The crowd were in early for the sold out show with Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters, the latest of the many performing incarnations of the former Led Zeppelin frontman.
Support trio The Last Internationale played American blues rock, underpinned by folk and protest roots, a sort of Billy Bragg with louder guitars. Delila Paz opened the show with solo acoustic guitar and a soaring powerful voice, singing ‘Workers of the World Unite’. The rest of the set was electric and punchy, showing how sometimes the basic combination of guitar bass and drums is all you need for a satisfying sound. ‘Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Indian Blood’ was the standout track and their covers of an Elmore James blues and Neil Young’s ‘My My, Hey Hey(Out of the Blue)’ went down very well with the audience too.
Robert Plant is a legend in rock music, his modest and relaxed stage presence and still stunning vocal talents deliver a superior show, a mixture of material from the latest album ‘Lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar’, blues standards and reworked Zeppelin classics. The band is superb, all given individual personalities by Robert’s jokey asides and having many opportunities to bring their musicianship into the spotlight. Liam ‘Skin’ Tyson’s prowess on the acoustic guitar duetting with Justin Adams on mandolin and the eerie sounds produced by Juldeh Camara playing a ritti (one-stringed fiddle) were among the many highlights. Other eccentric stringed instruments add variety to the harder-edged sound that showcases Robert’s distinctive voice to perfection.
When an emotionally draining ‘I Just Want to Make Love to You’ gives way to the opening riff of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ the audience go crazy and we know we will leave the show happy. Then the icing on the cake, an encore of ‘Rock and Roll’….