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Tribute band bringing Whole Lotta Love to Hornchurch theatre

PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 January 2016 | UPDATED: 14:01 11 January 2016

Tribute band Boot-Led-Zeppelin, which is coming to Queen's Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch. Picture: Rodgers Photography

Tribute band Boot-Led-Zeppelin, which is coming to Queen's Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch. Picture: Rodgers Photography

Archant

Boot-Led-Zeppelin have played in concert venues all around the world, performed on the BBC and have been dubbed the “nearest thing to the lords of rock” by TV and radio presenter Fearne Cotton.

Raff Achour performing as Jimmy Page in his tribute band Boot-Led-Zeppelin. The group are coming to Queen's Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch. Picture: Rodgers Photography Raff Achour performing as Jimmy Page in his tribute band Boot-Led-Zeppelin. The group are coming to Queen's Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch. Picture: Rodgers Photography

Now the tribute band are back at Queen’s Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch, to perform classic songs from the set of Led Zeppelin’s Earls Court Arena concert in 1975.

From the laser pyramid during Dazed and Confused, to the flaming gong at the end of Whole Lotta Love, Boot-Led-Zeppelin’s new production promises to feature all the trademarks of a Led Zeppelin show.

Raff Achour, who has performed as guitarist Jimmy Page for 12 years, said: “We have a hell of a lot of equipment, but to do it right we need to use what they used.

“We play in the same mould as Led Zeppelin and try to make it as authentic as we can.”

Jesse Smith performing as Robert Plant in the tribute band Boot-Led-Zeppelin. The group are coming to Queen's Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch. Picture: Rodgers Photography Jesse Smith performing as Robert Plant in the tribute band Boot-Led-Zeppelin. The group are coming to Queen's Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch. Picture: Rodgers Photography

As soon as the band put on their costumes, which consist of embroidered dragon suits and matador capes, they “get in the mood” and believe keeping their hair long is all part of the job description.

“The audience want to feel like they are travelling back in time and creating that visual illusion brings more to the show,” said Raff.

“It is all tight trousers and high heels, but we are used to it now.”

The band have a set playlist but improvise in the middle of the songs, which keeps performances exciting.

Mat Martin performing as John Bonham in the tribute band Boot-Led-Zeppelin. The group are coming to Queen's Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch. Picture: Rodgers Photography Mat Martin performing as John Bonham in the tribute band Boot-Led-Zeppelin. The group are coming to Queen's Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch. Picture: Rodgers Photography

No two nights are the same and, much like the original group, Boot-Led-Zeppelin draw off the energy in the audience to produce a sensory experience.

“It’s like a water stream in a river,” said Raff.

“It gets to the same place, but how you get there is different each time.”

The musician feels it’s a tall order to play Jimmy Page, as he is one of the most respected guitar players in rock history.

James Watson performing as John Paul Jones in the tribute band Boot-Led-Zeppelin. The group are coming to Queen's Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch. Picture: Rodgers Photography James Watson performing as John Paul Jones in the tribute band Boot-Led-Zeppelin. The group are coming to Queen's Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch. Picture: Rodgers Photography

He told the Recorder that on the day of a show, he can’t stop thinking about the gig and making sure he is focused on playing well.

One of his favourite parts of playing in the tribute band comes from the fact that Led Zeppelin played in different styles and used a wide range of instruments, including a mandolin.

The band was inspired by a wide range of influences and this can be seen through the variety of acoustic music and big dramatic numbers in its back catalogue.

“It’s very tricky to pick out a best song, as there are so many good ones, but one of my personal favourites is Ramble On,” added Raff.

“It encapsulates a lot of what Led Zeppelin are about and starts off with guitar, then vocals are added and then the base kicks in – it is very much a light and shade song.”

The band have performed their Earls Court tribute show for the last year and their performance at Queen’s will be the final one in the series.

They want to go out with a bang and have added additional effects to make it extra special.

After 12 months, they have their set list down and are instead practising stage placement to make sure they won’t get hit by any pyrotechnics.

Raff said: “Led Zeppelin have a good reputation with audiences, just look at their 2007 concert, where 20 million people applied for 20,000 tickets.

“Everybody in Boot-Led-Zeppelin is at the top of their game, as we all get on very well musically and as mates.”

Boot-Led-Zeppelin will be performing at Queen’s Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch, on Friday, at 7.30pm.

For more information or to book tickets, call the theatre on 01708 443333 or visit queens-theatre.co.uk.

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