Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Plant to debut new guitarist on tour this month

This news originally appeared at the Web site for the newsletter "On This Day In Led Zeppelin History."

Robert Plant is to begin touring later this month with a revised lineup of his band, the Strange Sensation. Guitarist Liam "Skin" Tyson of the Liverpool band Cast, has joined, replacing the outgoing Porl Thompson, formerly of the Cure.

"At the moment I can't commit to the touring side of the band," Thompson told Lemon Squeezings in one of two e-mails received March 14. He articulated the point in another e-mail two months to the day, writing:
"Due to other projects and family commitments, I am unable to do the tour. So the band have drafted in 'Skin,' the guitarist from the band Cast, to take over. They sound great in rehearsals, and I wish them lots of love and luck with the tour."
When Thompson confirmed in March that he would be replaced on the tour, he commented:
"This was a hard decision to make as there is a good vibe between us all, but it was never my intention to get back into a full-time band situation, and this had always been said from the start."
He said that he hopes to carry on with Plant in the future. He told Lemon Squeezings in March:
"We have talked about doing some unusual type gigs and things together and some more recording at some stage, but as to when and where -- ?"
No further comment on that was available.

Plant's upcoming tour (see scheduled dates below) is set to commence with three dates in Portugal on May 22, 23 and 25. Some concerts and promotion in the U.K. in May and June are expected to include a London concert date later to be announced and a May 31 homecoming for Tyson in Liverpool, England.

In July, Plant will begin headlining some shows in the United States. The first of these is currently slated for July 20, where promoters at Cadott, Wisconsin's Rockfest say Plant will top the bill on the third of the festival's four nights.

The majority of Plant's tour dates after that are to be as a special guest opening for the second and third legs of the Who's U.S. tour in July, August and September. This will include a four-night stand at New York's Madison Square Garden July 31-Aug. 4, with a night off on Aug. 2.

Thompson said May 14 that Plant's tour will continue "on into winter," a statement he articulated with an exclamation point.

Plant's new album is expected to be released in the United Kingdom on Monday, June 24, and in the United States the following day. His seventh solo effort will be called Dreamland, according to the most recent reports. Previous reports had pegged the name as Head First.

The album will have some new original material but will mostly consist of cover songs recorded in 2001 with the previous lineup of the Strange Sensation. Tracks will include revamped versions of 1960s classics like "Hey Joe," the Youngbloods' "Darkness, Darkness," and "Morning Dew."

The latter is expected to be released as a single, which would precede the album release by one week.

The new album will be Plant's first for Universal Music Group.

Plant's most recent solo album was in 1993, called Fate of Nations. However, he has since collaborated with Jimmy Page to write and release the 1998 album, Walking into Clarksdale, which earned them their first Grammy award with the single, "Most High."

Plant's Strange Sensation is made up of new guitarist Liam "Skin" Tyson and four other musicians: Justin Adams on guitar and an African stringed instrument known as the gimbre, Charlie Jones on bass guitar, John Baggot on keyboards and Clive Deamer on drums.

Tyson joined the band in 2002 after the album was recorded. Porl Thompson described his own guitar sound on the album as "over loud" and "uncontrolled."
Europe & U.K. 2002
  • Wed 5/22 Lisbon, Portugal Aula Magna
  • Thu 5/23 Lisbon, Portugal Aula Magna
  • Sat 5/25 Porto, Portugal Coliseum
  • Thu 5/30 Bangor, England Bangor University
  • Fri 5/31 Liverpool, England Liverpool University
  • Mon 6/3 Isle of Wight, U.K. Isle of Wight Festival
  • Monday, June 17: New single, "Morning Dew," to be released
  • Monday, June 24: New album, Dreamland, to be released
U.S. headliners 2002
  • Sat 7/20 Cadott, Wis. Rockfest
  • Mon 7/22 Milwaukee, Wis. Eagles Ballroom
With The Who 2002
  • Fri 7/26 Mansfield, Mass. Tweeter Center
  • Sat 7/27 Camden, N.J. Tweeter Center
  • Mon 7/29 Hershey, Pa. Hersheypark Stadium
  • Wed 7/31 New York, N.Y. Madison Square Garden
  • Thu 8/1 New York, N.Y. Madison Square Garden
  • Sat 8/3 New York, N.Y. Madison Square Garden
  • Sun 8/4 New York, N.Y. Madison Square Garden
  • Fri 8/23 Auburn Hills, Mich. Palace
  • Sat 8/24 Tinley Park, Ill Tweeter Center
  • Sun 8/25 Noblesville, Ind. Verizon Wireless Music Center
  • Tue 8/27 Grand Rapids, Mich. Van Andel Arena
  • Wed 8/28 Columbus, Ohio Polaris Amphitheater
  • Fri 8/30 Holmdel, N.J. P.N.C. Bank Arts Center
  • Sat 8/31 Wantagh, N.Y. Jones Beach Amphitheater

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