Hats Off To Led Zeppelin
Friday 29th May 2015
Brooklyn Bowl, London
Was it a case of 'Dazed And Confused' or a 'Whole Lotta Love' as the WRC took in 'Hats Off To Led Zeppelin' (HOTLZ) at The Brooklyn Bowl last Friday night under the umbrella of the O2 Arena, London. The advance hype was not only were they the official UK No.1 Tribute to the Gods of Rock and Roll but were also the only Tribute act in the UK officially endorsed by Marshall amplifiers and they are managed by none other than Warren Grant …. for the uninitiated, his father Peter was Led Zeppelin's manager!
Anyway it was our first visit to the Bowl for a gig and after a few beers in the Slug we walked up to the venue as the tickets said doors 8pm for a 9pm start. Must admit that as we approached the Bowl there was no evidence that a gig was taking place - and even stranger was the fact that we all marched into the venue without having to show our £11 tickets! To be fair this is probably because the main income stream for the Bowl is of course its bar and its tenpin bowling and whilst we were watching the supposed pre-gig big screen appetizer of a muted Springsteen gig with different audio being played over the top it (not a great idea) - one of the members of staff did go around checking that all the punters around the stage/bar area had tickets.
There’s no doubt that the Brooklyn Bowl is impressive but the hybrid of it being both a gig venue and a bowling alley (although the bowling stopped when the band came on) resulted in a hundred and fifty or so punters being lost in the periphery of chairs and tables – with no one being up front and personal with the band. Despite this – if you were looking for Led Zeppelin’s greatest hits performed with professionalism and passion then HOTLZ ticked all the right boxes. The guys had played the Bowl before a few months back and apparently the increase in numbers on the night reflected how well they went down last time.
The power and edge of the HOTLZ roster of Peter Eldridge (Robert Plant), Jack Tanner (Jimmy Page), Toby Drummond (John Bonham) and Kevin Oliver Jones (John Paul Jones) was further complemented by great lighting and sound and despite the lack of band/audience dynamic they countered this by doubling up on the classics such as ‘The Lemon Song’ and the underrated ‘The Ocean’. Personal highlights of the night for me were ‘Gallows Pole’ and the amazing ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ – never tire of hearing that classic - although you couldn’t round off an evening much better I suppose than with ‘Kashmir’ and ‘Whole Lotta Love’ with a bit of ‘Dazed And Confused’ thrown into the mix if I remember rightly (blame that last beer).
Great night, great band, great venue, great beer – just hope that the place is Rockin’ a bit more when we return for Nazareth in September. Can’t wait!