Stairway to good times at this rock‘n’roll show

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THERE’S a whole lotta tribute acts out there – so many, in fact, that it is difficult to tell which ones are worth seeing.

Ropey Elvis impersonators are generally good for a laugh, but not much of a tribute to the King.

Then there are long standing acts like the Bootleg Beatles and Rumours of Fleetwood Mac who come fully endorsed by the artists they impersonate.

Hats Off to Led Zeppelin are seeking to match the sort of success achieved by the latter bands, and though they have a long way to go they have made a good start since getting together two years ago.

“Once we started rehearsing together the sound was electric,” said Kevin Jones, who plays his namesake John Paul Jones.

“We’ve been playing it as a theatre show and it has been going really well. Marshall, the amplifier manufacturer, invited us to play a gig in Milton Keynes and gave us a load of equipment, and we sold out The Stables in MK as well.”

Unlike some other theatre rock‘n’roll shows Hats Off don’t try to impersonate Robert Plant and his merry men.

Instead Kevin and his cohorts – Peter Eldridge as Plant, Jack Tanner as Jimmy Page and Simon Wicker as John Bonham – pay tribute to the rock legends through a celebration of their music.

“We don’t try to act like them on stage it’s more about doing justice to the music,” said Kevin.

“We talk to the audience as ourselves telling them things about Led Zeppelin and the songs we are singing.”

As well as some classic rock songs, the show includes impressive pyrotechnics and audience interaction.

The foursome have good pedigree in rock‘n’roll theatre shows, with acting credits in Thriller, Dancing In The Street and We Will Rock You between them.

Kevin was also musical director on Thriller, the Michael Jackson tribute show, on its international tour.

“Because it’s a theatre show we get a different audience than if was a straight forward rock gig,” he said.

“We get the rockers, but we also get people coming with their children or grandkids who want to listen to some good music and watch a great show.”

Hats Off split the concert into two acts – the first part is a straightforward gig, as Led Zeppelin would have played in pub venues when they were starting out.

Then the second act has all the bells and whistles, with big set pieces and OTT rock poses.

And at the back of the stage you can see Kevin loving every minute.

“John Paul Jones is a great part to play as he played so many different instruments, but the focus was on Plant and Page.

“I get to rock out at the back and play all these great songs, it’s really fun.”

Hats Off to Led Zeppelin play at The Limelight Theatre, Aylesbury, on Saturday, October 1, and The Bucks Herald has a pair to tickets to give away.

To enter, answer this question: In what year did Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham die?

A) 1979

B) 1980

C) 1981

Text CBH LED followed by your answer then a space and your name to 61500 (e.g. CBH LED C David Moth). Texts cost 25p plus your operator’s sending charge. The competition closes at midnight on Tuesday, September 27.

To buy tickets to the show call the box office on 01296 424334.

TERMS & CONDITIONS

Texts cost 25p plus your standard network rate. Winners will be selected from all correct entries received by midnight on Tuesday, September 27. The Promoter’s decision is final.

Please note if you should enter after the stated closing deadline your entry will not valid but you still may be charged. For quality and training purposes we may monitor communications. SMS services are provided by Velti DR Ltd SE1 8ND – 02076335000