By Nicole Fitzgerald
What: A Whole Lotta Led
When: Saturday, June 2
If Creekside Phil Richard, the "A Whole Lotta Led" guitarist most famous for his cello-bo-and-guitar mayhem, had his way he would dye frontman Grateful Greg Reamsbottom’s hair blonde and shave his beard.
Who wouldn’t want to unleash all that wonderful chest hair on the ladies with one of Robert Plant’s signature button down, chest-baring shirts?
He would rather sing Dazed and Confused than look it.
The Whistler musician has no ambition to look like Led Zeppelin’s frontman, but if audiences close their eyes, they would swear the local outfit kidnapped Robert Plant himself. Reamsbottom’s soaring top notes would make Plant proud.
“Some people ask why we don’t dress up in costume, but to me it is all about the music,” Reamsbottom said. “I’ve seen a lot of tribute bands over the years and the more they dress up and the more theatrical the outfit, the cheesier they look to me. It’s enough on our plate to sound like Led Zeppelin without having to worry about fitting into a girl’s blouse.”
Creekside Phil sort of looks like Page's taller brother, but bassist Mike Wilson would have to completely rearrange his DNA, and drummer Tom Rimmer would have to dye his hair black and grow a stash to pull off the look alike gimmick.
The band has no time for a costume makeover thanks to their growing popularity. The tribute band sold out every show this year. You only need to look for the lineup out the door to find the Zeppelin incarnates.
The local boys get ready to hit the road, taking their music beyond Whistler and the Lower Mainland for the first time this summer. After performing at Canada Day celebrations in Squamish, then another show in Whistler, the boys set out on an Eastern B.C. tour (including Nelson) for the middle half of July. The tour comes to a head at the 36th Annual Kimberley July Fest, where A Whole Lotta Led will rock out as the headline act to an arena of 2,000-plus people.
“It’s a big one for us,” Reamsbottom said. “It signals a shift for us. Hopefully we will be playing bigger arenas. That is what this music is designed for. It sounds best on a huge stage with a big PA.”
The boys will return to an even bigger stage with their first Whistler appearance after the tour, rocking out the Crankworx mainstage — the perfect venue for all of those Zeppelin anthems such as Whole Lotta Love, Ramble On and Good Times Bad Times, classics Zep-heads can always count on at an A Whole Lotta Led show.
While the band’s new acoustic set premiered to a full house, A Whole Lotta Led is remaining plugged for their next show Saturday, June 2 at Dusty’s at Creekside.
“We are always working on new songs,” Reamsbottom said. “Our goal is not to play every song Zep did. A lot of their songs are great to listen to in the car, but aren’t always as great to play live. We try to keep things as high energy as possible and pull out the best eclectic ones as well.”