A Whole Lotta Love

Australia’s own Whole Lotta Love Led Zeppelin celebration will hit their tenth anniversary this year. Helmed by proven and highly capable director Joseph Calderazzo, Australian Guitar’s Paul Southwell managed to chat to the busy man about all things Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin has such a vast back catalogue. How do you pick and choose songs? That is really hard and to get that right I think we’d need to do three nights. It is only a two and a half hour show. We’d probably get about 19 songs in as some are quite long. It comes down to picking the song that is most representative of particular styles like folk with “The Battle Of Evermore” to being kind of pressured into doing “Stairway To Heaven”. We have to do “Kashmir” and then “The Rain Song”. We use strings in the last half and that takes it to a different level within the journey. It is only three strings but it is just enough. There is a lot of great string stuff with Zeppelin such as “Four Sticks” and of course “The Rain Song”. We try to cover all of the elements that made Zeppelin what they were. Have there been any copyright issues with Zep’s management? No, it is just a cover band so there have been no issues. At a theatre level we have to pay APRA, we have to list the songs we are doing, they take a percentage of the box office and that goes back to the writers. If you are playing it in a pub, you don’t have to worry about that because there is... read more

Jeff Martin: The Song Remains The Same

Jeff Martin, ex-Tea Party frontman turned Aussie citizen, found his home on the road Down Under with his new three-piece and shares a wealth of guitar knowledge with Australian Guitar’s fellow Led Zeppelin enthusiast Craig White. The Tea Party formed in Canada in the early-‘90s, and over the course of that decade became one of the most successful bands in that country. Now Canada is a country crawling with inventive and exciting musical acts that barely rate a mention outside of its own borders, and the Tea Party may well have become yet another assured ensemble enjoying a successful domestic career while not even registering a blip on the international radar. Worse yet, they might have hopped the bus for south of the border, where their intriguing blend of hard rock and world music could easily have been lost as it flew right over the heads of American youth hungry for yet another Nirvana. Instead, a prescient manager who had spent time Down Under suggested they make their first international foray an antipodean excursion, where the band found an appreciative audience of fellow Commonwealth citizens. I begin my conversation with former Tea Party frontman Jeff Martin by asking whether he feels the historical ties between the two countries and a certain similarity in national character caused the band to resonate with Aussie audiences, which it definitely did, as they eventually toured this country a dozen times. “Well, we put the hard yards in. We did something that a lot of international bands won’t do. When we first came over to Australia, we just did Sydney and Melbourne, and we... read more

WHOLE LOTTA LOVE – Led Zeppelin Celebration

Burswood Theatre, Perth Friday 3rd December 2010 Shane Rockpit They were all out in force for this celebration of Led Zeppelin’s music – baby boomers, generation X and Y couples and hipsters, Dad’s chaperoning teenage sons and daughters, middle aged ex-rocker couples sporting faded black t-shirts declaring their love of AC/DC, Thin Lizzy and (everywhere) Led Zeppelin themselves. In fact the only demographic thin on the ground was long haired rockers – maybe the refined surroundings of the Burswood Theatre (more used to hosting George Benson, the Nutcracker Suite and stand-up comedians) scared them off? Anyone who stayed away missed a fantastic night of some of the very best rock music ever written – and a Celebration it most certainly was: joyful, loving and impassioned, not to mention riveting from start to finish! Reasoning that no single singer could adequately represent the entire canon of Zep’s work, the show features no less than FIVE vocalists, each with a vibrant and riveting personality of their own. Opener ‘Rock and Roll’ dispelled any fear that this was going to be a cabaret act – the core band rocking hard and faithfully, whilst still expressing themselves and not being mere copyists. Simon Meli of Sydney band The Widowbirds took the crease for this first delivery, and throughout all his tunes tonight his soulful textured vocals proved a revelation. Screaming Jets frontman Dave Gleeson was next up, throwing himself about the sparse stage like a demented Aqualung looking figure. The band slink through ‘The Ocean’ with Gleeson, playing funky, heavy rock with an emphasis on the roll. Magnificent stuff! Demented chicken-haired man boy,... read more

Shane Rockpit talks with Joseph Calderazzo

Shane Rockpit talks with Joseph Calderazzo about Whole Lotta Love December 2010 Calderazzo is the creator of the WHOLE LOTTA LOVE Led Zeppelin tribute show, now in it’s eighth year in Australia and about to visit Perth for the first time. The two and a half hour show features a variety of singers such as Dave Gleeson (The Screaming Jets), Steve Balbi (Noiseworks), Ngaiire and Zyke to recreate the eclectic back catalogue of arguably rock’s most consistently stunning band. SR – Thanks for talking to The Rockpit! Firstly, what is it about Led Zeppelin that made you want to create an act in tribute of them? JC – I love the fact that they write powerful songs with meaningful lyrics. I’m also attracted to the variety of influences that shape their music. SR – How closely do you present the band onstage – both musically and visually? JC – Some of the tracks are quite close musically, however we don’t do the visual thing. We just present ourselves as we are, we’re not trying to be them, we’re just playing their songs. SR – You have an amazing group of artists involved – Dave from The Screaming Jets, Steve from Noiseworks, Swanee joins in over East, plus people from Blue King Brown, Ooh La La and more. With such diverse backgrounds, were there any hurdles in getting everyone to gel stylistically during rehearsals? JC – The reason we have so many artists from diverse backgrounds is so that they bring their own style to the table. This gives the show a twist that the audience is not expecting and... read more

Whole Lotta Love Live Review

by Christie Eliezer “You don’t know what a joy it is to sing these songs,” Dave Gleeson of the Screaming Jets told the crowd midway through “Whole Lotta Love”. That was obvious in the way he leaped, ran around the stage and swirled his butt at the audience. He was one of the night’s singers brought together by Sydney guitarist and music director Joseph Calderazzo of CCEntertainment. Tonight was not a by-numbers gallop through the Zep songbook. Rather it was a celebration which reassembled the songs respectfully and captured the spirit that originally drove the music. The hammering riffs of “Rock and Roll”, “The Ocean”, “Black Dog” and “Immigrant Song” kept purists happy. But the others threw in Zep’s palette of Middle Eastern, blues and celtic that transcended a music created by four white males. “Battle of Evermore” took on Eastern tinges and “Four Sticks” a blistering blues workout, that highlighted the light/shade of Zep music. So the roll-out of singers wasn’t confined to males Gleeson, John Swan, Dave Larkin, Steve Balbi of Noiseworks and Simon Meli of Sydney’s The Widowbirds. Adelaide’s Zkye Compson-Harris and Ngaiire, ex of Blue King Brown, put in thunderous performances, while keys player Charmaine Ford, who shone on synths and piano on “No Quarter”, took turns on guitar and percussion. The most magnificent moments came when the ensemble, joined by the Sydney Lyric Strings, stretched to 15 minutes utterly glorious “Stairway To Heaven”, “Rain Song” (with such wonderful guitar interplay by Calderazzo and Peter Northcote that at the end they shook hands), “Moby Dick”, with a drum solo from Gordon Rytmeister, and the peak... read more

A Whole Lotta Love! The Palais, Melbourne

by Jake Schatz (Schatzy) CCEntertainment’s Annual ‘WHOLE LOTTA LOVE’ Led Zeppelin Celebration made it’s Melbourne debut on Friday the 1st of October.The well reputed show has grown to be a staple performance at Sydney’s Enmore theater each year, and it was an absolute pleasure to have the show in Melbourne on it’s 8th anniversary. Generally speaking, tribute band’s aren’t my thing. Not in their usual sense anyway, with people dressing up like the original band members and imitating something that they are not. However, this wasn’t a typical tribute show, and the performers were certainly not trying to blatantly copy the music of the greatest rock band to ever exist. They were merely celebrating the music with combined musical brilliance, and a ‘Whole Lotta Love’ for Led Zeppelin. It is undeniable the effect that Led Zeppelin have had, and are still having on rock music. Many of the greatest and most imitated guitar riffs have come directly out of Jimmy Page’s guitar playing. If there were ever four absolute legends of music to form a bond as a band it was Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham. All four were absolute masters of their individual instruments, and together they created music that was godlike. The host of incredibly diverse and talented musicians that tore up the stage at the Palais Theatre last Friday night did Led Zeppelin perfect justice, in giving their own renditions of Zeppelin classics with an evident mutual love for the band. For a tribute band to receive a standing ovation is something very special indeed. Renowned vocalists including John Swan (Swanee),... read more

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