hop.

  • Kathy Urich said:

    Dave, your review as always is fantastic, Gary’s photo also very nice. I so wish I could have been there. Sounds very visceral, creating mood and emotion like all good music does.

  • Paul said:

    Colin Stenning – hear hear, well said.

  • rick said:

    rick…

    excelent post, keep it coming…

  • Colin Stenning said:

    Dave it was good to say hello again after 19 years, we’ll catch up on old “Our Price Records” days another time. I still owe you that pint (as you didn’t want to slur your words for Simon Mayo!). I managed to sell the spare ticket I ended up with to a very grateful German tourist. I was similar to Rob above and only bought tickets at the last minute as curious what my old Zep hero was up to.

    As a 50 year old who still enjoys getting down the front of the gig it was an awesome night and a great venue, however……….. whilst the choir was impressive and Jo Whiley looked pretty hot, I must say I’m not in the ‘Robert can do no wrong’ camp and after seeing a few of his solo outings I personally enjoyed the last time I saw him at Wolverhampton Civic Hall with Strange Sensation far more. This current band are good but by no means as great (in my opinion) as I’ve seen some reviews state.

    Oh well, no doubt in a couple of years Robert will have changed it all again and we’ll all offer our opinions then. Good luck with the writing.

  • caroline thompson said:

    Isaw Robert and the Band of Joy at the Forum and then travelled to Newcastle to see them at the Sage.The band seem to raise their game with each performance and listening to the Radio2 concert I too felt very emotional.Robert is an incredible performer and just gets better and better.My musical tastes have broadened thanks to this man and long may he continue bringing us new music

  • Richard and Sandy Clayton said:

    It was nice to meet you in the pub beforehand. As I said we’d been lucky to catch the Liverpool gig the week before. That makes two of the greatest performances that I have witnessed in just over a week. Like you said there is something about this band that you can’t put your finger on. It shouldn’t be so great but it is. They just gel. The Oriana Choir were inspired and provided a spine-tingling finale. Truly magical.

  • Steve Ingham said:

    Stunning concert. This was my personal favourite of Robert’s ex Zeppelin, Page & Plant outings. For me this was all about superb musicianship and wonderful vocal performances. The Band Of Joy are just what the name suggests. And whilst I’m in a mood for compliments a big thank you to Dave Lewis for this site I really hope that the surviving members of Led Zeppelin appreciate what a fantastic job you do on behalf of all their fans and on behalf of all of them.

  • Andreas said:

    absolutely awesome night. great fun in the pub before and after, glad to make Jez’s day with my spare freebie…

    absolutely wonderful performance and having the choir join in at the end was just a mindblowing bonus. my only (and very small) criticism is the length of the set. after elton’s monster set of nearly 3 hours i was hoping for an extended set from Lord Percy as well.

    a few more songs with the choir would have certainly offended no one, but saying that who am i to argue. that was my 3rd BOJ gig in under 2 months…..a very special and intimate night in mayfair, a fantastic full set the next day at the forum and now to top it off yesterday’s electric proms extravaganza…..and hopefully many more to come.

  • Rob Whitmarsh said:

    I only purchased my ticket 2 days before this show (production release tickets I guess) as I was a litle unsure about this part of Robert’s musical journey. Still, you’ve got to take a chance in life sometimes.

    Oh wow … I’m so glad I went. Dave’s review says it all; a night of pure magic.

    And what musicianship – this is a fantastic band. In the studio they are perfectly fine, but performing live is the setting they were truly meant to be appreciated in. Does that remind you of another band we’ve all heard of?

    Ps. I spotted you at the TBL meet-up Dave, but at the time it was a bit too busy to say hello, so I went to the venue instead. Hopefully next time.
    Rob.

  • Jez said:

    Dave a great review of a great night. It was a privilege to witness such an event. Thank you for all you do. I look forward to the next TBL meet.

  • William Hemphill said:

    Well Done Dave – Looking Forward To Seeing Planty & Band Of Joy In Belfast Next Week – First Time I Haven’t Had To Travel To See Him….Really Looking Forward To His First Appearance In Belfast In Nearly 40 Years! I Think Everyone Knows The Last Time ! \m/

  • Steve Jennings said:

    listening to the show last night here in Malmo, Sweden, I can honestly say that the performance of ‘Bid You Goodnight’ together with The London Oriana Choir brought tears to my eyes. I’m so pleased that I caught The Band Of Joy show in Stockholm 2 weeks ago. My question now; “where does he go from here?” 🙂

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