Robert Plant & The Strange Sensation - Sound Stage
(Universal/Mercury – 2006)

He looks older but vocally Percy has still got it and still dances around quite a bit. Both the sound quality and vision is exceptional as is his young band, The Strange Sensation.

The gig is made up of Led Zeppelin classics and new tracks from his latest release. The version of ‘Black Dog’ is reggaed up and very much like the version that Dread Zeppelin put together (minus the barking). It’s the old ditties that outshine the current ones I am sad to say but I wish he wouldn’t unrock a number like ‘No Quarter’ – as it’s still stuck in the eastern territory. ‘Freedom Fries’ stands up ok – but in comparison sounds like a discarded Led Zep cut that didn’t make it to the Coda album.

Best on here is the electrifying ‘Gallows Pole’, closely followed by ‘Whole lotta love’ (with some new electric swirly sounds adding to the glory but what the hell has he done with ‘Hey Joe’ – it just don’t sound right to me at all – least they make it up to us with a knockout rendition of the almighty Dylan sung milestone ‘Girl from the North Country’. There are hot looking girls at the front of the stage – wonder if they were hand picked or is it just that all his female fans are good looking – you never know do ya.

The 4 extras are well worth seeing though such as the promo and a live version of 29 Palms (from the BBC’s ‘Top of the Pops’ in 1993 – the backing band looks awesome – pure rock in every way – the way rockers should look if you ask me in my humble opinion). They go back even further into the BBC to 1983 for a mime to ‘Big Log’ – wot no drummer on the stage ? Nice bit of ‘Morning Dew’ in the desert too – for the promo of the song.

A decent enough set but would have been better with far more extras as I am sure there’s far more in the vaults to choose from.


By Glenn Milligan