Hats Off to Led Zeppelin  Live at The Raven Hall Corby, Nov28

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Hats Off to Led Zeppelin Live at The Raven Hall Corby,

 

Hats Off to Led Zeppelin

2018-11-24_CBlues_HatsOffZep-1Live at The Raven Hall Corby, 24th November 2018

Hats Off have won the best Led Zep tribute act for six years running, and last year at the National Tribute Awards they won the highest accolade of being voted by the Agents Association of Great Britain the best tribute act in the UK.

Peter Eldridge lead vocals, Jack Tanner guitars, Kevin Oliver Jones bass and keyboards, and Toby Drummond drums all have long experience in musical theatre; having worked in shows such as Thriller Live, We Will Rock You, Tommy, Dancing in the Streets, and Buddy to name just a few. They are also the only UK tribute act to be officially endorsed by Marshall Amplifiers, to top all this they are managed by Warren Grant, the son of the legendary Peter: the boss of the original Led Zeppelin and who put them on their road to stardom.

I don’t like to call them a tribute as there are no silly wigs or impersonations: this band concentrate on giving you the real Led Zeppelin experience, not trying to copy but putting their own style and nuances in the performance. Peter with his long mane of hair certainly does have a likeness to Robert and he is full of charisma but it’s his voice that you have to hear first and foremost: I will go out on a limb and say his vocals and voice range is as good if not better than Mr Plant’s. Starting off with Rock and Roll, the distinctive riff and bassline are unmistakable, followed by another classic to whet the appetite Black Dog where the average sized audience already had started to dance, the hypnotic No Quarter where the talented multi-instrumentalist Kevin played some brilliant atmospheric keyboards and having been lucky enough to see the original Zep back in the d2018-11-24_CBlues_HatsOffZep-5ay I could see why this band had earned their stripes as being called the best. They were going to play two one-hour sets with a break, I would say that the first set was the time just as they were getting their success featuring the late sixties songs, and the second half was when the band were top of the tree during the seventies and beyond. All the favourites were there: Kashmir, where if you closed your eyes you would have thought it was the real band playing, an incredible version of my own personal favourite, Since I been Loving You where Peter by now having changed his first shirt, at half time in the second half was again sweating for England and pushed his amazing vocals to the absolute limit and with a blistering guitar solo from Jack, the hairs on the back of my neck rose. At times the bass guitar was substituted for keys but on Stairway to Heaven Kevin played both brilliantly, first on the haunting intro and then a blinding bass on the second part of this classic. Not forgetting Toby who had big shoes to fill, my own opinion he was very passive and could have bashed the kit a bit more Bonzo aggressive like throughout the night, but not taking anything away from his drumming skills (just be a bit more of an animal mate).

2018-11-24_CBlues_HatsOffZep-3Finishing the night on the encore favourite Whole Lotta Love with a few short bars of Dazed and Confused thrown in for good measure, I loved seeing both young and old fans in the audience just going to show the parents were bringing them up right, listening to good rock music.

If you were never lucky enough to see the real Zeppelin, go and see these guys do their stuff! Don’t fall into the “oh, they’re just another tribute band trap” because take it from me they are far more than that, for the best Led Zeppelin experience the sound, the excitement, and the adrenalin you can’t fault them, and they’re managed by Peter Grant’s son; now you can’t argue with that can you?

Well done once again to promoters Dave Morse and Richard Boyles from Corn Market Blues and Dave’s hard-working wife on the door all night doing the hard work.

Review by Dave Martin & pics by Carol Henson aka LadyGigger