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ROBERT PLANT UK TOUR FEEDBACK /WOLVES GIG UPDATE/ROBERT AND SSS FOR SOUTH AMERICAN FESTIVAL DATES/JIMMY PAGE INTERVIEWS/DL DIARY UPDATE

21 November 2014 1,557 views 3 Comments

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Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters – Cambridge Corn Exchange  -November 20th 2014:

”I don’t need Bluegrass – we have green grass here”

Setlist;Friends/Spoonful/Turn It Up/Going To California/Let The Four Winds Blow/Rainbow/

What Is And What Should Never Be/No Place To Go/Babe I’m Gonna Leave You/Little Maggie/

Fixin’ To Die/You Shook me – I Just Want To Make Love To You-Whole Lotta Love-Who Do You Love

Encores; Poor Howard/Rock And Roll

Just back from another excellent night in the company of the Sensational Space Shifters. It was good to catch the show outside of London – the provincial surroundings making for a very relaxed environment. This extended to the atmosphere on stage, Robert appearing extremely upbeat and informal and it also allowed the audience to easily engage with him. That said, it was a vibrant performance perhaps even more so than the Roundhouse last week.

Taking to the stage initially with hair tide back, the singer was on it from the start. Turn It Up was an early highlight and is proving to be a real stand out from the album. My balcony view (from where the sound was excellent throughout) afforded the opportunity to really latch onto the synergy of the band – drummer Dave Smith really impressed – his unorthodox freeform jazz rhythms really lighting up proceedings, notably on the surprise inclusion of Let The Four Winds Blow (note to self – time to reappraise the Mighty ReArranger album).

It was also easy to spot the pure musical chemistry of the players with Skin overlaying the tougher guitar parts against John Baggott’s swirling keys and samples and Billy Fuller’s steadfast bass lines.

As the set progressed, Going To California and What is And What Should Never Be got the required audience response, the latter sounding typically playful and I really enjoyed Rainbow tonight – on a cold English November evening, it revived recent summer TV memories of Robert at Glastonbury and on the BBC One show. Juldeh came into his own for the No Place To Go jam as did Justin Adams for Fixin’ To Die and it was pleasing to hear lines from You Shook Me and I Just Want To Make Love To You in the Whole Lotta Love hybrid.

”I don’t need Bluegrass? We have green grass here ..fuck ’em!” was one of many Plant quips during the show.

Encores – a superb delivery of Poor Howard was a stark reminder of just what an impressive album lullaby …and The Ceaseless Roar really is – they cruised through this with effortless ease….wonderful stuff.

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That old folk song Rock And Roll sent the crowd home well satisfied and I had a wry smile at the fact that this number was also sung by Robert when I saw him sing live for the first time almost 43 years to the day.

”Take care. There’s a lot of cyclists around” was Robert’s final parting advice – heeded by Cliff as we drove out of town and back to Bedford.

Next stop Wolverhampton…the Ceaseless Roar continues unabated and most impressively…

Dave Lewis – November 21st, 2014.

STOP PRESS : Wolverhampton Civic Theatre update: Saturday November 22nd 2014…

Bathing in the afterglow of the simply fantastic Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters gig last night in Wolverhampton -just as good as it gets – from the home coming Friday night atmosphere though to a simply captivating performance, jokes about Tom Jones, happy birthday sung to Maureen and it all happening 43 years to the day I first saw Robert perform live with Led Zeppelin at the Empire Pool Wembley in 1971. Something I mentioned to him briefly afterwards and which he duly called Maureen over to tell her as that would have been the night of her birthday back then. ”we were 23 years old!” he laughed. All in all, a very special night – and pretty life affirming in my scheme of things…he still holds the (electric and acoustic) magic..(DL)

Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters – UK tour round up:

The feedback from the batch of UK gigs Robert and SSS have been undertaking this past week has been unanimously favourably – as with the recent album, Robert is receiving some of the best reviews of recent years. Here’s a couple of views from long time TBL contributors John Parkin and Michael Scullion:

Robert Plant/SSS – Hull City Hall November 14th, 2014

Setlist;Friends/Spoonful/Turn It Up/Going To California/Embrace Another Fall/Rainbow/

What Is And What Should Never Be/No Place To Go/Babe I’m Gonna Leave You/Little Maggie/

Fixin’ To Die/I Just Want To Make Love To You-Whole Lotta Love-Who Do You Love

Encore; A Stolen Kiss/Rock And Roll

As the man himself once said “It’s been a long time” and,aside from an appearance at Cropredy 2008 singing “Battle Of Evermore”, this is the first time I’ve seen a full Robert show since 2001. So to say I was looking forward to it was a bit of an understatement!

The sold out crowd was buzzing and when the opening chords of “Friends” struck up and the man strolled on I knew we were in for a treat.

The setlist was a nicely divided between songs from the new album,Zeppelin classics and the blues tunes that Robert heard all those years ago.

Highlights for me were “Turn It Up” and “Little Maggie” from the new album and a stunning “Babe’I’m Gonna Leave You”.

Robert seems to be really enjoying himself . He’s relaxed and chatty between songs  and the band are firing on all cylinders. Special mention for guitarist Skin Tyson who’s lovely acoustic work on the aforementioned “Babe” was a particular stand out.

The main set ends with “The Love Trilogy” (see setlist above,I think I may be the only one that calls it that!) and we’re treated to an encore of “A Stolen Kiss” and (what else?) “Rock And Roll”.

Another great evening in the company of Mr Plant and friends has come to an end.

John Parkin

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Robert Plant & SSS – Newcastle O2 Academy – Tuesday November 18th, 2014

In August 2013 when Robert joined Twitter I posed the question on a Q & A “Ultimately what are the things that keep driving you forward” …His answer..”Unexpected adventures musically, emotionally & geographically” I suppose at The O2 Academy in Newcastle I saw that pan out in front of my eyes during a truly great show

I have a real preference for this venue…..the last twice in the region Robert has played at The Sage in Gateshead with SS & BOJ, only about half a mile apart but lightyears of difference in terms of  atmosphere….mainly due to the fact that its predominantly standing here

The set opened with “Friends” …a really dramatic version and right from the off you could see that Plant was right on his game, next came “Spoonful”….bit of a sound problem for Skin…the problem being there was no sound coming from his guitar for the first half of the song – but the band just played on.  It was refreshing to see an obvious major issue just being ignored in fact almost enjoyed as they just laughed it off.  Skin was pretty much teased for the rest of the night…Im sure he saw the funny side?

Having listened to and read a fair few interviews with Robert in recent times Ive noticed he often makes reference to the amount of fun he’s having with SSS and as the gig progressed that exactly what I saw.  His enjoyment is there and clear for all to see, the looks/smiles/giggles onstage between the band – although there is obviously a fine array of musical ability at work and “the job” is taken seriously there is always room for humour.  Roberts one liners between songs were right on the money – tongue firmly in the cheek at all times….he teased the audience during a slightly timid response with a “Cmon you old ba***rds”!! – at another point the dry ice got a bit carried away and he quipped “I didn’t know Judas Priest were on”….there were others, those things for me are just great moments to witness

The band are just superb….the JuJu gang over in the corner are not just great musicians but full value for entertainment….Justin cracks me up – the rhythm section are just outstanding, as Robert has said the live mix is very “bottom end” and that is most definitely the case…..sometimes that may have pushed Skin back a little but that could easily have been our position in the hall

So, the set was a pretty standard run thru of what has been the set throughout the tour so far, I thought there were many stand out moments….”Rainbow” for me was the highlight of the new material, although all were brilliant – for me he could’ve played the whole album….content with 4 tracks but “A Stolen Kiss” didn’t make an appearance tonight

As always a healthy array of Zep material…again all well played throughout the tour – “Friends” is a truly great opener, “What Is & What Should Never Be” was also extremely well received….for me THE moment of the show came early on with “Going To California”…still to this day has the hairs at the back of the neck on end……maybe even a tear in the eye..

The main set ended with “Whole Lotta Love” and the single encore was a driving version of “Rock & Roll”….met with great acclaim from the masses, I guess an essential part of it all but not really for me

So once again It was an absolute pleasure to spend time in his company to witness to another great performance…..maybe the best – he’s come on canny since I first saw him in that field with one or two mates just over 35 years ago

..”Unexpected adventures musically, emotionally & geographically”.. You Bet !!!!

Michael Scullion – 19/11/2014

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Robert Plant and The Sensational Space Shifters for South America festival dates:

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters will perform at this year’s Lollapalooza Chile (March 14 & 15), Argentina (March 21 & 22) and Brazil (March 28 & 29) alongside headliner and friend Jack White, Calvin Harris and Kings of Leon.

See link at :

http://www.robertplant.com/#news/lollapalooza-brazil-chile-and-argentina

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Jimmy Page Recent Interviews:

Good interview via Music Radar see link at

http://www.musicradar.com/news/guitars/jimmy-page-talks-a-life-in-guitars-609735/2

..and Cuepoint:

https://medium.com/cuepoint/jimmy-turns-the-page-e212c83d5604

Jimmy on CBS news:

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/jimmy-page-on-led-zeppelins-enduring-rock-legacy/

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Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters Wolverhampton TBL Pre Gig Meet:

For those attending the Robert Plant show at Wolverhampton Civic Hall the location for the TBL pre gig meet will be at Yates Bar which is on the corner of North Street and Queen Square near the venue – look forward to seeing all that can make it along.

http://www.weareyates.co.uk/wolverhampton/

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DL Dairy Update:

 Robert Plant Back to back gigs…19 occasions of being in the company of Robert Plant on vocals on consecutive nights and counting..

Bristol 1

As I was feeling less than 100% earlier in the week, I was not sure of catching more than the Cambridge Robert Plant-Sensational Space Shifters show but I decided to do the Cambridge Corn Exchange on Thursday and then Wolverhampton Civic on Friday – back to back gigs for me for the first time in a good while – it had me thinking of the occasions I’ve seen Robert sing live on back to back occasions and of the 114 times I’ve seen him perform live, there have been 19 previous occasions where I’ve attended consecutive live performances of his – so Thursday and Friday will be the 20th..

Here’s the full listing:

May 17 1975 Led Zeppelin – Earls Court Arena London
May 18 1975 Led Zeppelin – Earls Court Arena London

May 23 1975 Led Zeppelin – Earls Court Arena London
May 24 1975 Led Zeppelin – Earls Court Arena London
May 25 1975 Led Zeppelin – Earl’s Court Arena London

July 2 1980 Led Zeppelin – Eisstadion Mannheim
July 3 1980 Led Zeppelin – Eisstadion Mannheim

May 26 1981 Honeydrippers – Limits Club Sheffield
May 27 1981 Honeydrippers – Bradford University

December 12 1983 Robert Plant – Odeon Hammersmith London
December 13 1983 Robert Plant – Odeon Hammersmith London

April 14 1988 Robert Plant -Town And Country Club Kentish Town London
April 15 1988 Robert Plant – Astoria Theatre London

June 4 1990 Robert Plant – Odeon Hammersmith London
June 5 1990 Robert Plant – Hammersmith Odeon London

January 8 1991 Robert Plant Town And Country Club London
January 9 1991 Robert Plant Town And Country Club London
January 10 1991 Robert Plant Town And Country Club London

August 24 1994 Page & Plant MTV Unledded filming London Studios
August 25 1994 Plant & Page MTV Unledded filming London Studios

April 1995 Page & Plant Meadowlands Arena New Jersey USA
April 1995 Page & Plant Meadowlands Arena New Jersey USA

July 12 1995 Page & Plant SEC Glasgow
July 13 1995 Page & Plant Sheffield Arena

July 15 1995 Page & Plant Coliseum St Austell
July 16 1995 Page & Plant Arts Centre Poole

July 22 1995 Page & Plant NEC Birmingham
July 23 1995 Page & Plant NEC Birmingham

July 25 1995 Page & Plant Wembley Arena
July 26 1995 Page & Plant Wembley Arena

March 5 1998 Page & Plant Bostanci Centre Istanbul
March 6 1998 Page & Plant Bostanci Centre Istanbul

March 25 1998 Page & Plant Shepherds Bush Empire London
March 26 1998 Page & Plant Top Of The Pops TV recording Elstree
March 27 1998 Page & Plant TV recording TFI Friday Riverside Studios London Hammersmith

November 3 1998 Page & Plant Evening News Arena Manchester
November 4 1998 Page & Plant Wembley Arena
November 5 1998 Page & Plant Wembley Arena

December 9 2007 Led Zeppelin Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Rehearsal 02 Arena
December 10 2007 Led Zeppelin Ahmet Ertegun Tribute 02 Arena

September 1 2010 Band Of Joy Mayfair One London
September 2 2010 Band Of Joy HMV Forum London

To be continued on Friday night…oh and as mentioned, Friday night will mark 43 years to the very night I first saw him sing live at the Led Zeppelin Empire Pool Electric Magic show in 1971 …more cause for celebration…

Meanwhile..

Back here another week of contrasting emotions. Last Saturday I was at the Olympia Record Fair yesterday but did not feel 100% all day. Crashed to bed when I got in and had a bit of a panic attack and was then not at all well in the night. I think something indicated I needed a rest. I have managed to rally a bit since then and certainly feel stronger than I did in the early part of the week. That old black dog keeps rearing it’s head and I have to deal with it as best I can. Thanks for many kind comments on TBL Facebook.

earls court november 15

On the way to the Olympia Fair Saturday, Tom and I had a walk by this iconic building which sadly is due to make way for redevelopment in the area next year…scene of course of the legendary five Led Zeppelin concerts in May 1975 which I was lucky enough to attend..…blimey that was some week…there was no time or reason to feel less than 100% back then… but then I was only 18. Have to say I was  feeling every one of the 39 years since then earlier in the week. Tom and I were of course at this location on May 24th 1975 and here we are again.

It was also good to see Cliff ‘’the Zep ticket man’’ Hilliard at the fair – who is now taking on the mantle of Cliff ‘’the Jimmy Page session man’’ collector – Cliff picked up  a very nice US promo Cliff picked up on the day of the Bobbie Graham single Zoom Widge and Wag co-written and featuring Jimmy. Also good to amongst others , Graeme Hutchinson, Keith Creek, Paul Stevenson, Patrick Cullen, John Gunne and Phil Tattershall and ERic Wood -Thompson .  Phil purchased a four CD best of UK psychedelic box set which had amongst the track s She Walks Through The Fair’ by The Jim Sullivan Sound, a 1966 single. This is a sitar arrangement of the traditional track White Summer/Black Mountain Side was based on. My own retail vinyl therapy included a very nice ten inch picture disc bootleg pressing Stairway To LA Forum 1972.

Ahead now is more targeting of lapsed TBL subscribers – if you are reading this and you are a past subscriber now is the time to re subscribe – all previous TBL subscriptions ended with issue 37…so do it now..

Three’s also one or two other projects to begin assessing into the new year – more on all that soon.

Playlist wise it’s been plenty of Robert Plant with the Ceaseless Roar on and as mentioned – Mighty ReArranger  is one ripe for re assessment. This weekend I’ll also be pulling out some suitable late 1971 Led Zeppelin recordings to mark the events of 43 years ago when the magic first came alive.

In a period of intense activity for both Jimmy and Robert in terms of talking and performing , it’s more than evident that magic remains ever intact…

DL  – November 21st, 2014.

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YouTube clips:

Robert Plant and The Sensational Space  Shifters Glasgow:

Glasgow Encores:

Until next time…

Keep listening, keep reading…

Have a great weekend

Dave Lewis/Gary Foy – November 21st , 2014.

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3 Comments »

  • Miguel said:

    Your comment about “She Walks Through The Fair’ by The Jim Sullivan Sound led me to look it up on You Tube, which led me to finding this wonderful piece Fairport Convention – She Moves Through The Fair (1969) with the exquisite Sandy Denny on vocals. WOW. Thanks Dave, this find, is going to lead to more treasures and I am grateful.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb43-Q70olM

  • Bob Flux said:

    Delighted to hear that RP & SSS are getting such good reviews. I recall the RP/SSS show I attended at the Kentish Town Forum in June (?) 2012 and whilst I enjoyed it far more than the Band of Joy show I’d seen the year or two before I remember thinking that Plant didn’t seem himself at the show and that the show itself was one of some pretty good highs but also of a number of fairly dirgey, let-down moments – a thought that I recall was borne out by a number of similar comments on the TBL website and elsewhere. Very glad to see that any shortcomings of the unit seem to have been thought through/worked around and that they are proving themselves to be an excellent successor to Strange Sensation. Here’s hoping that they go from strength to strength.

    Would love to see Norman Hale from the infamous “Jersey Jam” get up and play with them – what an excellent meld that would be!

  • Lorraine Robertson said:

    Thanks for the great reviews Dave and Gary. Its so exciting to see Robert and the SSS. I’ve seen them many times and each time they get even better and better. Glasgow was absolutely brilliant and the crowd just loved every second of the show and made that quite clear – the cheer went up when Robert appeared and I thought the roof would come off !!

    Robert was stunning and each member of the band is on top form – magical.

    Dave – I truly think that this band can be described as tight but loose !! I certainly think so.

    Enjoy the next show !

    Lorraine x

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