Spreading a whole lotta love for Led Zeppelin 

Who: Whole Lotta Led

Where: The Boot Pub

When: Monday, Dec. 9

The Whole Lotta Led boys, who salute the original rock gods, Led Zeppelin, want to make an announcement. "We sincerely thank our neighbours for never complaining during rehearsals."

I can understand their appreciation. These guys are loud. Very good mind you, but very loud. I took up the band’s invitation to sit in on one of their rehearsals and you could feel the force of lead singer Greg Reamsbottom’s vocals the moment I stepped off the bus outside Boston Pizza. That’s across the highway and two streets away from where they actually practice.

I made my way in darkness closer to the roaring riffs and heavy drum beats when I finally stumbled across regulation rock ’n’ rollness in all its glory. A long-haired guitar player, a smoker on the skins, a screaming singer with a beer in his hand, a bass sounding like rolling thunder, and big concert posters covering the walls. I had entered Led’s lair.

This tribute band is made up of some long-time musicians. Greg, along with guitarist Phil Richard, bass player J.P. Trottier, and drummer Tom Rimmer have collectively racked up more than 50 years playing rock ’n’ roll in other projects, not to mention the odd Led Zeppelin tune. The Whole Lotta Led project was talked about for years but was only taken seriously six months ago.

Their first gig ever, at The Boot in September, was a total sell-out. The Boot’s management said it was one of the best parties they’d had in five years. Their second gig, on Dec. 9, looks set to head the same way.

J.P. said their inaugural tribute was "the perfect release from all the practice" and they can’t wait to do it all again. The guys recounted some memorable moments. Guys jumped on stage and girls wanted their photos taken with the band.

"It was surreal, a rockin’ good time. The way Led Zeppelin should be celebrated," said Greg.

Led Zeppelin were one of the first bands to fuse acid rock with the blues, creating a unique sound that lingers on today. Whole Lotta Led play their idols’ tunes damn hard and damn fast with loads of passion and profession – not an easy task to master. There's a certain amount of trepidation involved when you're playing to a room full of Zeppelin fans, said Tom.

"A lot of them know these songs note for note, so you've got to do your best to get it right."

The boys practised harder than they ever had before and it’s turned out to be a wild magical mutation for them. Greg said he’s never met a bass player like J.P. who was so committed. Phil said he’d never heard someone sing Zep as well as Greg, and the enthusiasm doesn’t stop there.

"Zeppelin are the reason most of us got into music in the first place," said Greg.

Phil. who’s been playing Led covers since 1993, still can’t decide which song is the best.

"It’s like picking your favourite child. Impossible."

Whole Lotta Led will belt out all the hits you know and love, including Over the Hills and Far Away, Four Sticks, Dazed and Confused and Ramble On.

Admission is free for the ladies on Monday night. Call the Boot at 604-932-3338 for tickets or visit their Web site www.thebootpub.com


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