Monday, November 17, 2014

Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters... Bounemouth O2 Academy

This is the first time I've had the opportunity to hear "rock god", Robert Plant sing since I last saw him at Knebworth on August 11th 1979 [clicky] and to say I was looking forward to it is a little like saying RCH Pitchfork is 'drinkable', or a Melton Mowbray pork pie is 'nice'.....  

Robert has moved on considerably since his days in Zeppelin, and I like to think that with the exception of John Paul Jones, he is the one who has adapted to life post Zeppelin best....  he is an innovator, whereas Page continues to mine old ground, re-releasing and re-editing old sounds...

So it was that I and the current Mrs Steve the Wargamer found ourselves at the 02 Accademy in Bournemouth on a cold grey night in November at the end of a very long queue, waiting to see the man...

He and his 'new' band "The Sensational Space Shifters" were touring the latest album "Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar" [clicky], but rather than doing the huge International Centre they were playing at this much smaller, intimate, venue...

So how was it?? Well to be honest I had said to the current Mrs Steve the Wargamer I'd be amazed if he played more than one Zeppelin song - how wrong was I, as you can see from the set list following! The yards of wordage you see in the press about how Plant feels about a Zeppelin re-union are clearly nothing to do with the songs..!


It was a brilliant evening - Robert can't howl like he used to in Zeppelin any more - he's 66 and the best singers voices change character over the years - his voice now is far more earthy...  but he still has soul... and he can still do the Zeppelin songs, but better still (for me) he doesn't leave the songs anchored in the past - his new band have the skill and the instrumentation to bring them right up to date..  the Page and Plant album from some years ago gives the clue as to his direction.... Robert has gone back to the blue grass roots, but then mixed it in with some African ryhtms/instruments, and it works really well....  have a listen to the following and see what I mean....



Highlights of the concert for me??  "Going to California" always one of my favourite Zeppelin tracks (and definitely in my top 20), and the power chords at the beginning of "Whole Lotta Love"...  sorry..  old hippie.. 

What a brilliant night - enjoyed it so much I bought the current Mrs Steve the Wargamer a pint, and a t shirt.... 

"Ride a white mare in the footsteps of dawn
Tryin' to find a woman who's never, never, never been born".

4 comments:

  1. A great musician!
    I already had most of the Led Zep albums, but when I saw Robert Plant live, about 12 years ago, I bought everything I could find from him.
    I hope you already have his latest, it is excellent, one of his best solo albums yet I think!

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    1. Wim - I couldn't agree more - he's having a whale of a time coming up with new music, in different styles, and all of it good... I have his latest - got it with the tickets... cracking - love "Maggie"...

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  2. Oh that looks like it was fun! I'm really enjoying the last couple of releases, especially Tin Pan Alley from the Mighty Rearranger album.

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    1. Paul - you aren't wrong - it was an absolute belter of an evening - thoroughly enjoyable...

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