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Top Rank Club - April 2, 1969

  • Songs performed during this period include: Communication Breakdown, I Can't Quit You Baby, Dazed and Confused, As Long As I Have You, Killing Floor, White Summer / Black Mountainside, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, You Shook Me, How Many More Times.
srapallo's picture
on January 28, 2008 - 10:42am
Rate this show: 
Average: 5 (12 votes)
April 2, 1969
Cardiff
United Kingdom
uk
Setlist: 

Songs performed during this period include: Communication Breakdown, I Can't Quit You Baby, Dazed and Confused, As Long As I Have You, Killing Floor, White Summer / Black Mountainside, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, You Shook Me, How Many More Times.

Note: 

Review: It all went a bit pear-shaped when Led Zeppelin did a benefit gig in Cardiff back in 1969.

The Progressive Blues Night (also featuring Welsh band Kimla Taz) at the Top Rank was in aid of the Biafran Relief Organisation. Unfortunately only 450 people turned up to watch and the charity event actually lost money to the tune of £100.

However those who did go were treated to a technically brilliant performance. Opening number Communication Breakdown demonstrated why Led Zep's debut album was riding so high in both the US and UK charts. Robert Plant's vocal virtuosity and Jimmy Page's nimble fingers whipped up the faithful into a tumult.

The show continued in the same pompous rock-god vein until How Many More Times. This 15 minute epic was meant to be the evening's highpoint showcasing Page's incredible guitar skills. However an engineer accidentally activated the revolving stage causing jack plugs to be wrenched from their sockets whilst others were snapped off completely.

The gig ended at that precise moment. For several seconds afterwards though arguably the greatest rock band in history stood on a revolving stage in Cardiff mutely playing to a bemused and constantly shifting crowd. (by Anthony Brockway)

Notes: 

Review: It all went a bit pear-shaped when Led Zeppelin did a benefit gig in Cardiff back in 1969.

The Progressive Blues Night (also featuring Welsh band Kimla Taz) at the Top Rank was in aid of the Biafran Relief Organisation. Unfortunately only 450 people turned up to watch and the charity event actually lost money to the tune of £100.

However those who did go were treated to a technically brilliant performance. Opening number Communication Breakdown demonstrated why Led Zep's debut album was riding so high in both the US and UK charts. Robert Plant's vocal virtuosity and Jimmy Page's nimble fingers whipped up the faithful into a tumult.

The show continued in the same pompous rock-god vein until How Many More Times. This 15 minute epic was meant to be the evening's highpoint showcasing Page's incredible guitar skills. However an engineer accidentally activated the revolving stage causing jack plugs to be wrenched from their sockets whilst others were snapped off completely.

The gig ended at that precise moment. For several seconds afterwards though arguably the greatest rock band in history stood on a revolving stage in Cardiff mutely playing to a bemused and constantly shifting crowd. (by Anthony Brockway)

Setlists: 

Songs performed during this period include: Communication Breakdown, I Can't Quit You Baby, Dazed and Confused, As Long As I Have You, Killing Floor, White Summer / Black Mountainside, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, You Shook Me, How Many More Times.

Comments

david llewellyn's picture

my dad was there in cardiff and ever since i can remember thats all he has ever kept on about.ive been envious for 24 years,and 24 years is far to long,believe me i really do need to see you play,cos i reckon you are much better than anything we have playing these days .KEEP UP THE VERY VERY GOOD WORK.hope to see you soon, david llewellyn TREDEGAR SOUTH WALES.

Andy Sweet's picture

I was there! If memory serves Fairport Convention were advertised to play that night but it was cancelled a week or so before the gig and Led Zepp was announced in the South Wales Echo."Led who?" we asked but the advert said ex Yardbirds so I went downtown with fellow 16yr old schoolmate John. We had to wear a tie and there was a no jeans rule. Naturally we were blown away and I can recall JP playing with the violin bow and also using a Theramin. This was 1969 in Wales and we had seen nothing like it. The most memorable moment came at the end though at the end of a drum solo I think. The band overran and somone began revolving the stage but the PA was on the non revolving area and it started pulling the speakers over. An argument then broke out (this may be tinged with some romantic vision!!) and JB had to be restrained by the suited staff. Maybe this may jog some memory banks? The set list was as above but sadly I only have memories and not memorabilia. I saw them in Bristol and Croydon after that. I lost them a bit when they went arena.

John Hughes's picture

Hi Andy,

I was a tthat show too, having seen Led Zep in Mothers Club in Birmingham a few days before this show. Your memories of the night are spot on, and not romantically tinged, as I vividly remember the stage turning and the PA starting to get dragged over.

I knew someone organising the show and he told me afterwards that Peter Grant had run up to the balcony where the stage control box was and very nearly threw the poor engineer out of the window down to the dance floor!

I have to say however that I believe there were far more there than 450 there, as mentioned in the original review, but maybe the passage of time.

And strangely enough, I moved to the Midlands a few years later and in something like 1990 I was queueing at my local W H Smth and I thought the guy in front of me looked familiar ... it was Robert Plant, who lived not far away from me (ie his village wasn't too far away from my village).

Never one not to seize the moment, I mentioned to him that the last time I as as close as this was in 1969, at that Cardiff show. He became suddenly cautious, obviously thinking "I've got a right one here", and I mentioned the infamous PA incident - and a bit to my surprise,  he sort of paused - looked like he was giving it some thought - and said "yeah, I remember that."

I like to think he wasn't humouring me ; - )

 

 

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Memorabilia:

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Comments

Led Zep at Cardiff Top Rank, April 1969 by John Hughes (not verified)
Top Rank Club by Andy Sweet (not verified)
CARDIFF by david llewellyn (not verified)