Other Arms (Midas Touch 61721/61722)
The Civic Theatre, Newcastle, Australia – February 8th, 1984
Disc 1 (50:51): In The Mood, Pledge Pin, Messin’ With The Mekon, Moonlight In Samosa, Fat Lip, Thru With The Two Step, Other Arms
Disc 2 (34:46): Horizontal Departure, Wreckless Love, Slow Dancer, Just Like I’ve Never Been Gone
Robert Plant’s first tour of Australia as a solo artist occurred twelve years after Led Zeppelin’s only trip in 1972. Over ten dates, he pretty much covered the country and even traveled outside of the usual Sydney-Melbourne-Perth circuit to more obscure cities like Canberra and, on February 8th, Newcastle.
Other Arms on Midas Touch features a perfectly balanced and very enjoyable soundboard recording. It’s very good at picking up the dynamics and warmth of the performance. It is unfortunately incomplete, missing “Burning Down One Side” and “Big Log” (at the very least).
Plant played the 2,000 seat capacity Civic Theatre in Newcastle. Playing the normal setlist, he comments that Newcastle is “very much like the Newcastle we played in about six weeks ago. Not this Newcastle, the other one.” And, in speaking about the show, says “this is a night of alternative stuff and this is the first deviation from the straight and narrow” before the thumping “Moonlight In Samosa.”
Despite not wanting to trade off on past glories and omitting Led Zeppelin songs from the set, there are obvious echoes throughout the evening such as Plant singing a few lines of “Trampled Underfoot” in “Other Arms.”
Of all the Robert Plant documents in circulation from his first tour, this is perhaps the best sounding and most readily available. Other Arms is one of the best Plant titles to be produced and is essential for the collection.