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Mountford Hall, Liverpool University

31 May 2002 3,549 views No Comment

if i ever get lucky/7+7 is/down to the sea/4 sticks/come in to my life/hey joe/going to california/morning dew/calling to you/tall cool one/celebration day/house is not a motel
Encores: song to the siren/babe im gonna leave you (90 minutes)

This from Mike Lewis
Strange Sensations Gigs( in the U.K. at least) are like buses; You wait ages for one and then 3 appear in quick succession! Anyway “Percy”, you now have an impending “Long Player” (remember those) to promote. The concert was advertised on the poster as just Robert Plant.

Following the intro music, ‘If I ever get lucky’ kicks off. ‘7+7’ , compared to the POB version, is a much heavier and powerful version. I like them both.The set featured a welcome return to ‘Fate of Nations’ with ‘Down to the Sea’ ‘Come into my life’ and ‘Calling to you’.After ‘4 sticks’, Robert: “Thanks a lot, great to be here again,to be back in there with (Sir) Elton &(Sir) Cliff. Robert joked about receiving a letter from the keeper of the Privy Purse, inviting them next Monday, to play the first 3 chords of a famous song. “A STAIRWAY TO BUCKINGHAM PALACE”perhaps?

‘Hey Joe’ :introduced as ‘a folksong about a cruel retribution for an unfaithful woman’ has an eerie introduction played on both oad and keyboard. ‘Going To California’ : an opportunity for a crowd sing along. ‘Hey’ Joe was introduced as “a further track from ‘Dreamtime’. Steve Wright likes this”. A lovely rendition, very different from the Priory version, (I love ’em both). Did I hear a mellotron on that one? ‘Calling to you’ good to hear that one again. “After the Bangor gig the night before”, and introduced as “a song for Llewelyn Bowen and Owen Glendower :’Tall Cool One’.” ‘A House…’ “Written by Arthur Lee… Free @ last”.

Encore: “Thankyou for coming out tonight “.’Song to the Siren’ (I prefer the Priory version). Then ‘this is a good song’ ‘Babe I’m…’.
A good performance. I enjoyed the Bristol gig slightly better.
So, Robert come back soon. (See you at a ‘Love’ gig somewhere very soon)

Beth, from East Anglia writes:
Prior to Fridays show, the last time I saw Robert Plant was on his Now and Zen tour, when he played at the Shoreline Amplitheatre in California, my home state. My only clue as to what to expect from this show was what I had read on TBL.. So as you can imagine, I was pleasantly surprised with the set of Fridays show. It was well worth the drive from East Anglia, where I now live. Of course, being one person from the front (and she was thankfully on the shorter side, I am quite tall) and center to the stage helped. I had a perfect vantage point to see everything and regretted not bringing my camera, as people were passing me theirs so I could take a photo for them.
Anyway, I was looking forward to hearing Robert cover the songs that I had read about on TBL, because I remember hearing the original versions around my home when I was younger. Although, Hey Joe, took me a minute to recognize, I actually liked the revamped version Robert brought forward. Combined with those, what I call; “old songs made new again,” were all of the songs from previous records. Calling to you, Down to the Sea and Come into my life, were a real surprise to hear as well as Tall Cool One from Now and Zen because I had not read that he had sung those recently. Of Course the Zep songs were huge with the crowd. Four Sticks, Babe I’m gonna leave you, were great, but I have to say, to hear, ‘Going to California’ was the highlight from me. It is one of my favorites, was well done, and I really enjoyed singing along with Robert on that one. So did everyone else. Band members included.
It took the crowd a little longer than I am used to, to get into the show, but once they did, Robert and the Strange Sensation seemed to feed off that. Though it was hot in the venue, the band was moving around a lot and seemed to be enjoying themselves. Nice shimmy there Robert!!! After 30 plus years of singing, Roberts voice is still impressive. He had his tea to help along when needed. The strange sensation were great. When Robert wasn’t singing he would sometimes just watch and listen to whoever was playing and give that all too famous grin. He was having fun and seemed proud of what was being accomplished.
My only disappointment with the evening(and it was minor) was I missed the opportunity to ask for a autograph from Robert by mere seconds. My friend and I just walked by the front of the venue when we saw people running. I got to the car he was leaving in just as the door was closing. So close yet so far.
Jonathan Taylor with flame-proof armour ready reports:
I know I’m probably in a minority of one here (I certainly was in the group of 5 of us who went to Liverpool), but I really can’t say I enjoyed the gig at the University. In twenty-plus years of Plant-watching, from Zep to now, this was the first time I’ve come away disappointed. Here’s why….

I admit to struggling a bit with the Strange Sensation bootlegs, and about halfway through Friday’s set I realised why: the band are technically excellent, but they lack something that every band Plant’s ever been part of has had….heart and soul. And without those vital ingedients, I felt we had very competent but largely sterile retreads of some great Plant material from his illustrious past. The introduction of the “Fate Of Nations” material, and stuff like “Going To California” invoked memories of the 93 touring band, and in terms of passion and sheer exuberance the current outfit don’t hold a candle to them…hearing an ex-Cast guitarist wrestle with guitar parts that Francis Dunnery and Innes Sibun played with such panache was, for me, painful. And the Lee/Rose/Buckley songs were, frankly, done much more justice by the Priory. “If I Ever Get Lucky” was a dirge that will never ever be an opening number, and “Hey Joe” was an unfocussed mess that occasionally remembered Hendrix had once performed it.

Honestly, I’m so disappointed. I was really up for this show (I missed them in Bristol) and ordinarily I’d have the ‘it’s-Robert-Plant’ blinkers on, but this gig and this particular project left me feeling that Robert’s getting a tad self-indulgent, and that the Strange Sensation is a blind alley. If you’re going to endlessly re-hash the past, Robert, at least have the decency to phone Page and Jones, or even Dunnery, Lee, Sibun and Johnstone.
This from Mike Morrison,
Robert initially looked as though he had a ‘real’ night on the tiles which was backed up by copious cups of tea during his performance but any doubts about his singing and selection of musicians for the new band were soon forgotten as he and the band launched into a set and and a half, covering numbers such Morning Dew, Going To California, Babe I’m Gonna Leave You etc. some numbers from Fate Of Nations and Manic Nirvana and of course numbers from the upcoming new album Dreamland.
On a couple of occasions whilst the band members were playing their solos and Robert was resting his priceless vocals it was obvious from his looks of admiration to his band members that he truly believed that he has made the right decison to tour again and in selecting these guys to play with him he has picked more than one winner.

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