Eastbourne hosts Led Zep tribute
Tribute band CODA will represent the music of Led Zeppelin with passion and dedication on a special night in Eastbourne.
They are playing Eastbourne College theatre on Saturday, October 23.
Drummer Simon Wicker – the band’s John Bonham – said: “We have been going for about six and a half years. I started the band. I became a massive fan of Led Zeppelin from the age of 16 or 17. It was just the overall feel of the music, the sound of the band, the fact that it was really embracing, a really big sound and also the power of the sound and the power of John Bonham’s drumming.
“I didn’t really know much about them until I started looking into their albums, and I got obsessed with them, with buying bootlegs, and in the 90s I saw Page and Plant at five venues. I went to Glasglw and Dublin and Wembley and Sheffield, and I just couldn’t believe it. They were phenomenal.
“I am a big fan. But I am critical. Some of the things they have done aren’t the best but they are great.”
20 odd years ago Simon tried to set up a band: “I tried to find the band but I couldn’t find the people. I gave up for a while. I left a band that I was with for seven years and got another band and that didn’t last very long. And I just thought ‘What do I really want to do?’ and I thought I would try to set up a Led Zeppelin tribute band. I started again with the whole rigmarole of getting people, and we finally got a really strong line-up and then our guitarist had to leave to spend more time working at his job. Luckily we found another guitarist just before lockdown, and we were able to able to rehearse sometimes during that last 19 months. And we did our first gig with James in July.
“In a way lockdown was a really good opportunity. We revamped the set. We set the goal of doing some of the later Led Zeppelin songs that we had not really tackled. We were able to do that, and they are great live. And we also revamped a lot of other stuff and we even learnt a couple more songs.”
Driving it for Simon is admiration for the late, great John Bonham: “From a very early age, he was the finished product, from when he was 18 or 19.
“He was just a phenomenon. It was his speed with his hands and his speed with his feet and it was his ability to play in different styles and in different time signatures. He just had everything for me, and he was fearless on stage. He wasn’t afraid to put himself out on a limb. If something didn’t work, then it didn’t work, but he would always try. He really had absolutely everything as a drummer.”
And then band folded with his passing: “You really couldn’t imagine Led Zeppelin without John Bonham as the drummer.”