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Locarno Ballroom - December 9, 1971

  • likely includes: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Since I've Been Loving You, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, That's the Way, Tangerine, Dazed and Confused, What Is and What Should Never Be, Whole Lotta Love (medley).
srapallo's picture
on September 21, 2007 - 4:30pm
Rate this show: 
Average: 4.9 (24 votes)
December 9, 1971
Coventry
United Kingdom
uk
Setlist: 

likely includes: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Since I've Been Loving You, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, That's the Way, Tangerine, Dazed and Confused, What Is and What Should Never Be, Whole Lotta Love (medley).

Note: 

The show is interrupted by an IRA bomb scare early in the show, but then continued.

Former John Bonham band-mate, Dave Pegg recalled this show in a 2001 interview: "Went to see Zeppelin at the Locarno Coventry when there was a bomb-scare, everyone left the building except Robert who was saying 'what's the matter with you all?'  

Notes: 

The show is interrupted by an IRA bomb scare early in the show, but then continued. Former John Bonham band-mate, Dave Pegg recalled this show in a 2001 interview: "Went to see Zeppelin at the Locarno Coventry when there was a bomb-scare, everyone left the building except Robert who was saying 'what's the matter with you all?'  

Fan review: "Arrived late to find the hall choked, couldn't even find the bar for the crush. Then the Coventry ITA struck with a hoax call, warning of a bomb in the building. Zep stopped and the fans rushed for the exit. i rushed for the front of the stage. Bad move. When the crowds returned, found myself pinned to a bank of speakers. Suffered indescribable torment as the band powered through a two-hour plus set. Even the acoustic numbers were agony, thanks to the might of the P.A. Even today, the opening bars of Whole Lotta Love induce a mild epileptic fit. But I can't wait to see 'em again - I've already bought the ear drops." [B.C.]

Setlists: 

likely includes: Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Since I've Been Loving You, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, That's the Way, Tangerine, Dazed and Confused, What Is and What Should Never Be, Whole Lotta Love (medley).

Comments

Ian Hallam's picture

I was at this memorable gig and I do remember the bomb scare when nearly everyone left the ballroom (including me) much to Plant's obvious annoyance. They performed on the famous revolving stage although it was locked in place for the night. The promoters were some hippy outfit called Cinetic Circus and the ticket price was £1, yes one whole pound. Happy days indeed.

Adrian Coppin's picture

Three and a half hours of pure magic it was! I will never forget it. LZ IV had just come out in November. The gig was never advertised - all via word of mouth (believe it!). Queued at a (now closed) record store in the Lower Precinct for 5 hours and was allowed to buy 3 tickets (still got mine in LZ IV). The cost of one ticket? A Quid! A sole pound note! I was upstairs in the "balcony" in the middle right at the front. Dazed & Confused took 35 mins. One solitary guy in the audience stage right at the front was head banging all on 'is own some for the whole time. He was K-nackered at the end I recall. And er, nah, it's incorrect for Mr. Dave Pegg to say that everyone left when we had the 20 minute Bomb Scare interlude. Mr. Plant actually told the audience what had occurred (phone call saying bomb in the Locarno) and asked if we wanted to leave. About 3% of the gathering left, that's all. I was 16 going on 17 at the time. The Locarno became the Central Lending Library about 13 years later and was eventually demolished (like the Cov Theatre) to make way for shops. Should never had been allowed. One time only that the Black Country lads came to Coventry (probably cos Mr. Plant supports the Wolves and they ALL hate CCFC). Happy Days, eh. Glad I was there and will never, ever forget. My dad got to speak to Peter Grant, lucky so-and-so!

Derek Rowe's picture

I remember there was a bomb scare half way through the set! We were all given the choice of leaving the building or staying put! Those that decided to stay could then move nearer the stage!

adrian sheard's picture

i was at this concert and beleive that a great proportion of the audience inc me stayed in the auditorium in spite of the bomb scare and slow handclapped against the ira, it was a bloody good concert

Simon's picture

In fact the hall didn't empty during the bomb scare - about 100 stated in there and managed to get closer to the stage..me and my mates included (I was 15 at the time), The set resumed and the guys played for at least 3 hours that night

Dave Stansbury's picture

Myself and a friend (Brian Bristo) did not have tickets to see them, we walked the whole of the long queue of the waiting crowd which seemed to go on forever around the city centre for miles, but with no luck to buy anyones ticket (who in there right mind would sell it). We were very deflated that we could not get any tickets and headed back to the Locarno entrance and sat on the floor (as you did in those days).. There were the glass doors to the entrance for ticket holders only, but to our amazement the receptionist opened the doors for 'cash only'... WOW..!!!! our prayers had been answered with all the thousands of ticket holders waiting in a mile long queue, we were let in at the cash entrance before the ticket holders... the cost was 10 shillings (in old money) 50 pence today...yes 50 pence to see Led Zep...!!!!!!!!! Straight to the top right balcony we headed for, where the bar was of course...and a great view...Yes...the bomb scare did take place, as for the person who stated that 'Planty' was annoyed that people were leaving by there masses, is crap, (obviously they were not there) we were packed in like sardines we could not move, even if we wanted to...yes maybe a few left from the very back, but they could not see anything anyway.(its amazing after the event, how many people claimed to be there but were not)..it was a brilliant unforgetable night and the memory still lives on...best rock band ever....

Name Angela Horsley's picture

I remember attending that concert with my boyfriend Nigel, we were in the front of the balcony, the warning came just before Led were about to perform Stairway to Heaven, (how ironic) we took our chance and stayed put seeing as we had pole position, Still think they are the best rock band ever

Ian Hallam's picture

Enjoyed reading your comments about that magical night so many years ago but I must correct you on a couple of points. Firstly, there were quite a lot of people who went outside after Plant announced the bomb scare (me included I am embarrased to say, although I was only 14 at the time.)
Secondly, the Rockhouse has never been demolished and indeed if you care to visit the Library as it now is, you can walk to the end of the first floor and stand exactly where all those legends did all that time before.

Ian Hallam's picture

I must pick you up on a couple of points. Firstly, the gig didn't last anything like three and a half hours, as far as I recall. I was 14 going on 15 at the time and I am sad to admit that I did leave during the bomb scare, but so did a lot of others - certainly more than 3%! Also, you can't be a Cov Kid, because the RockHouse (Locarno) was never demolished, only the central tower and staircase. In fact, every time I visit the place, all those fantastic memories come flooding back.
Happy days indeed.

Angela Horsley's picture

I was at this concert with my boyfriend of 1 month, we managed to get right in the front of the balcony had a brilliant view, Robert had just announced he was going to sing their new song "stairway to heaven" how apt, my boyfriend and I just looked at each other held hands and did not budge, aint love grand. There was no way we were going to leave that spot brilliant show no other band in the world as good as they were.

MIkeR's picture

I too was there not just a gig, shaped my whole life. I look at the music now (2014) and wonder where all the energy, musicianship and integrity went?

bill gundry's picture

Me and my mate Steve Goodwin were there. We were 15 too, the same as Simon. We never left during the bomb scare but got closer to the stage. My ears buzzed for 3 days after could't hear my teachers, no bad thing. Temporary threshhold shift I think you call it. The Locarno became a library, whole lot quieter! Remember Jimmy Page accidently throwing his violin bow across the stage when playing.

Memphis Tennessee was played, the old Chuck song, maybe that is why he threw it.

Angela Horsley's picture

Approaching 61 now but will never forget that night I now work with a youngster who is an avid Led fan and is most envious that I got to see the real thing all those years ago. I have seen Fred Zeppelin and this October I am going to see Hats off to Led Zeppelin tribute band, heard they are pretty good. Still think they are the greatest rock and roll band in the world.

Eddie Wright's picture

Writing this whilst watching Robert Plant on TV at Glastonbury 2014. Eight 16 year olds from Rugby clutching the yellow £1 tickets having them checked on the staircase by Peter Grant. My memory must be fading as was sure the bomb threat came before the band came on stage, stand to be corrected. Sat directly in front of the stage and was not going to move despite the management suggesting leave the building. The set was 3 hours that I do remember. The greatest concert have ever been to ...ever ! Made even greater by the band being about 10 feet away. Possibly Coventry's greatest night of rock music

Jan Hyatt's picture

I was there with my best friend. Best gig of my life. Came back in after the bomb scare and we were right at the front. You could lean on the stage. We were right by the speakers and I thought my ears would bleed when they started off with Immigrant Song. I couldn't hear properly for a couple of days afterwards.Some guy behind me pushed me up on the stage at the end and I danced to Whole Lottta Love. I remember the roadies rushing forward as I got on the stage. I said" I'm only going to dance" so they left me too it! Can you imagine that happening these days. Well now you can't get near the stage and have to watch on a big screen.I shook Jimmy Page's hand at the end. I really wanted to grab my idol, Robert Plant, but I was too shy! Well I was only 16.  

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Comments

IIwas there with my best by Jan Hyatt (not verified)
Zep 71 by MIkeR (not verified)
The Locarno's greatest night! by Eddie Wright (not verified)
a wonderful night by Angela Horsley (not verified)
concert 09/12/1971 by Angela Horsley (not verified)
Bomb Scare by bill gundry (not verified)
Led Zeppelin. Coventry by Ian Hallam (not verified)
Zeppy at the Locarno by Dave Stansbury (not verified)
i was at this concert and by adrian sheard (not verified)
Zeppelin by Ian Hallam (not verified)
Zeppelin by Ian Hallam (not verified)
Coventry Locarno Ballroom - Dec 9th 1971 by Adrian Coppin (not verified)
concert at Coventry Locarno by Name Angela Horsley (not verified)
bomb scare by Simon (not verified)
I remember... by Derek Rowe (not verified)