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Review- Robert Plant & The Last Internationale

Without a doubt, one of the biggest rock-stars to grace Bournemouth with his presence in recent years; Robert Plant, the golden god, continues to shine. 

The Last Internationale opened the night with a potent set of blues rock all the way from New York. The three-piece outfit instantly won over the crowd with their winning folk and blues inspired sound that perfectly complements Robert Plant’s set. The band were extremely tight and well-rehearsed, and played each song with a fresh enthusiasm that showcased their love for playing live. One of the highlights of the set was their latest release “Wanted Man”, a mighty anthem which builds and builds, sending shivers through the audience.

They closed their set with “1968”, a foot stomping riff-based song that gets the crowd jumping and clapping along. The band’s calls to revolution are heartfelt and inspiring, this is a band that truly uses their music as a channel for their emotions and opinions, and their songs are all the more enjoyable as a result. I caught up with the band before their gig, and the interviews are here and here.

After the break, the legendary ex-Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant took to the stage with his latest band, The Sensational Space Shifters. The crowd cheered with joy of recognition as the set begun with a re-worked version of classic acoustic Zeppelin number, “Friends”. The Space Shifters’ acoustic guitarist, Billy Fuller starts playing with a mysterious eastern grace is gradually joined by the other musicians to create a magnificent sound that has influences from across the globe. Robert Plant sings with an otherworldly grace and moves about the stage with the same charisma and energy that he has wielded for a staggering six decades.

The set continued with several picks from Plant’s latest record entitled: “Lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar”, an immensely diverse album that takes inspiration from a wide range of styles; from American blues to African tribal music. One of the most enjoyable is “Little Maggie”, a traditional folk song re-interpreted with the addition of a ‘Ritti’ player from The Gambia and overlaid with electronic sound sequences played on keyboards.

This fantastically original sound never strays far from Robert Plant’s blues rock roots, and is held together with Justin Adams’ electric rock and roll guitar licks, which dominate the new track, “Turn It Up”, and give the fans immense pleasure revisiting Led Zeppelin favourites: “What Is and What Should Never Be”, “Whole Lotta Love” and “Rock & Roll”.

Robert Plant is a master of crowd participation, and constantly woos the crowd with his tongue in cheek humour: “there’s pirates out on the bay tonight!” Generous with his stage presence he takes great pleasure in letting his band take centre stage. The entire performance was exceptional, and the audience all leave with a great sense of enjoyment after a truly marvellous evening.