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Robert Plant Presents…….Sensational Space Shifters – WOMAD Festival, Wiltshire

29 July 2012 8,920 views 9 Comments

Photo by Simon Partington for TBL

Robert Plant Presents The Sensational Space Shifters: Womad Festival  –  Open Air Stage , Charlton Park, Malmesbury Wiltshire – July 29th 2012.

Set List: Fixin’ To Die/Tin Pan Valley/44/Friends/Spoonful/The Enchanter/Bron Yr Aur Stomp/Black Dog/Down To The Sea/I’m Your Witchdoctor/Who Do You Love -Whole Lotta Love- Steal Away –Bury My Body /Encore – Gallows Pole.

Plant’s Roots Wows Womad Crowd:

There may have been doubters after Robert Plant’s London Forum show, but the crowd at Womad certainly got it, and the Sensational Space Shifters responded with a show of controlled dynamism and power.

Patty Griffin was absent for this show (she had commitments in the US),  and there were new Space Shifter set list additions of The Enchanter and Down To The Sea. Overall the show was  closer in feel to the Strange Sensation era.

Plant prowled the stage relaxed and at home – wearing the same stripped shirt as seen at the Forum and a black hoody for the first few songs, his hair tied back in a ponytail.

Fears that he has lost his ‘’Plantness’’ were utterly unfounded as he connected with the crowd , cracking jokes about Peter Gabriel being a cheat at tennis and how they were going to play Gallows Pole Hawkwind style.

Fires were burning hot at the heat of the show, with blasts of rock conjuring up the golden god days of old, particularly on Tin Pan Valley where Plant’s vocals stretched effortlessly into upper register.

The set was tempered with the type of reworked versions of Zep classics fans should have come to expect by now: moody, dark psychedelia replacing the strut and theremin of yore.

There were plenty of smiles and lots of eye contact between Robert, Justin and Skin in particular as the band realised it was all working. They returned for an unexpected encore of Gallows Pole after it was announced proceedings were over.

As the band bid farewell to the ecstatic crowd, Robert summed it all up…’’Ain’t it great to have fun’’

Indeed it is –  and was….

Simon Cadman for TBL

Photo by Simon Partington for TBL

Photo by Simon Cadman for TBL

Photo by Simon Cadman for TBL

Photo by Simon Partington for TBL

Photo by Simon Partington for TBL

Photo by Simon Partington for TBL

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9 Comments »

  • Olivia said:

    I agree with you completely Carolyn. No matter what their personal relationship may be, I totally prefer Robert solo on stage and HE does seem more free and happy and “soaring” that way without having to constantly look over to “cue” her as to when to come in. It’s kinda tedious to watch. I respect her music and her fans but Robert sounds much better without her or anyone else accompanying him for that matter. I was beginning to worry that he didn’t have “the power” anymore but he most certainly does and let’s face it – Robert sings on a totally different “plane” than anyone else. I really hope this continues.

  • Carolyn said:

    Womad rocked and Robert was fabulous. Oh yes, he is back. Look out! Did anyone hear him laughing and joking with his band between sets? Very refreshing, and almost as if a great weight has been lifted off of him. Not a fan of him singing with Patty Griffin, although i do like some of her work, but not with Robert. Hope the future says as it was at Womad. Bravo, Mr. Plant!!

  • Olivia said:

    In addition to what I previously said about the amazing Womad show, Robert’s got his “sexy” back!!!! Everyone check out the BBC Radio broadcast as posted on Robert’s official website. His singing is back to his wild, soaring, smoldering style that we all love. I really hope he continues with the guys in this band and Juldeh brings so much exotic flavor! Just can’t get enough of this.

  • Olivia said:

    Just listened to the BBC Radio 3 Womad broadcast and WOW. Robert rocked this thing! Whole Lotta Love, Black Dog, Witchdoctor, “Who Do You Love”, etc., etc. EVERY one ROCKED! “THE” Robert Plant is back!

  • André Cruz said:

    Maybe his best show since the O2 reunion. “Singing alone” without nobody. The Enchanter version was outstanding ! That americana tribute idea was long gone that night and I really would like to see his show here in Brazil this october as media was saying. I saw the Band Of Joy last year in Nimes bit really would like to see a show with tihis Mighty Rearanger atmosphere tour by Strange Sensations

  • Jess said:

    Kevin,
    Patty played the Newport Folk Festival the day before WOMAD and there was some pretty nasty weather afterward that would have prevented her being able to fly back in time assuming that was the original plan. She is scheduled to play with them in Mississippi and Birmingham though. Sounds like both her set and the WOMAD set went well though so everyone wins.

  • Gina said:

    WOW. The Womad crowd really lucked out. Guess the party’s over though. Back to “rockabilly”.

  • Simon Partington said:

    Hi Dave, I started the evening next to Simon Cadman, we had quite a chat before I had an issue with security and my camera, upshot wss I was given pit access for phtography. Just back from the festy now, unloading the car etc but I should be able to email you some pics tonight if you want some for the site, can you email me if you do ?

  • Kevin said:

    I don’t understand why Patty Griffin was absent when her music contributes to world music. Maybe her set doesn’t quite fit with SSS, but she certainly could have done a set of her own! I listened to it on BBC3 online (not the SSS), but the Cajun band….

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