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Review - Robert Plant's last concert with the Band Of Joy

Entertainment | Published:

Black Country rock legend Robert Plant brought the curtain down on his latest band with a superb festival performance last night - while entertaining fans with jokes about his love for Wolves.

Black Country rock legend Robert Plant brought the curtain down on his latest band with a superb festival performance last night - while entertaining fans with jokes about his love for Wolves.

The former Led Zeppelin frontman ended a 13 month world tour with Band of Joy, his group for his most recent album, with a powerful 90-minute show at the Big Chill concert at Eastnor Castle Deer Park in Herefordshire.

Backed by the group he called "just good looking old folk", Plant was emotional about the group's end but this did not stop him joking with the crowd.

Mixing Led Zeppelin classics like Black Dog with songs from Band of Joy's self-titled album, Plant was close enough geographically to his Black Country roots that he incorporated them into the show.

Lifelong Wolves fan Plant reatedly made quips about his love for Wolves, even presenting band member Patty Griffin with a Molineux memento.

He joked: "It's a bit cold so on behalf of the British weather system I present you with a Wolverhampton Wanderers hot water bottle."

American singer Griffin had obviously learnt football banter from Plant as she held the gift aloft and shouted: "Who are ya?"

The Wolves jokes continued as Plant introduced guitarist Darrell Scott.

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"America unlike Wolverhampton does not have much in the way of soccer but it does produce great musicians like Darrell," joked Plant.

The singer also waxed lyrical about the Herefordshire country setting for the concert, before adding: "It's only 45 minutes to get home, too."

Plant described the show as the "grand finale" for Band of Joy, admitting it was "very emotional for us" to end their time together for what is likely to be a one-off collaboration.

"It's been 13 months and everyone's got things to do," he joked. "Like laundry and making amends."

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The band finished on a high, showing their musicianship and close rapport on Band of Joy tracks like House of Cards and Angel Dance.

But the biggest cheers were for the band's country rock versions of Led Zeppelin classics, including Houses of the Holy and a superb rendition of Misty Mountain Hop.

Plant's voice was flawless throughout the show but he became most animated when recreating the songs which have defined his career for over four decades.

The highlight of the show was an epic version of Ramble On, complete with a breathtaking banjo solo in place of the original Jimmy Page guitar playing.

Leaving the stage for the final time, Plant told his bandmates: "It's a fond farewell. Farewell my friends."

He then turned to the crowd for a final football call: "Who are ya?"

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