- 13 Oct 17
Bob's yer Uncle
You have to hand it to Robert Plant. It takes balls the size of ostrich eggs to turn down countless millions to tour with Led Zeppelin. Mind you, I suspect it's easier when you already have a few quid under the mattress.
Whatever, Plant continues to be more interesting than most of his contemporaries with a series of fine albums stretching back to Dreamland in 2002, which established the template: blues from both the Niger and Mississippi deltas, with just enough electronic burbling to let you know what century you're in. Added to that, his lifelong devotion to the folk music of these islands remains self-evident.
One need only note titles like 'The May Queen' and 'Bones Of Saints', and a quoted Welsh epigram that, roughly translated, describes modern celebrities as "harpists of fraud", to know that, even if Plant has moved away from the Tolkienisms of old, part of his soul still dances in a forest somewhere. It's no accident that folk wunderkind Seth Lakeman is now a Sensational Shape Shifter, a band name presumably chosen because Afro-Celt Soundsystem was already taken. At this remove, the hit Raising Sand collaboration with bluegrass queen, Alison Krauss, stands out as a detour.