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Home » Robert Plant

St David’s Hall,Cardiff

9 October 2002 2,142 views No Comment

Set List: If I Ever Get Lucky/Four Sticks/Down To The Sea/Morning Dew/Going To California/Girl From The North Country (including In The Mood)/Fixin’ To Die/Celebration Day/A House Is Not A Motel/Tall Cool One/BIGLY
Encores: Darkness Darkness/WLL

Speaking as the bloke who didn’t enjoy Liverpool, tonight was amongst the best Robert Plant shows I’ve ever seen. Maybe I just ‘got’ the Strange Sensation, or maybe it was because they just plain rocked, but whatever the reason this was spectacular stuff.

Several of the songs have undergone revision and re-think, beginning with opener “If I Ever Get Lucky”, which contains a lot more powerchords as it builds. “Morning Dew”, dedicated to the late Tim Rose, now sounds like the Doors arranged it, with some great keyboard flourishes from John Baggott; “Girl From The North Country” made a welcome reappearance, sensationed-up with a mid-section of “In The Mood” (the “Principle Of Moments” track, not the John Lee Hooker), and “A House Is Not A Motel” had a wonderful hybrid Eastern psychedelia sprinkled over it. And “WLL”…the power and the glory epitomised.
Plant was well on form, at times treating the show rather like it was “an Audience with Robert Plant”, full of humour and bonhomie and clearly at ease with the varied nature of the set and the approach to the music. Having been critical of Skin before, I must now redress the balance and heap praise upon his playing tonight…truly tight but loose, and he looked like he enjoyed flaying the pick-up selector switch during “WLL”!

Never one to set his sails to the winds of commerciality, Plant didn’t perform “Song To The Siren” tonight, despite its imminent EP release…but frankly, one glance at the set list reveals its strength, and “Siren” wasn’t missed….in short, a truly memorable show from a band who touched my soul tonight. I can’t wait until Bristol!

This review from Iain Watson
Firstly, I must say that until 2 hours before the show I wasn’t even sure ifI was even getting a ticket, but I got chatting to the barman where I was drinking and, hey presto, his brother works in the ticket office, where theyreleased some extra tickets. One quick phone call later and I had nabbed anice seated ticket.
When I picked up the ticket and went into the hall, turns out I was 5th row,dead centre – perfect!! If I had the choice of any seat in the hall, thiswould be it.

I had no idea the support act was Arthur Brown (of Crazy World fame), and still wasn’t sure after the first song, in which he appeared with a veilover his face, lantern in one hand and large wooden stick in the other.Flanked by two acoustic guitarists, one playing bass pedals, he dived straight into the Dylan classic A Hard Rains A Gonna Fall. Being a massiveBob fan, I was highly impressed by this, the dramatic vocals of the chorusbeing accentuated by the banging of the stick on the stage. The rest of theset was unknown to me (apart from a bizarre acoustic rendition of Fire,during which he clamboured into the audience and proceeded to lie on thefloor whilst singing!) A quick thank you to Robert for the invite and he wasgone.

At 9pm prompt, the sound of the guitar intro to If I Ever Get Lucky filledthe hall and on walked Mr Plant looking very relaxed with a smile and hello for the audience. First impressions are that he sounds fantastic, notstruggling for the high notes at all. In fact there wasn’t a bum note allnight. I won’t describe the entire concert, but the highlights were –

Four Sticks – Great version which would have made a superb opener, theintensity really grew on this one and received a standing ovation (from meat least – waken up people of Cardiff!!). Absolutely no problem with thehigh notes.

Morning Dew – Much faster than the single, and introduced at length byRobert, where he explained the Bonnie Dobson / Tim Rose story, which endedin an affectionate dedication to the late singer.

Going To California – Perfect rendition (can’t say any more than that!!)

Girl From The North Country – Great mid tempo version which segued into theearly Plant song In The Mood. This worked surprisingly well and I would loveto hear this worked further to include other song snippets. Glad this trackhas made it back into the sets.

A House Is Not A Motel – Love this track (no pun intended), and with thecrazy guitar antics of Justin Adams in the ‘freak out’, worked really well.Again a great rocker.

Babe I’m Gonna Leave You – superb end to the main set, the acoustic/electricguitars working really well together and Plant nailed the song from start tofinish. One of my all time favourites.

There we have it, to summarise overall

Good things – the above tracks, Plant’s friendly attitude which includedvarious anecdotes and funny stories including references to Dolly Parton (who’s new album is called Horns & Bugles according to RP), forgetting to put a chorus into Stairway, reunion rumours (I’ll have to get back together with myself first before I get anyone else involved), adventures with ladyboys, references and a dedication to ‘President Blair’ before Celebration Day and various Welsh phrases and ‘in jokes’ which being a Scotsman, I didn’t get. Oh, musn’t forget, no Hey Joe, which was a relief

Bad Things – No Hey Hey What Can I Do or Song To The Siren, the lack of enthusiasm from the crowd until WLL. It won’t be like that at the Glasgow Barrowlands Robert, guaranteed!!

A great night night, looking forward to another in Glasgow in a couple of weeks!!

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