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Canterbury Fayre, Mount Ephraim Gardens, Hernhill, Kent

23 August 2003 3,025 views No Comment

If I ever get Lucky/Four sticks/Morning dew/7+7 is/Going to California/Girl from the north country/Gallows pole/Hey Joe/Ramble On/Tall cool one/Babe I’m gonna leave you
Encore: Darkness Darkness/Whole Lotta Love

This from Hideki Konno:
There were a good range in the audience from new fans (pre-teen kids, teenage Zep fans some of whom, I guess, were American), old fans with various T-shirts (there was a middle-aged oriental guy, looked Chinese to me, with Zep T) to ordinary festival goers.
Despite the loss of his beloved team’s big game (Wolves lost 4-0 at home) – Roy Harper, who was on
before Robert, spotted him at the edge of the stage and made a joke that “He is in mourning because his team lost.”. Roy’s stage was very enjoyable, too.
Robert was in a good mood on stage in the region he once said he wouldn’t do, i.e. the South East. (He told me this in December 1999 at Regis Hall.)

The band was tight with solid rhythm section at the back (good communication going between the two) and front providing entertainment (Adams amused us with his few funny moves). Robert’s voice was in very good condition, one of the best I’ve experienced live. It was just fantastic from the guy who has just had his 55th birthday.

I should also mention that there was a performance by Deborah Bonham earlier in the day, too. I didn’t know what to expect but she turned out to be an excellent Janis Joplin type singer who definitely had a family resemblance to her brother (the looks and love for drink–she had a glass of whisky (JD, I believe) as her on-stage beverage). She dedicated one of the songs to her
sister in law, Pat Bonham, who apparently was there at the Fayre. With Bonhams and Harpers, I bet Robert had a good party afterwards. (I wonder if he stayed over to see Arthur Lee.) I hope he’ll be coming back to this neck of woods again. (He can stay at my place if he wishes, LOL.)
From Seamus Mullan:
Just back from the concert – it was a great show – very laid back atmosphere, with families all there enjoying the show. Pity it was only 1.5 hours but it topped the Hammersmith concert, I feel.
From Mark Williams:
Having seen Plant solo on every Tour since ’83,Priory of Brion, and with his current musical foil the Strange Sensation (5 times), it was pleasing to see Robert & his band put in an energetic, almost fun performance at the Canterbury Fayre(especially the banter with old chum Roy Harper,who as usual was brilliant by the way).
Set highlights (apart from the obvious renditions of Zep tunes)were the opening ‘If I ever get lucky’ & ‘Girl from the north country’.

Robert’s new bassist, “David Baddiel” (Billy Fletcher is his real name: TBL/Webman) was o.k actually, seems to move more than the son-in-law predecessor! However, seems strange that with a set containing greater than 50% of Zep numbers, and with Plant sticking to being a rufusnik to re-form the best band that ever roamed the planet, he continues to ignore the majority of his own solo back catalogue. Surely songs like ‘Wreckless love’, ‘Slow Dancer’ and ‘Watching You’ would play to Justin Adam’s strength more than ‘Tall cool one’ ?

Yes,the crowd pleasers like ‘Whole Lotta Love’ sent the crowd home happy, but personally it’s a bit like Jagger touring solo doing old Stones numbers – great to hear but not the ‘real thing’.

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