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Whole Lotta Led ft Led Zeppelin II review: The real Led Zeppelin would have their work cut out to match this

PUBLISHED: 14:21 18 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:32 20 March 2019

Led Zeppelin tribute band Whole Lotta Led who headlined The Waterfront in Norwich. Photo: Richard Olpin

Led Zeppelin tribute band Whole Lotta Led who headlined The Waterfront in Norwich. Photo: Richard Olpin

Richard Olpin

On Thursday night [14 March], Whole Lotta Led ft Led Zeppelin II took to the stage at The Waterfront in Norwich.

Whole Lotta Led headlining The Waterfront in Norwich. Photo: Adam AikenWhole Lotta Led headlining The Waterfront in Norwich. Photo: Adam Aiken

There’s a Led Zeppelin story from back in 2007, when they got together from their one-off concert at The O2 Arena in London.

The legend goes that someone with a link to Zep sidled up to Whole Lotta Led after one of the tribute band’s gigs, and asked for a copy of that night’s running order.

A little while later, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and friends played their triumphant London reunion show - and it quickly became evident that the running order was suspiciously similar to the one handed over by Whole Lotta Led that night.

It’s possible, of course, this story has developed over time - but if there’s even a grain of truth to it, it shouldn’t be a surprise, because Whole Lotta Led are the best thing on the circuit when it comes to reliving the music of Zeppelin.

Whole Lotta Led headlining The Waterfront in Norwich. Photo: Adam AikenWhole Lotta Led headlining The Waterfront in Norwich. Photo: Adam Aiken

On Thursday night they had to do it without a keyboard player, which restricted their catalogue if not their performance. It meant we didn’t get the likes of Misty Mountain Hop, In the Evening or Kashmir, which is was a shame, but the four-piece still delivered a potent mix of the songs we expected (such as Stairway to Heaven and Good Times Bad Times) and deeper cuts, such as Tangerine and The Wanton Song.

We also got to hear Led Zeppelin II (half a century old this year) played in its entirety, which meant we got The Lemon Song alongside the ubiquitous Whole Lotta Love.

Guitarist Nick Ferris didn’t miss a note all night, and performances such as during In My Time of Dying show why Page himself has given his blessing to the band.

Geoff Hunt on bass (with the odd cameo on the keys) and drummer Charlie Hart really hit the groove and kept things tight throughout - Hart showing off his skills during Moby Dick, in particular. Drum solos aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re going to get one, this is the one to have.

It’s all topped off by front man Lee Pryor. His vocal range is tremendous and it’s hard to think of anyone else – save for the man himself, of course - who can deliver better renditions of Plant’s vocals.

His best moment came early on, during the soulful Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, but he was great throughout.

It would be good to hear them return again as a five-some, if only to allow them to expand their repertoire once more.

But in the meantime, if there are any spies here tonight doing some scouting ahead of another Led Zep reunion, the reports back to HQ will be that the real thing are going to have their work cut out to match this.

• For more Norwich music check out our dedicated page every Thursday in the Eastern Daily Press and Norwich Evening News or follow Enjoy Music More on Twitter and Instagram

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