Review and gallery: Robert Plant, Forest Live, Cannock Chase

With that iconic glorious mane and the thudding command of the of the stage, it could only by Robert Plant.

Review and gallery: Robert Plant, Forest Live, Cannock Chase

Robert Plant on stage at Forest Live

But he sounded not as you may expect.

The tell-tale signs were there. There was the the grappling and thrusting of the microphone stand, the glaring eyes, and the Black Country burr.

Yet, for the die-hard Led Zeppelin fan it probably did not deliver what they were hoping.

There were flashbacks to past glories such as Black Dog, but this was a gig which was very much about the Robert Plant of here and now.

With his band The Sensational Space Shifters, there was a new sound. Their influences range from British folk, the American deep south, clattering funk, country, and world music.

Tambourine in hand, Plant looked and sounded like a performer you were more likely to stumble upon by chance in a far-flung corner at Glastonbury.

Set in the heart of Cannock Chase, against a forest backdrop, the setting could not have been better.  

It felt gritty and raw - a living moment of their honest passion of music.

But I'm not sure it would necessarily have satisfied those wanting to relive the nostalgia years with Stairway to Heaven. Indeed, that track did not even feature.

Plant is rock royalty and a Black Country legend. 

With a career spanning more than 50 years, he was always going to bring the house down.

Lullaby and...The Ceaseless Roar is Plant’s 10th studio album, featuring tracks Rainbow, Little Maggie and Pocket Full Of Golden. 

It has charted well across the world.

But I'm not convinced he and the band would have the success they are having with this brand of music was it not for being carried on the coattails of Led Zep. 

Ever since Zeppelin’s split in the 80s there have been numerous requests for them to reform, but Plant has said it will never happen - even turning down a reported £100 million.

He is more than happy with his solo career and feels he has created a 'fantastic sound' with The Sensational Space Shifters.

And for that, I can't fault him.

It would be easy to cash in on the thirst there is from audiences worldwide to relive their youth. And I for one am glad he won't cheapen Zeppelin by submitting to the dollar sign motivated demands of the promoters.

His love of music - and the origins of that love is pure.

The new sound is honest. It's not bad. It's just not on the same level as his back catalogue.

Though, I'm sure he'd disagree.

By Rob Golledge
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