Monday, August 30, 2010

Review: Tight But Loose

In June, I had the opportunity to receive a courtesy copy of the latest edition of Dave Lewis’s legendary Led Zeppelin fanzine, Tight But Loose (TBL). Dave has changed up TBL for the 26th issue with a redesign and a full colour look.

tbl26-cover-721x1024Sometimes life brings the smallest pleasures, and it was so with my TBL before I even opened the envelope. On the envelope itself there was four of the Royal Mail album cover stamps. I had a relation send me a set of these, so I recognized them immediately, but it’s nice to have some proper ones, that have been enveloped and post marked. So there I was sitting looking at the envelope, complete with London Calling, Ziggy Stardust, Tubular Bells and Led Zeppelin 4 (he even got my favourites of the albums), enjoying TBL before I even opened it.

You know when you love the envelope, inside is going to be a treat. So it was with TBL. For the Zeppelin addict, it is a 32 page treasure trove of information and, most impressive, newspaper clippings. Besides a Led Zeppelin knowledge base that’s second to none, Lewis appears to have a phenomenal collection of Led Zeppelin articles, reviews and clippings. The magazine is littered with scans from old newspapers, and each story is better for them.

From an information standpoint, TBL misses nothing. The feature story on this edition was a review of Zeppelin’s live appearances in 1970 (part 1). But it has reviews of Them Crooked Vulture concerts, interviews with a trio of former Robert Plant guitarists (none of them called Jimmy Page or Robbie Blunt unfortunately - my two favourite RP sidemen), an interview with NME’s Nick Kent and very early mentions of Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience and Black Country Communion - who were still sorting out their name at the time of publication.

Lewis has a statement in the Editorial:
…web sites are for browsing, the TBL magazine is for reading again and again.

He’s right, and in second reading this week, the most interesting article was an interview with BCC singer/bassist Glenn Hughes. When I first read the interview in June, Black Country Communion were barely a story, there were even rumours of a rift within’ the band before it had even started. Since then, they have an album, a release date, and a song available. They are a going concern, and the Led Zeppelin fan who’s getting excited about the upcoming CD will find the interview excellent.

I want to thank Dave Lewis for the preview edition of Tight But Loose, which I loved. So much so that I bought a subscription for the next two editions, and am looking forward to receiving #27 in the next couple of weeks. And Dave, I hope you made a note of which stamps I already have (although I can never have too many Zeppelin IV stamps).

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