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Home » Robert Plant

Villa Marina, Douglas, Isle of Man

3 June 2005 2,425 views No Comment

No Quarter, Shine It All Around, Black Dog, Freedom Fries, Morning Dew, That’s The Way, Tin Pan Valley, Takamba, Gallows Pole, Mighty Rearranger, When The Levee Breaks
Encores : The Enchanter, Whole Lotta Love

This from Russell Cherrington
Not since the heady day of Led Zeppelin has Robert Plant sounded this vital, this contemporary, this alive. With his Mighty Rearranger album and the amazing Strange Sensation band Robert has found his muse and she rock n rolls, squeezes lemons, the whole works.
Playing the Isle of Man TT Festival the audience ranged from children to first generation Zeppelin fans. No one goes home disappointed from this cross section of rearranged classics through to the brave and happening grooves of his latest release.

A sublime version of No Quarter opens the set, sticking to the idea of rearrangement. Robert and the band play drums up front as Skin plays the beautiful riff on his acoustic guitar. Shine It All Around introduces the new material and sounds so cool live. The next song Black Dog seems to divide the most ardent fans, some love the trip hop feel, and others just say it should have been left alone, Robert seems to enjoy recreating his back catalogue and I guess that is the point when you have nothing left to prove.

Freedom Fries is a new song that sounds as if it was created by Zeppelin but left in a time capsule and then discovered and played in 2005, it is bluesy and to the point, and Justin Adams’ riff holds it all together. He is the complete musician with which Robert shines. As is John Baggott who drives Morning Dew with his moog based grooves and dexterity on the multiple keyboards.

The night is full of Plant stories of being a mod and selling his scooter to become a hippy. Other stories of John Bonham calling Deep Purple and Black Sabbath ‘Deep Sabbath’, this is a man at peace with himself playing music because he enjoys the alchemy of live performance. And That’s The Way from another time and place in the Welsh mountains is still as eloquent today as it was back in the day.

A double whammy of new tracks Tin Pan Valley dedicated to all Plants peers and Takamba for Tony Blair and the 52nd State are simply stunning. As is the reworking of Gallows Pole, with its gentle double guitar melody and wonderful harmony the mighty rearranger has worked all his magic here, to beautiful effect.

We boogie to the title track Mighty Rearranger then a massive When The Levee Breaks closes the set. Everyone wants more and the band return to play their new song The Enchanter before giving everyone what they all seem to have been waiting for, the signature riff of Whole Lotta Love. As is the way with the new band we get a full verse and chorus of John Lee Hooker which slowly morphs into a slowed down intro in this classic song. The moment the riff starts the place just erupts with power and is the way the song finds it’s own shape as Clive Deamer delivers his incomparable drumming as the band just loses itself in this amazing free interpretation. As the band takes it final bows we are left listening to a remix of Shine It All Around and the knowledge that nobody does it better than Robert Plant and the Strange Sensation.

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