Robert Plant joined renowned violinist Nigel Kennedy onstage at London’s Royal Albert Hall last night (14th March) for a very special performance.
The Nigel Kennedy and Friends: Gala Celebration was part of the inaugural Love Classical festival at the world-famous London venue and Robert came on to perform two songs during Kennedy's third set.
First up was a cover of the rock standard ‘Hey Joe’ made famous by The Jimi Hendrix Experience and then Plant and Kennedy, flanked by a voluminous orchestra, played a rip-roaring rendition Led Zeppelin’s seminal 1975 classic ‘Kashmir’.
It was the first time Plant performed ‘Kashmir’ live since Led Zeppelin’s historic O2 Arena reunion show in December 2007 and also his first full rendition of the anthem without Jimmy Page.
You can watch a tantalising 38-seconds of the performance here:
He wrote: “Hey Joe was performed in the Strange Sensation arrangement with Justin Adams on Gimbri and John Baggott adding keyboard effects. Nigel added to the mayhem with some manic violin playing. Robert displayed some masterful vocal control and the moment it all lifted into the refrain was one of high musical drama. At one point Robert threw in the ‘’Oh Rosie/Steal Away’’ lines ala How Many More Times on Zep 1.
“Kashmir was performed in the Unledded arrangement favoured by Page and Plant during their 1995/6 tour. This was Robert’s first live performance of Kashmir since the Led Zeppelin 02 reunion nearly ten years ago. It was also the first complete live performance of the song by Robert without Jimmy Page.
“It began with Robert delivery the opening lines in a plaintive manner before it all kicked in. Throughout the song. the singer was totally immersed in it all leading the band though the tempo changes. The finale took on the ‘’Oh baby pretty baby’’ Black Dog segment prompting Robert to add an air of spontaneity that challenged all on stage to keep up – resulting in much smiling and banter.
“Nigel and the band kept that particular groove going as Robert left the stage – he was welcomed back on for a final cheer – Robert acknowledged Doug Boyle and made reference to 29 Palms the single Doug had co-wrote and played on from the 1993 Fate Of Nations album…
“A final wave and he was gone. I watched it all in close proximity near the side of the stage in total awe. A special night…”
Robert Plant performed at the Royal Albert Hall in 1969 and 1970 with Led Zeppelin and has since played as a solo artist. He first worked with Kennedy on the track ‘Calling to You’ from his 1993 ‘Fate Of Nations’ album.