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MAS Records Launch Party, Kidderminster Town Hall

23 February 2005 2,478 views No Comment

Set-List:
Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag (Blujuice), Kev’s Thing – MAS Attack (Kevyn Gammond and Blujuice)
Parchment Farm/Hallelujah I Love Her So/Mr.Pitiful/Think/What I’d Say/Comin’ Home Baby /Hoochie Coochie Man
(Robert Plant with Blujuice featuring Kevyn Gammond)
NB: Sticks and Stones listed on main set list but not played.
Smokestack Lightnin’/Spoonful/Watch Your Step listed as spares on set list but not played.

Reviews
This from Dave Lewis
Having moved heaven and earth to get away from the relentless toil of retail frenzy and slaving over the Concert File update, myself and TBL’s Mr Gary Foy then battled the elements on a snowy freezing night in Kidderminster. It was all more than worth it.
Robert arrived midway through the evening prior to the speeches. He was due to get up and add some words but for whatever reason this didn’t occur. Ex Bronco singer Jess Roden was also due to appear with Robert but at the last minute pulled out.
Local blues outfit Blujuice kicked off the finale with an instrumental version of Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag. The ever
colourful and hugely watchable Kevyn Gammond then appeared to perform his thing – a MAS Attack jam with scat lyrics and stock full of Kev’s distinctive guitar style – familiar of course to all Priory watchers. Robert was then introduced and strolled on stage with black holdall bag and coat over his shoulder. He looked extremely well in a dark sweat shirt and black trousers with hair longer than for a while (but nothing near pre 1998 length).
Ray Charles’ Sticks And Stones was due to open proceedings but after a little confusion, Robert opted for a song that he remembered being played years ago in this very hall (”When Van Morrison was drunk with Them and this did well for Georgie Fame”) A run through Parchment Farm followed. Throughout the set Robert sang superbly – effortlessly conjuring up the words of these not so forgotten oldies and occasionally strutting out in accustomed style.
After Ray’s Hallelujah I Love Her So (a hit for Eddie Cochran in 1960 Plant informed), came the best performance of the night -an impeccable delivery of Otis Redding’s Mr Pitiful – a masterclass in controlled vocal technique. A romp through the James Brown /Priory staple Think (co-incidentally earlier I’d been reminiscing with the Priory’s Paul Timothy on how he used to slip the riff of Black Dog into their version of this) and then the first finale – a rousing What I’d Say with Kev’s son Monty on guitar (dubbed by Plant as ‘Mighty Eight’).
They were soon back for Comin’ Home Baby an obscure Mel Torme song which the ever knowledgable Plant noted had also been recorded by the Siouxsie and The Banshees offshoot The Creatures.
One more huddle amongst the band and then Kev handed Plant his Fender Telecaster. The evening ended in suitably off beat style with Robert on lead guitar running though a Hoochie Coochie Blues thing. He ain’t no B.B. King but the sight of the singer unleashing some mean picking in his role as the not so frustrated blues axeman was a novel and unexpected climax to the MAS party.
With that Robert picked up his bag and coat, slung them over his shoulder and walked off stage.A local journalist asked how it had been: ”Scintilating” he grinned as he walked off through the crowd, stopping to sign a few items before making his way out to the front of the hall. From there he chatted for a few seconds to some fans outside, and then ran across the road to a waiting car and he was gone.
In summary: Rarely have I seen the singer in such a laid back and relaxed setting. His appearance was the cream on top of a hugely successful occasion and a deserved triumph for all those involved in MAS Records. It was a warm diversion on a freezing night before the more serious business of the Mighty Rearranger tour kicks in.
This was Robert Plant back home on the stage of his youth…and the buzz of witnessing him sing live again for the first time in well over two years kept us glowing inside all the way back down the M6 despite the falling sleet and predictable hangovers…..

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