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Robert Plant and The Band Of Joy – Symphony Hall, Birmingham

27 October 2010 8,228 views 11 Comments

All photos by Gary Foy/TBL

A LIFE AFFIRMING OCCASION

Set List:

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

Following a well received set by Justin Adams  and Juldeh Camara, Robert Plant with The Band Of Joy took to the stage for a triumphant return to his Midlands homeland.

‘’Welcome to another peculiar evening with The Band Of Joy in the second city’’ he told the enthusiastic if slightly sedate audience in the plush Symphony Hall. An early saunter through Angel Dance set the scene for a relaxed but captivating performance. House of Cards was an early stand out –the touching folk lament sung with a forlorn vulnerability that only heightened the sheer class of his vocal. Robert unfolded a tale of seeing some of his blues legend heroes at Birmingham Town Hall brought over by promoter Fritz Rau (who later would handle Zep’s Over Europe tour in 1980) before moving into the Twelve Gates To The City medley.

Tangerine was an absolute peerless performance sparking emotional Earls Court retro thoughts for this particular writer. For Darrell Scott’s solo piece Robert was content to move to the back chiming in some effective backing vocals. Monkey carried all the intensity that has made it such a stand out number on the tour with party a perfect vocal foil and Buddy grinding out a quite ferocious noise. Houses of The Holy was a total joy and You Can’t Buy My Love was preceded by an oblique Radio Two reference at Ken Bruce. Main set closer Gallows Pole was an exercise in tension building restraint. The encores of Harm’s Swift Way and Rock And Roll brought the audience to its feet. –Robert even inserted a tongue in cheek cry of ‘’Suck it’’ at the finale. It was evident throughout how the show has moved on from a few weeks back – it now seems a more cohesive collective, with each musician more aware of the respective role they play.

In the crowd there was plenty of Robert’s family and friends including Deborah Bonham with mum Joan, ex wife Maureen and original Band Of Joy guitarist Kevyn Gammond.

Before the gig it was great to catch up with a whole bunch of people including Gary and Debbie Davies, Krys Jantzen, Michaela and Jez,Dave and Cindy Roberts over from Canada, Richard Gale , Ian Gould, Steve Jones (the man of TFI Friday fame),Lorraine and Michael Robertson, Alan and Emily Johnson and Pete Gozzard and many others. Thanks to all who came and said hi- and Gary Foy of course for getting us there and sharing more than a few laughs – the perfect cure for the flue symptoms I was throwing off.

To summarise: it’s actually quite difficult  to define exactly what The Band Of Joy posses that makes them so special, but it’s undeniable that they have it. It just works on so many levels – from the tight collective harmonies through to the democratic strategy that lets all the musicians shine.

And at the centre of it all is Robert Plant. Totally at one with himself and his music, as demonstrated tonight with a vocal performance of absolute class.  On a number levels, my 103rd occasion of staring up at that Shure microphone  was an appropriately life affirming occasion.

A simply wonderful night.

Dave Lewis  –  October 27 2010

…..

All roads now lead to The Roundhouse for the prestigious Radio Two Electric Proms tomorrow night – with the input of the London Oriana Choir, this looks like being a very special night.

It’s broadcast on Radio Two from 8pm with Simon Mayo’s show previewing the gig beforehand live from the Roundhouse on his show between 5pm to 8pm.

In amongst picking up tickets for the gig in the wristband policy being operated ,we aim to be in  The Enterprise, 2 Haverstock Hill, Camden, London, NW3 2BL( 1 minute walk from Chalk Farm Tube Station and minutes away from the venue,) at some point late afternoon. We look forward to seeing all that can make it. (DL/GF)

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11 Comments »

  • Mike Lewis said:

    Dave & Gary

    Spotted you both from the Balcony. Some gigs really hit the spot. This one did. The sound was excellent. The band were majestic. The man has reinvented himself. Jimmy take note!

  • Ian said:

    Hi Dave

    Great to meet up with you again. A superb evening! Please pass on my thanks to Gary for our chat and his tales of Japan ’96!

    You did a great interview tonight on Radio 2 before the Electric Proms show. Spot on – it came across really well.

    Look forward to meeting up again soon.

    Regards

    Ian

  • John Booth said:

    Went to the gig on Wednesday i thought it was one of the best plant solo performances i have ever seen i have some of the band of joy bootlegs but they really dont do some of these numbers justice when you hear them live superb night

    On the way in to Birmingham who was the zep nutter who went past me by the Royal mail sorting office in the black range rover with the reg

    0003 ZEP the four symbols underneath the Zep bit and a picture of the zep 3 album cover on the back door!! I think he may have been going to see Mr Plant

  • Anno Brandreth said:

    just a quick note:the setlist seems to have settled down now,but in Liverpool the band played ‘Another tribe’ from Mighty Re-arranger,in place of the Townes Van Zandt song, possibly due to the fact that three members of the touring band where in the house,with Skin around prior to the Cast tour…

  • andrew R said:

    Dave-cant agree more. Monkey the defining moment of the whole performance in Cardiff up untill its arrival i thought good “but” not exceptional.Then it all caught fire- nearly burnt the house down!

  • David Johnson said:

    Dave, I was looking out for you to say hello, I was on second row BB17 & 18.Great show and got some good pics. My wife enjoyed it more than I thought she would although I too have been watching Robert since @ 1969. First show was Dagenham Roundhouse sitting on the front row with feet on the stage,the music still excites me and I think it’s good to see the different incarnations.

  • Andy said:

    Robert at ST DAVIDS HALL Cardiff,Great concert.Some great moments,and a reference to Stairway(bustle in the hedgerow)while intoducing Trangarine.
    Patty Griffin sounds great and is the perfect match for Roberts voice.
    We even had girls running on the stage,just like the old days.
    Support by Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara fantastic,I’ve already bought the CD.
    Roll on the next gig!

  • Swin said:

    Dave , nice to see you again, great gig in brum, hope it’s not another fifteen years ! Best wishes swin.

  • Pete Leigh said:

    Dave,
    i went to the birmingham gig, first time seen band of joy with the good lady. Turns out she enjoyed it more than me.Loved it in patches, didnt enjoy tangerine yearn to hear it like it should be done-if it aint broke dont fix it.Looked down your list of gigs and enjoyed the moment pickin out all the ones iv attended also, great great memories. Alas all of mine were 85 wembley gig onwards.
    Pete

  • aae13 said:

    Hey Dave, a great night, a real treat. Emily

  • Dawn said:

    Great review and photos, Dave and Gary – thanks for sharing these.

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