Ultimate Interviews

Ultimate Interviews

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Miss-Led - U.K.'s only female fronted Led Zeppelin tribute

Led Zeppelin is no stranger when it comes to tribute bands, after all they do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. In bars all around the world there are fans of the music getting up on stage to run through setlists filled with Zeppelin classics. 'Miss-Led', are one of those bands carrying the torch and paying tribute to Zep's legacy, but doing it with something a little different than their competition. The group is fronted by a powerful female vocalist who fearlessly approaches the microphone and belts out the lyrics with all the passion and intensity that Robert Plant was known for. Calling the West Midlands home, guitarist Tim Barratt, bassist/keyboardist Dave Brookes, drummer Leyton Burgess and vocalist Chrissii Wing have put on over sixty shows getting the Led out with fellow Zeppelin fans.


Official Bio
Miss-Led are kicking up a storm in their home area of the West Midlands. They are the UK's only female-fronted tribute to the rock gods.... recreating the sounds and atmosphere of a full-on Led Zeppelin concert! 

The slow, but mind-blowing blues of "Since I've Been Loving You"; the genre leading hard rock of "Immigrant Song" and "Whole Lotta Love"; the acoustic folk of "Going To California"; the trippy, psychedelic "Dazed and Confused" (complete with violin bow solo!); and the enduring stadium anthem "Stairway To Heaven".

Photo By: John Price
Robert Plant's extraordinary vocal range is emulated by our very own FEMALE Robert Plant, Chrissii Wing!! Chrissii has fronted and performed with a variety of bands over the years, including tributes to Alanis Morrisette and Janis Joplin, the long-serving rock band "SheBangg" and the country rock four-piece "Moonshine Runners". She recreates Robert Plant's swaggering stage presence and soaring vocals with relish and aplomb. Backed up by three experienced and accomplished musicians:- Tim Barratt (guitars) as Jimmy Page; Dave Brookes (bass and keyboards) as John Paul Jones; and Leyton Burgess (drums) as John Bonham.... The exciting Miss-Led give you the opportunity to have a glimpse at what an early 70's Led Zeppelin show would have sounded and looked like!

I was fortunate to have the members of 'Miss-Led' take some time from their busy schedules to answer some questions. They provided an insight into what makes the band work well together as well as their own individual interest in the legendary rock band which contributes to the success of the band. 

Photo by: Chris Rollason
Q: Do you recall the band's first gig? What was the reaction from the audience, and what was it that made you all decide that you wanted to continue playing Zep's music?

Miss-Led:  The first Miss-Led gig was at a small pub in our hometown of Bridgnorth, Shropshire, called "The Bear". The venue was rammed and the fledgling show went down very well! We were known to the locals anyway, as we had previously been in a band called 'SheBangg' that played a mixture of original songs and covers. We had already played "Black Dog" and "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" in that group and they became the highlights of our set, so we thought we'd give it a go as a tribute act because Chrissii's voice really suited the songs... and there were NO other female-fronted tributes to Led Zeppelin in the UK!

Q:   How would each of you describe what it is about the Zeppelin member that you portray? 

Leyton:  Bonzo was simply the best rock drummer that ever lived in my opinion. He could pin you to the wall with his power but he had a lightness of touch too. He had groove and feel which was crucial to the swagger of the band. Totally irreplaceable. The best drum sound too but that has as much to do with the genius of Page as a producer.

Chrissii:- I love the way Robert Plant uses his voice as an "instrument", rather than just a vocal. He loses himself in the music and throws in emotion and passion. Another singer I admire is Janis Joplin and, in a lot of ways, Robert Plant's voice is a male equivalent. 

Photo by: Aaron J. Collyer
Tim:- Jimmy Page has always been in my top three favourite guitarists (alongside Jeff Beck and Paul Kossoff). He is one of the most versatile and creative guitarists in rock history. He has an incredible range, both as a guitarist and songwriter. As the member of the band that has the scary job of trying to emulate Jimmy, I'm still trying to work out HOW he did one or two things!

Watch video: "Black Dog"

Q:  From the Zeppelin discography, which album do you find influences you the most?  Is there a particular element on that album? (i.e., the guitar, lyrics, music, etc.)

Leyton:- Tough question! I was slow catching on to Zep. I was in my late 20's when I first heard the fourth album and it knocked me out. The clarity and punch coming out of the speakers was brilliant - it didn't sound like it was from 1971, it could've been recorded yesterday. It made any hard rock I'd been listening to up to that point immediately redundant. The first six albums are indispensable but the mid-period is probably my favourite. I love the diversity on "Physical Graffiti" and "Houses Of The Holy".

Q:  Which 5 songs must be on a typical setlist? Are there certain songs that are left off?

Miss-Led:  The best known songs to the general public are the obvious ones to perform when we do a full set: "Whole Lotta Love", "Immigrant Song", "Stairway To Heaven", "Rock N' Roll" and "Kashmir". We're not fans of "Hot Dog" or "Boogie With Stu", so I can't see them making an appearance anytime soon!

Watch video: "Immigrant Song & Heartbreaker"

Q:  Outside of Miss-Led do you all have other projects? Are there certain things you can borrow from those outside projects to enhance your role in Miss-Led?

Miss-Led: Between us, individually, we're in a variety of other bands... ranging from a Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute, to a Fleetwood Mac-style country rock band. All the bands are totally different, but just as much fun. It's a real challenge to play and perform the music of Led Zeppelin but, additionally, it is making us better musicians! 

Photo by: John Price
Q:  If you could perform in front of any of the remaining members of Zeppelin, which song would you want to play  that you feel would showcase Miss-Led's ability to cover the Zeppelin songs? If you could play any Zep song with Jimmy, Robert, John, which would it be?

Miss-Led: We come from the same region as Robert Plant, so we're hoping he'll catch a Miss-Led show one of these days! He's apparently heard of us and he'd definitely appreciate Chrissii's voice, especially on something impassioned like "Since I've Been Loving You"! And, of course, if Jimmy, Robert or  John walked in, we'd happily jam with them, once we'd got over the shock of sharing a room with them!

Watch video: "Since I've Been Loving You

Q:  Where do you see Miss-Led in the future? Would you like to take the show to North America and other countries?

Photo by: Peter Rowe
Miss-Led: Since Miss-Led was formed two years ago, we have played nearly 60 gigs in all sorts of venues. As a Led Zeppelin tribute, we have caused quite a stir in the West Midlands over a very short space of time!  Miss-Led plan to go on to play bigger stages in many more locations. None of us would be crazy enough to say 'no' to playing in North America!... so that's a 'Yes'!

Q:  What is it do you personally think that is the reason why the legacy of Zeppelin is still strong in 2015?

Miss-Led: Timeless tunes skillfully performed with masterly production.

Leyton: For me, the only album that sounds dated is "In Through The Out Door" although it does have some great songs. Their live act is the stuff of legend and I curse myself for being born way too late to catch them in their prime. Class lasts and Zep will be around for a LOT longer yet!

Watch video: "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You"

Q:  If you could describe Miss-Led in a sentence or two, what would it be?

 Exciting to watch, with a sound so close to the Led Zeppelin of the early 70's, but with the added spice of a female voice. A female-fronted homage to the daddies of epic rock!

Photo by: John Price

Q:  Aside from Led Zeppelin, who else would you all credit as influences for getting you into the music business?

ChrissiiJanis Joplin, Alanis Morissette, Elkie Brookes.... in fact a variety of female vocalists who are known for having powerful voices. 

Leyton: The Beatles, Hendrix, Bowie, Queen, Pink Floyd among many others.

Tim: Free, Bad Company, and, embarrassingly, The Sweet!

Watch video: "Living Loving Maid"

Since their conception a couple years ago, 'Miss-Led' has been hitting stages and performing with passion, enthusiasm and intensity to audiences all over the United Kingdom. With an ever growing setlist, you're bound to hear some of your favourite Led Zeppelin tunes at a 'Miss-Led' show.

Thanks to Tim for organizing this interview and to Chrissii, Leyton and Dave for taking the time to answer our questions.

If you want to learn more about 'Miss-Led', and find out where they are playing next, be sure to check out their official website, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Official Miss-Led Website

Official Miss-Led Facebook
Official MIss-Led Twitter


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