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01 août 2005

Womad 2005 Robert Plant interview

By Linda Serck

We spoke to Robert Plant before his performance at WOMAD 2005.

Read the interview below or listen to it through the link on the right hand side of the page.

Interview with Robert Plant

Plant opened his set at WOMAD with current band Strange Sensation with Led Zeppelin's song No Quarter. The second song he played was theenew single off current album The Mighty Rearranger, called Shine it all around. They also played Black Dog, and ended with Whole Lotta Love. So the crowd could still "get zepped" at WOMAD while listening to Robert Plant, even though he's moved on from that period.

What are you doing here at WOMAD?

The reason I'm here is, I've got new work and I've got an elevated state now. But there will be some Led Zeppelin songs, and they won't be anything like they used to be.

What do you love about WOMAD?

I think it gives so much more of a window on the realities of what music can do. Entertainment isn't just based on the very structured syndrome of European popular music, and it's great that there are so many thousands of people who are of the same opinion. All over the world, the idea of creating an melange of international musics, it's a very healthy thing. I think it's spurred on by the fact that there's so much European popular music that's so very lacking in imagination.

You're also the curator of the WOMEX exhibition this October, what draws you to World Music?

My dear, I was working in India in 1969. If you know anything about Led Zep you'll know we were playing with Indian musicians in '68. I was just 19 years old then. I've travelled through North Africa for the last 33 years. The last thing this can be considered as in terms of my career is something new. It's just that I have a band now that's consolidated a lot of North African musicality into a rock thing. It's great, it couldn't be better!

Last time you were here was Reading Festival 1998, is that right?

I played the Hexagon, I had a band called the Priory of Brion there. What year was that? 2000?
Jimmy Page used to live in Berkshire, too. We spoke to him for Children in Need!

In Pangbourne, yes. But he's moved several times now. He's a good guy, we both work quite fastidiously with charities, it's a good thing to do.

Tell us about the new album, The Mighty Rearranger. What is The Mighty Rearranger?

It's what brought us here, destiny, fate. It's all written already, it's just that we didn't know it. I'm not trying to be cosmic, it's just everything's on a roll and that's how it is. The songs within the album discuss that very condition.

Do you still get nervous going on stage?

I still get nervous, and I get a day older! I haven't got the gift, I just borrow it now and

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