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Carling Academy, Liverpool

1 April 2005 2,180 views No Comment

No Quarter/Shine It All Around/Black Dog/Freedom Fries/Morning Dew/Heartbreaker/Thats The Way/All The Kings Horses/Takamba/Tin Pan Valley/Tall Cool One/When The Levee Breaks
Encores: The Enchanter/Whole Lotta Love
Thanks Richard Bedford

Robert Plant on tour 2005

Robert Plant on tour 2005

Robert Plant on tour 2005

This from Paul Harper
April 1st and a very tightly packed, hot and sweaty night in Liverpool’s Carling Academy. High expectations in the air and 90 minutes later expectations more than met.

Listening first to the intro of a remixed Shine It All Around coming out of the speakers and then the band are on stage. A truly deafening roar as Robert came on.
And then what a start, a full-on acoustic No Quarter. The crowd singing along from the first verse and it is plain to hear that Mr Plant is in very fine voice. Such a reworking of a Zep classic, stunning I thought. He is looking slimmer and fitter than the last time I saw him in 2002. A little more jowly around the gills perhaps but hey he’s 56 and looks fitter than me 8 years his junior.
Forgive me not fully remembering the true running order but next we went into Shine It All Around my early favourite from Mighty Rearranger and easy to see why. This gets better with every hearing.
We then had the new versions of Black Dog and Heartbreaker again either total re-arrangement. Morning Dew was faithful to previous times and really nicely done.
Mighty Rearranger is offering us a mix of thoughts, views and feelings and we heard Freedom Fries, All the Kings Horses (this I liked very much) and what Robert introduced as a political song about our leaders (Bush and Blair) and this was Takanga. I will need to hear this on the album to explore further. It’s never easy hearing songs for the first time, especially live.
Tall Cool One was for me better than the last time I saw him. A fantastic That’s The Way was so beautifully done. Another crowd sing-along followed by further deafening applause at the end of that, and rightly so. Enchanter is another favourite of mine so far and when I first heard it thought then that it would be such a good live track, I was right.
Then the (pardon the pun) floodgates were opened with a superb When the levee Breaks. Wow!! You will enjoy this one when you see them.
And the encore of course the song from the River Severn Delta, slow talking intro, gradually building and building as last time into a storming Whole Lotta Love. “You need cooling, baby I ain’t fooling” and after that it was so hot in there he was right. And so 90 minutes after the deafening roar on entry the band left to a crescendo of cheers and applause and, what can I say absolutely brilliant.
Robert, the band on top of their form and it can only get better.
This was as tight as I have seen the Strange Sensations, the show as my friend Dave called it was “intense”
So it’s back down the M6 to Stoke and then get my hearing back in time for Warwick tonight.

This from Jim Sloane
The Carling Academy is right near Liverpool Lime St Station and Roberts car was parked outside in the street when I turned up. He had just arrived and there was talk of him going to sign autographs at the stage door – alas this was not to be. Stood in the queue for ages – and when let in had my bottle of water removed by the security staff – who also made me leave my camera in the cloakroom. What were people doing when I got inside – drinking and taking photos !

The support group were a lively acoustic Liverpool band called Thirty Three – whose songs had a strong political theme – that went well with what was to follow. They warmed the crowd up nicely.

It was definitely a `sell out’ and there must have been 1.200 fans there.
Must confess that I got a little mixed up with the set list but comparing with the last gig in New York it seems that some more songs were introduced from the new album. I missed a couple of names of the new songs unfortunately. `If I were a carpenter’ looks to have been dropped, in favour of the new stuff. All the others were played and the band were in fine fettle and seemed to really enjoy the gig. Robert looked great in a plain white tee shirt and jeans. He thanked the crowd for their warmth – and also related that Skin and his wife were `expecting another Liverpudlian in a couple of weeks time’ The new songs were very powerful and worthy of the band.
I really liked `Shine’, `Enchanter’ and thought that the rendition of `Levee’ was very gothic and interesting. The crowd loved `Tall Cool One’.
It was a great night and I will look forward to seeing Robert and the band again if they do any more gigs in the North West.

This from Russell Cherrington
Robert Plant in 2005 is an artist at the height of his powers, a man with nothing to prove. He is a man with one of the richest histories in music and he has the best band in the British music industry.

The intro is Steve Evan’s remix of Shine It All Around, Steve also engineered and co-produced Mighty Rearranger.

When you hear the new amazing version of No Quarter you know whether you are going to love or hate the show. I had a smile on my face to hear and see Robert so alive. He grins from ear to ear at the end of the song as the band start to play the first of many new songs Shine It All Around. The one thing you get from this is that Robert is here because he is enjoying himself and that he wants to play these songs to us.

Black Dog sounds as fresh and new as any of the new songs and Clive Deamer plays like a Monster. Freedom Fries gets a nifty introduction about the state of things, music and politics, President Blair, nuff said, can’t wait for the album.

Morning Dew still sounds cool with funky keyboards and a trip hop feel, John Baggott shines here. Heartbreaker is good old fashioned fun, very bluesy and entertaining.

That’s The Way seems to be a fitting replacement for Going To California in the set and sounds fantastic and creates a mini acoustic set with All The Kings Horses, another new sing which deserves many more listens to reveal its full potential.

The double whammy of Takamba and Tin Pan Valley is contemporary, rocky and cool and very, very now. Justin Adams looses himself in the music and new boy Billy Fuller finds his place in the Strange Sensation.

Tall Cool One is fun and the one solo Plant song without the Strange Sensation and still deserves its place in the set. The band finish with When The Levee Breaks after a great Plantation about the delta blues of the Mersey and South Wales where this and may other songs were born. The band leave the stage too soon and they get huge applauds from the audience who has been up for it all night and seem to have loved every second of the show.

When the band come back on we get another new song dedicated to the impending birth of home town boy Skins child in a couple of weeks time. Robert suggests if it is a girl her middle name should be The Enchanter. This is probably the coolest of the new songs for me as it has majesty and power in equal measure.

There is only one song left to play and I feel that this version gives it life beyond it’s 35 years. What we get is free form, it is both new and old and it will always be the signature groove of Plants older band. Strange Sensation and Robert bring the show to a close it style with Whole Lotta Love. All too soon they are gone and we leave into the Liverpool night looking forward to the next chance to share this amazing artist and his bands music.

One week latter as I write this I know this will not be the only evening I spend with Robert Plant & Strange Sensation this year.

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