How much one enjoyed these 90 minutes hinged on pre-gig expectations. Despite how the setlist appeared on paper, anyone unrealistically anticipating note-for-note renditions of Zeppelin classics would have felt short-changed. Going To California's acoustic folk and What Is And What Should Never Be were largely faithful to the originals, but were the exceptions. Besides opening with a double shot of psychedelic-drenched solo cuts and lovingly covering bluesmen Howlin' Wolf and Bukka White, Plant and cohorts focused on new interpretations of Zeppelin. Much guitar wankery ensued throughout extended rootsy jams and the new, electronica-infused arrangements turned decades-old songs upside down. Occasionally this lent an exciting new life (a hypnotic Black Dog, a grooving Heartbreaker) to proceedings, although some lost much of their vitality in the translation, being rendered unrecognisable to the masses. Plant even joked as such, remarking that the performance was a case of “spot the tune”. Teasing Whole Lotta Love united the room – punters stood up, sang along and shook their behinds en masse, before it rapidly veered in another, tribal-inspired direction, much to the chagrin of many.
Musically impressive and still well-received overall, after performing this material for eons Plant has surely earned the right to mix things up. It just wasn't what some in attendance needed, or wanted, on this night.
Veterans lead this week's releases with new albums from Tim Rogers & The Bamboos (Album Of The Week) and Daniel Johns plus albums from Ella Thompson, The Vaccines and Unknown Mortal Orchestra.