Led Zepp link to Scarefest at Pateley

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Harefield Hall is to host a Hallowe’en-themed night of music this Saturday with a difference - the line-up includes Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant’s former producer.

Harefield Hall is to host a Hallowe’en-themed night of music this Saturday with a difference - the line-up includes Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant’s former producer, writes Gig Scene Editor Graham Chalmers.

Scarefest sees the Pateley Bridge hotel owners Elaine and Mike Little host an impressive list of live acts from 5.30pm.

The acts include New Groove Formation, Dan Donnelly, Lukas Drinkwater. Kasiuss, In Echoes and The Great Northern Fabbies who are led by Phil Johnstone.

This likable rock n roll character produced Plant’s Now & Zen, Manic Nirvana and Fate of Nations albums, played and toured with the ex-Zeppelin frontman co-wrote many of his tracks, including the huge international hits Heaven Knows, Hurting Kind and Tall Cool One.

Phil, who is coming up for the show from Devon, said: “We love Harefield Hall and the Dales.

“It’s a fantastic part of the world. Elaine and Mike held a great event Harefest earlier in the year and it was so great they thought we should repeat it.”

The hotel has close links to The Levellers and the rock world, as has Phil, a versatile musician who worked with the band for a spell after those heady days on tour with Robert Plant.

Although a bit circumspect on the sort of hi-jinx rock gods and their entourages got up to in the ir late 80s pomp, he does say it was a very exciting ride.

“When Robert first rang me to ask me to work with him, it took me a long time for him to convince me it wasn’t a wind-up! On one of the tours we played the Maracanã Stadium in Rio. Here I was on stage as sidekick to the greatest lead singer there’s ever been.

“It was one of those things that when I was young was on my mental list of dream jobs.”

Phil’s newest band, the Fabbies, who usually only appear once at year at The Levellers’ Beautiful Days event for fun, promise to get into the spirit of Scarefest by appearing in Hallowe’en costumes which fit the Scarefest decor of the hotel.

For tickets for Scarefest, call 01423 711429.