Radio 2 Electric Proms plays host to a magnificent performance from Robert Plant

and features the Band of Joy and the London Oriana Choir

By Chris Mathews | Published: Mon 1st Nov 2010

BBC Electric Proms 2010

Thursday 28th to Saturday 30th October 2010
The Roundhouse, London , England MAP

The Electric Proms have changed over the few years that they've been running and as the names have grown each year, the less electronic the sound. Three rock legends took to the stage, at the Radio 2 Electric Proms this year, with each as influential on music today as each other.

Robert Plant is an artist with an audience that spans generations and plays music that crosses boundaries of age and genre seamlessly. With Alison Krauss, a folk inspired album, Led Zeppelin – well do I really need to say – and now a reformed Band Of Joy. Going back to the sound of the 60's when Plant was first writing music, the album goes back to a naive sound before more commercial elements were marketed to success.

Starting with some solo material, some Band of Joy and some Led Zeppelin, there was never any clue as to what was coming up next at this Friday night showcase at the Roundhouse, London.

Capturing the mood from the outset, 'Down to the Sea' and 'Angel Dance' started the dream-like performance. With a clarity only achievable through excellent musicianship, production and acoustics the band had everyone captivated. Plant strutted across the stage with a rockstar cool without needing any theatrics.

'House of Cards' was the first song to really get me with the harmonies from Patty Griffin standing out from the songs adding that extra element. This lead into some old classics and Led Zepp tunes. Keeping in the spirit of the night with more melodic songs and avoiding the 'greatest hits'.

Robert Plant even stepped back from the frontman role to sing backing vocals on a couple of songs from his bandmates. This lack of ego from any of the band sets the band apart from many others giving a balanced view and pure respect for the music.

'Gallows Pole' finishes the end of the gig, well, the first end... The encore allowed a change of spirit to bring in a different mood of song. Adding a bit of a cowboy ballad with 'Harms Swift Way' they broke out into a unique 'rock'n'roll'. Not wanting to sound like a Led Zeppelin tribute, each musician added their own feel making it their own, staying true to themselves.

Joining the stage for the second encore was the London Oriana Choir. Adding extra harmonies some added soul they changed the whole feel of the performance instantly. The voices shook the roundhouse for the beautifully arranged 'I Bid You Goodnight' leaving everyone standing waiting for more. An appropriate way to finish a magnificent performance from one of the greats.

Setlist for Robert Plant at the Radio 2 Electric Proms, London:

Down To The Sea
Angel Dance
House of Cards
Please Read The Letter
Misty Mountain Hop
Satisfied Mind
Move Up
Central Two O Nine
Houses of the Holy
Can't Buy Me Love
Tall Cool One
Gallows Pole

Harms Swift Way
Rock & Roll

12 Gates To The City
I Bid You Goodnight

review by: Chris Mathews

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