Robert Plant Newcastle City Hall 28th November 1983

Robert Plant Newcastle City Hall 28th November 1983
plant83It was the early 1980s. Zeppelin were no more, and Robert Plant began to establish himself as a solo artist. He released two excellent albums: Pictures at Eleven (1982) and The Principle of Moments (1983), both of which had shades of Zeppelin and yet also enabled Plant to forge his own identity. In the Autumn of 1983 he embarked on a full UK tour, calling at Newcastle City Hall in November. Demand was high to see Plant on his first major outing since Zeppelin days, and a second night was added at several venues, including Newcastle. He was also having his first real solo single chart success with the excellent “Big Log”. The line-up of Robert Plant’s band for the 1983 tour was Robbie Blunt (guitar), Jezz Woodroffe (keyboards), Bob Mayo (keyboards), Paul Martinez (bass) and Ritchie Hayward (drums; Phil Collins played on the US leg of the tour). The concert consisted of tracks from Robert’s first two albums. We were all hoping that he would throw in a few Zeppelin classics, but that wasn’t to be. plantprogThis was made clear in the souvenir programme: “Tonight there will be no Slverhead, Black Sabbath, Foreigner, no Little Feat, Adverts [referring to the bands which each of the members had previously played in] or Led Zeppelin. Only music from the last two years and maybe…a medley of our hit [referring to Big Log]”. Never mind; Plant’s solo songs were strong, and his band was excellent, including amazing guitar work by Robbie Blunt, who had been in the very under-rated bands Bronco and Silverhead. The set started with “In The Mood” which had just been released as a single.
Setlist (something like): In the Mood; Pledge Pin; Messin’ With the Mekon; Worse Than Detroit; Thru’ With the Two Step; Other Arms; Horizontal Departure; Moonlight in Samosa; Wreckless Love; Slow Dancer; Like I’ve Never Been Gone; Burning Down One Side; Big Log; Stranger Here… Than Over There; Treat Her Right
“My love is in league with the freeway, Its passion will ride, as the cities fly by, And the tail-lights dissolve, in the coming of night, And the questions in thousands take flight.” (Big Log, Robert Plant, 1983). I loved “Big Log” at the time and still do; it was a very different song, quite distinct in terms of the chart of the time and from Zeppelin music; but I could never figure out what it was about 🙂
At the Hammersmith Odeon show Plant was joined onstage by none other than Jimmy Page for the encore ‘Treat Her Right’.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks Peter, I have great memories of this gig; not sure if I was at the first or second night, but I do remember having a circle seat and being incredibly excited as I’d never got to see Zeppelin. After two or three songs I recall Robert looking around the City Hall and saying something like “Well, I never expected to be back here again”. Next time I saw him was in Northampton at the Roadmender in 2000, on the Priory of Brion tour, where he played mainly covers.

    Reply

    • Posted by vintagerock on February 10, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      Thanks Jeff I caught Plant on the Priory of Brion tour at Whitley Bay Dome; I’ll get to that gig in a day or so Cheers Peter

      Reply

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