Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters - Live At David Lynch’s...review

Roots-rocking lion king shares his appetite for disruption

Cover art for Robert Plant And The Sensational Space Shifters - Live At David Lynch’s...

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As headline guests at David Lynch’s inaugural Festival Of Disruption in LA in October 2016, Robert Plant and his globalised roots-rock collective played a muscular set that’s captured in this no-frills concert video in agreeably crisp, crunchy sound.

The Space Shifters make scant concessions to the Lynchian setting, aside from dressing all in black. But the band are on blazing form, couching Plant’s ragged roar in sinewy Afrobeat, finger-picked avant-bluegrass, torrid flamenco guitar and burbling bluestronica.

Highlights include Whole Lotta Love stripped down into a kind of shamanic choral chant, and the widescreen, U2-ish shimmer-rock of recent composition Rainbow. However, the original set has been edited to an hour, cutting tracks like Dazed And Confused and Bukka White’s Fixin’ To Die, which feels pointlessly stingy.

Lynch himself appears in the bonus features, talking gnomically about music, creativity and meditation.

Stephen Dalton has been writing about all things rock for more than 30 years, starting in the late Eighties at the New Musical Express (RIP) when it was still an annoyingly pompous analogue weekly paper printed on dead trees and sold in actual physical shops. For the last decade or so he has been a regular contributor to Classic Rock magazine. He has also written about music and film for Uncut, Vox, Prog, The Quietus, Electronic Sound, Rolling Stone, The Times, The London Evening Standard, Wallpaper, The Film Verdict, Sight and Sound, The Hollywood Reporter and others, including some even more disreputable publications.