ROBERT Plant is in Bournemouth tonight for the second stop of his UK tour to present his beautifully crafted new album, Lullaby and … The Ceaseless Roar.

This critically acclaimed long player picks up on the eclectic and varied nature of 2010’s offering, Band of Joy, expertly fusing together elements of world musical styles from West African rhythms to traditional Celtic folk and modern electronic trip hop sounds.

The recent tabloid press headlines would have us believe that Plant has steadfastly refused a £500 million offer to reunite Led Zeppelin and so instead here he is tonight playing to a completely sold out, but modest sized venue in Bournemouth with his new 6 piece backing band, The Sensational Space Shifters.

If you’re looking forward to a nostalgic set riding high on the past glories of the Led Zeppelin era you could be disappointed, but that’s not saying that he doesn’t delve into his back catalogue.

He does so frequently, but always presenting his past both substantially re-arranged and reinterpreted proving that Robert Plant is actually always musically moving forwards, even whilst he’s looking back.

Going to California and What Is and What Should Never Be are Zeppelin classics aired early on in the set, warming things up nicely and sitting alongside the percussion led new tracks Embrace Another Fall and the sublime recent single Rainbow.

Dressed completely in black, at 66 years old, Robert Plant looks every bit the rock legend that he clearly still is… Perhaps a little ragged around the edges these days and now sporting a bushy grey pirate goatee, he’s still lucky enough to be blessed with a full head of hair and his trademark strawberry blonde, shoulder length curls.

"Not bad for a Monday night in Boscombe huh?", he enthuses, before moving into a new flamenco guitar led version of, Babe I’m Gonna Leave You, followed by new album opener, Little Maggie and then an epic interpretation of 1940’s, blues legend, Bukka White’s Fixin’ to Die.

The Zeppelin-esqe heavy guitar take on the blues appears to totally give way to interpretations of the traditional Mississippi sound when we are suddenly hauled back on track and treated to a brand new take on Zep’s, Whole Lotta Love, which blends in and back out of Bo Diddley’s, Who do you love? to close the set.

An encore is almost certainly a given despite the Monday night curfew and he’s back on stage before you know it announcing, “one more for Solent Radio”, before giving us the most beautifully mournful rendition of 2014’s, A Stolen Kiss, followed by a full rock rendition of Zeppelin’s, Rock n’ Roll to close the evening and send some of the more sceptical punters home happy.

Robert Plant’s sound in 2014 is a true art form blending both the exotic with the traditional, but still packaged with a familiar rock production delivering now arguably some of the best music he has ever produced.

Nick Marrow