Well, it’s post-Glastonbury time and everyone has their own opinions about who was great, who was rubbish, who can and can’t play and who shouldn’t still be allowed to. And whether or not you subscribe to the “Dolly was miming” conspiracy theories, no one can deny that her songs, her spirit and her personality had the vast crowd in the palm of her hand – like she was singing on her own front lawn (which, in truth, is probably as big as that field!). And her band was totally on it – great guitar playing from band leader Kent Wells, too, especially on Dolly’s play-off where he wailed away not unlike a Michael Landau or perhaps a David Grissom.
However, what I really wanted to say was how great were Robert Plant and his cohorts? They took brilliant old tracks we know and love, and gave them a really new twist with extra ‘world’ instruments and a generally darker, bluesier feel. No wonder, then, that Robert doesn’t feel the need to reform his old band, since he made such a great noise, and seemed to be having such fun, with this one. From wailing sex-God front man he’s become a seemingly genuine ‘artist’ who’s knowledgeable and interested in all styles of ethnic music, and also very capable of standing head to head with modern artists – as he did so well with Alison Krauss on their album Raising Sand.
It’s really good that musicians such as Plant can exist as artists in their own right, many decades after their initial, major success – and still cut it alongside superstars of today. Well done, Planty! Nige, Hendon Plant and his band were superb. Imagine having that repertoire to draw from, and the feel and experience of really great players – including Skin Tyson and Justin Adams on guitars – and yet not being constrained by the monolith that is Led Zeppelin. I, too, would love to see Led Zep get together once more, with Bonham’s DNA in the shape of Bonzo’s son Jason, but I was almost as happy to watch this joyous outfit perform.
Robert Plant: with his band, one of
Glastonbury 2014’s big hits