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Home » Robert Plant

Academy, Bristol

28 October 2002 2,931 views No Comment

Setlist: Hey Joe/ Four Sticks/Down To The Sea/Morning Dew/Going To California/Girl From The North Country-In The Mood/Ramble On/7+7 Is/Fixin’ To Die/A House Is Not A Motel/Tall Cool One/BIGLY
Encores: 1) Darkness Darkness/WLL 2) Song To The Siren

Set-List and Ticket scan, plus this Review:Jonathan Taylor
I just checked my thesaurus, and it simply doesn’t have enough superlatives for this gig. Despite the fact that the Bristol audience took a little longer to get warmed up than their counterparts in Cardiff earlier in the tour, the Strange Sensation powered their way through a magnificent performance. Did I say ‘powered’? It doesn’t do them justice; the band were, by turns, dynamic, subtle, aggressive and emotive, and there wasn’t a single song tonight that lacked a full-on Sensation treatment. Even though I still have reservations about this version of “Hey Joe”, there was no denying its strength as the opener, and we barely had time to draw breath before a whirling-dervish “Four Sticks”. “Down To The Sea” was one of the highlights of the evening, closer now to its original rendition than ever, and better for it. “Ramble On” filled the gap left by the absence of “Celebration Day”, and was followed by a breathlessly urgent “7+7 Is”, making a welcome return to the set. “Motel” was possibly the best I’ve ever seen it played (oh for Arthur Lee to get up and jam along to this version!), and the Elvis-dedicated “Tall Cool One” rocks almost as hard as the 93 version….

And if I thought the set itself was of epic proportions, the encores were simply stunning. And its time for my now customary apology to Skin for misjudging him at Liverpool. He made the encore songs his, from the impassioned break in “Darkness”, through a devastating “WLL”, to the achingly beautiful guitar work that illuminated “Siren”.

Yeah, “Whole Lotta Love”…just when you thought this hoary old chestnut couldn’t be taken any further, the Strange Sensation are pushing it, pulling it, stretching it, and discovering untapped potential in this definitive rock song. Tonight it strayed happily and potently into Buffalo Springfield territory, Skin evincing Stills on “Bluebird” in his playing.

The captain of the good ship Strange Sensation himself was at his best, both vocally and in his ability to connect with an audience. Robert Plant has charisma to spare, and is still possessed of the best voice in contemporary music. If you closed your eyes on a few occasions tonight and just listened to that voice….you were temporarily back in the mid-1970’s, such is its enduring quality.

I know, I’m gushing, but this gig, and Cardiff before it, were nothing short of inspirational. Last night, in the dark, sweaty confines of Bristol Academy, The Strange Sensation made me feel glad to be alive, and for that I am extraordinarily grateful.
This from Jonathan Wood
The first review was absolutely spot on, we all agreed that this was one of their best gigs. Just to add that we knew it was going to be special as all the bands families were in attendance. Charlie and John Baggott, both coming from Bristol. Band members were all over the place, Skin was just sat in the reception area having a pint. Clive was busy coming and going backstage, along with Charlie. John Baggott came out to greet friends at the front of the stage. Arthur Brown did his usual high standard set with the Strange Sensations, even Robert, appearing on a balcony at the side of the stage to catch his set. The whole band seemed to be making an extra effort tonight. Justin was just wild on stage, and Skin, well he just played out of his skin.

One interesting comment from Robert was that The Strange Sensations were going to be around for a very long time. Do you think that means no reunion tour?

To be honest, after this performance I think I would rather pass on a reunion ( as long as Jimmy gets going again), why can’t Jimmy just get some guys together and do this sort of stuff.
More from Mike Lewis
After 2 excellent reviews by the “two Jons” much has been said already. When it was announced that Skin would replace the multi talented Porl, I felt some trepidation before the Liverpool gig earlier in the year. Would he be right for “The Sensations”?. At Liverpool he was very good. At Bristol he was unsurpassable.! As Robert commented, the change in line-up has taken the band in a whole new direction. A very positive one indeed!
They play now as if they mean it. and are here as Robert commented “For a long time yet”, thereby throwing doubt on the mega stadium reunion shenanigans!!. Why regress when you can progress within this band. Both performance and sound were excellent. Easily the best Sensations experience so far.
And the inclusion of Arthur Brown -“God of Hellfire” as support ensured that I did not escape to the bar. Astounding performance. Thanks Arthur.

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