AND so to the City Hall where next Tuesday, Salisbury welcomes legendary rock singer Robert Plant to the stage, alongside his latest musical outfit, Saving Grace. Featuring singer Suzi Dean and musicians Oli Jefferson, Tony Kelsey and Matt Worley, the self-styled co-operative bring their folksy, bluesy feel to classic songs by the likes of Low, Donovan and Patty Griffin.

It’s not the first time that Robert Plant has trodden the boards at the City Hall. Back in December 1971, Led Zeppelin played there as (possibly) the smallest venue on the world tour that saw them become the biggest band in the world. Just one month before, the band had released their untitled fourth album, known as Led Zeppelin IV, which went on to become one of the bestselling albums of all time, and which featured Stairway to Heaven, the most requested song of the decade on American radio.

According to Through The Looking Glass, James McCarraher’s fascinating history of City Hall, Led Zeppelin were originally meant to play on 15 December, but the concert was rescheduled for 21 December after Jimmy Page fell ill. One fan who attended described the concert as the loudest he’d ever witnessed, with the audience physically moving back as the opening Immigrant Song kicked in. McCarraher claims that such was the volume, ‘the band could be heard all the way down Fisherton Street.’

Among the set list for the gig that night were Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Dazed and Confused, Stairway to Heaven and Whole Lotta Love. After the concert, the band reportedly had supper at the Provencal restaurant and then, according to legend, drummer John Bonham gave a lucky steward a lift back to Bemerton Heath in his Rolls Royce, after he missed his last bus home.

It was John Bonham’s death in September 1980 that led to Led Zeppelin original split. Since then, the remaining members have appeared onstage no more than a handful of times – a wonky appearance at Live Aid with Phil Collins on drums in 1985, an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a decade later. In 2007, the band played their only substantial post-split concert, headlining the Ahmet Ertegun Memorial Concert at the O2.

Although the band were offered eye-watering sums to reunite, Robert Plant has always declined the offers. Instead, he has enjoyed ploughing his own particular music furrow, making new music with the likes of Band of Joy, Strange Sensation, Sensational Space Shifters, Alison Krauss (with whom he recorded the Grammy winning album, Raising Sand) and now Saving Grace. It’s an attitude to reunions that echoes that of David Gilmour, who once compared reforming Pink Floyd for Live8 to ‘having to sleep with your ex-wife’.