Belfast Telegraph

Friday 30 January 2015

Music stars pay tribute to Jansch

Robert Plant performed Go Your Way My Love at the tribute concert
Robert Plant performed Go Your Way My Love at the tribute concert

Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant was among music stars who celebrated the work and inspiration of the late folk-rock guitarist Bert Jansch at a tribute concert.

Also on the bill this evening were former Suede star Bernard Butler, 60s chart act Donovan - famed for tracks such as Hurdy Gurdy Man - and Streets Of London hit-maker Ralph McTell.

Jansch, who was credited with influencing a generation of musicians, died in October 2011 at the age of 67 after a two-year battle with lung cancer.

The Scottish musician was a founding member of the group Pentangle, with whom he gave his last public performance in August of that year when they reformed.

Original members of the band - Terry Cox, Jacqui McShee and Danny Thompson, with Butler taking Jansch's place - were among those who joined the bill of tonight's concert at the Royal Festival Hall on London's South Bank.

Jansch had been a prominent figure in the folk revival of the 1960s, and had been a recipient of a lifetime achievement honour at the BBC Folk Awards.

But his reputation as a virtuoso guitarist extended well beyond the folk circuit and he has often been cited as an influence by musicians such as Butler, who performed on his Crimson Moon album along with former Smiths star Johnny Marr.

Donovan said: "His impact is immense, it's extraordinary. The way he wrote song from blues into trad into jazz."

Plant - accompanied by Butler - performed Go Your Way My Love and then joined Bonnie Dobson to play Morning Dew at the concert, which was staged to celebrate Jansch's 70th birthday which would have been a month ago.

The concert also included a specially recorded film from Neil Young, who performed Jansch's Needle Of Death from a recording booth at the home of US musician Jack White.

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