There’s a great part in one of the recorded versions of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ when, after making his point about the forests echoing with laughter, Lord Plant turns to the audience and asks innocently: “Can anyone remember laughter!?”
Though perhaps a throwaway gesture, the question offers a nice insight into how Zep’s success may have been affecting the psyche of the golden god as well as the overall dynamic of the band: was this a display of the growing frustrations caused by the commercialisation of their music and their image? Were they no longer able to enjoy making music together?
If there was to be one absolute truth of the power of music then surely it would be its ability to positively impact culture and society. History can provide countless examples of the times music has aided humanities progress and supported the building and sustaining of communities, providing respite in times of difficulty and, well, to Robert’s point, making us laugh.
Driven Serious are clearly a band that understands the epicentre of what makes music special: they have fun, they connect and they enjoy making music with each other.
Energetic, self-mocking and constantly smiling, the band plays their style of folk-punk with an interesting mix of covers and original material. The original songs are lyrically very clever and sonically reminiscent of Dexys Midnight Runners circa their ‘Too-Rye-Aye’ era, whilst the covers are chosen and played well.
‘Another Brick in the Wall’ and a brilliant rendition of ‘Ziggy Stardust’ are the evening’s highlights, as are the efforts of the band to engage with themselves and their audience.
As a music fan, it’s great to see a band so genuinely happy to create and play music with each other. Robert, clearly some people do remember laughter.