Led Zeppelin – Denmark 15th March 1969 (No Label)

Denmark 15th March 1969 (No Label)

(63:55) Teen Clubs Box 45, Gladsaxe, Denmark: Introduction, Train Kept A Rollin’, I Can’t Quit You Baby, As Long As I Have You, You Shook Me, Communication Breakdown. Brondby Pop Club Norregardhallen, Norregard, Denmark: Train Kept A Rollin’, I Can’t Quit You Baby, Dazed And Confused, You Shook Me

I have a few very old CD titles in my collection that have been in need of an upgrade, yet certainly been overlooked over the years, titles I bought very early on that do not get regular spins. One such title is Copenhagen (Kaleidoscope KM CD 2) featuring the audience recording from the Teen Clubs Box 45 in Gladsaxe Denmark, referred to as from the Copenhagen Teen Club 13/03/69 on the rear insert. The dates of this tour have since been re evaluated and correct dates have been confirmed, along with upgrades in sound since the early nineties. Since then the date has been confirmed as March 15, 1969 and there have been several titles released with upgraded sound like Short Cuts (Image Quality IQ-035), Rock Of Ages (TDOLZ-84), C’Mon Everybody (House Of Elrond), Danish Television March 1969 (Cobra-009), Led Zeppelin Is A Gas (Empress Valley EVSD-207) and its reissue Led Zeppelin Is A Gas Revisited (Empress Valley EVSD-207).

Needless to say the sound quality is a massive upgrade to my old Kaleidoscope title that sounded clear of hiss but dull with bass frequency overload. Based upon comments of the excellent Bootledz site where it’s stated that this new version from No Label is similar to TDOLZ with no dropouts during the music and is the complete recording. This new No Label version is incredible to listen to, the sound is clear and dynamic with a great raw sound with some distortion present, it easily falls into the very good range. All instruments and vocals are clear and the mix is well balanced. The band returns to the site of their first live performance the previous October.

The performance has been delayed as Robert refers to an issue with the support band The Ox, one has to wonder if this is the reason for the short set. This is a unique performance as it is one of two shows from 1969 where Dazed And Confused was not played, yet not surprisingly you do not miss it. With a short time frame to work with Led Zeppelin give a compact and brutally intense performance. Page’s playing is exceptional, fluent and dynamic, his leads are blistering and the interplay between him and the rhythm section is superlative. Train Kept A Rollin’ is a standard version so things heat up a bit with I Can’t Quit You Baby, it’s like one long lead extravaganza by Page and he leads the band through dirty English blues. The set highlight is an intense version of Garnett Mimms’ As Long As I Have You, the group uses it as a vehicle for improvisation throwing bits of Spirit’s Fresh Garbage, Doctor Ross’ Cat’s Squirrel, and the only known rendition of Willie Dixon’s I Just Wanna Make Love To You. Like I Can’t Quit You Baby prior, the band can go soft and quiet and switch to loud and bombastic in the drop of a hat, light and shade in its early stages. Jimmy seems out of sync a bit during You Shook Me and the song is not as heavy as others from early 69, he does do some nice bird calls ala Duane Allman near the end. A powerful Communication Breakdown ends the set, I like the beginning as they purposely build into the main riff then launch into it proper, Page plays some nice Wah pedal leads before the funky middle section. A strong performance.

The remainder of the disc is the 30 minute fragment of the evening’s performance at the Brondby Pop Club in Norregard, Denmark. The recording is similar in sound to the Teen Club afternoon show, the drums and bass are better defined in this recording giving it better bottom end. Previously this recording has been found on the titles Rock Of Ages (TDOLZ-84), Led Zeppelin Is A Gas (Empress Valley EVSD-207) and its reissue Led Zeppelin Is A Gas Revisited (Empress Valley EVSD-207), and Jimmy Page Blues Band (Tarantura 2000 TCD-152). Again based upon Bootledz, this title is similar in sound compared to the other titles and features the complete recording.

For being a 49 year old audience recording the sound is quite nice, this is my first title with this material so I am very excited to be listening to it in all its glory. The band gives a more relaxed yet very powerful performance. You can hear muffled audience conversations that do not interfere and are probably about what they are hearing. Primal Led Zeppelin taking the stage with the Yardbird’s Train Kept A Rollin’, one wonders how many people saw the band’s performance at the same venue some five months earlier. I love the early versions of Dazed and Confused, John Bonham’s drumming is superlative, hitting all those fills like on the album, plus more. John Paul Jones plays intermediate notes like on the record all while the taper struggles holding his microphone. The audience are quite pleased with the song and give it an extended clapping ovation giving Plant a minute to get his harmonica in order. You Shook Me is more focused than the afternoon performance, Page expertly leads the band through their collective paces, the sound of his Telecaster has a wonderful raw sound to it, so much that it seems to overpower the rest of the band. Sadly there is only 30 minutes of this recording, we know from the pictures that the band played White Summer as well. Nonetheless, a very powerful half an hour.

The packaging is typical No Label, this time the art work is excellent as it features black and white shots from both the Teen Club and Brondby Pop Club performances. The band’s garb is very late 60’s stylish and the images are stunning. You also get a picture disc and numbered sticker, a really nice looking package. I like that you get both afternoon and evening shows on one disc and I am very happy with this title, it has been in constant rotation for the past week, for those like me who either need the upgrade or who do not have this material, this is a great title to own.

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