Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Led Zep in a Spin

It all went a bit pear-shaped when Led Zeppelin did a benefit gig in Cardiff back in 1969.

The Progressive Blues Night (also featuring Welsh band Kimla Taz) at the Top Rank was in aid of the Biafran Relief Organisation. Unfortunately only 450 people turned up to watch and the charity event actually lost money to the tune of £100.

However those who did go were treated to a technically brilliant performance. Opening number Communication Breakdown demonstrated why Led Zep's debut album was riding so high in both the US and UK charts. Robert Plant's vocal virtuosity and Jimmy Page's nimble fingers whipped up the faithful into a tumult.

The show continued in the same pompous rock-god vein until How Many More Times. This 15 minute epic was meant to be the evening's highpoint showcasing Page's incredible guitar skills. However an engineer accidentally activated the revolving stage causing jack plugs to be wrenched from their sockets whilst others were snapped off completely.

The gig ended at that precise moment. For several seconds afterwards though arguably the greatest rock band in history stood on a revolving stage in Cardiff mutely playing to a bemused and constantly shifting crowd. Wish I had been there to witness it - must have been absolutely hilarious.