CODA - a Tribute to Led Zeppelin are a group of musicians dedicated to recreating the music of the best rock band ever, Led Zeppelin!
James Yorke-Starkey as Jimmy Page:
James has played guitar for over 20 years, with Jimmy Page being one of his greatest influences. He spent his youth learning Led Zeppelin songs every day after school instead of doing homework and trying to absorb all of Jimmy’s style and character, especially having learnt the entirety of The Song Remains The Same album all the way through.
Neil Saunders as John Bonham:
Since the beginnings of his drumming career almost 20 years ago Neil was always hugely influenced by Bonham's playing. Now joining Coda, Neil aims to bring the power and energy of Bonzo by meticulously recreating his parts and bringing his driving sound to this incredible lineup of musicians
Peter Byrne as Robert Plant:
Peter is a superb vocalist and musician, as well as being a very funny, and sometimes surreal, guy! He blew us away when he tried out for the band, he has the vocal range and versatility needed to recreate Robert's voice in all its many guises, from full on screaming blues rock to soft acoustic ramblings.
Rob Deery as John Paul Jones:
Rob started his musical life as a guitarist, but has been playing bass guitar for many years. Since joining CODA he has learned to play the keyboards and mandolin, taking to the role of John Paul Jones with ease.
Good Times Bad Times
Why a Led Zeppelin tribute band? Well, the story starts 34 years ago when original drummer Simon Wicker was given a copy of Led Zeppelin II on cassette (remember them? Nope, thought not!) This led (pun intended) to a life-long love of Led Zeppelin, with Simon become an avid consumer of all things Led Zeppelin, including albums on vinyl and CD, bootlegs, live video tapes and books, notably by incredible Led Zeppelin chronicler Dave Lewis of Tight But Loose.
Whilst Simon was busy gigging with various bands in and around Hertfordshire, he also had a yearning deep inside to form a Led Zeppelin tribute band, such was his love for the playing of John Bonham, and the music of Led Zeppelin. Simon would spend countless hours perfecting his John Bonham grooves whilst simultaneously searching for the right personnel to form the ultimate Led Zeppelin tribute band.
Eventually it came to pass that Simon made contact with a guitarist called Nigel, and a bassist called Julian, and together they formed the nucleus of what promised to be an awesome Led Zeppelin tribute band. Whilst rehearsing a fantastic set of Led Zeppelin tunes, Simon spent a whole year searching the length and breadth of the country for the ultimate singer for his Led Zeppelin tribute band. Sadly, no such singer was to be found and Simon, down-heartened and dis-spirited, gave up on his quest for a while.
Ten Years Gone
Fast-forward to more recent history, after a period that involved various musicians in various bands, playing the music of Led Zeppelin all over the world, life changed for Simon and once again he gave up on his dream. Then, it was an advert on Gumtree that caused him to rekindle his desire to form the best Led Zeppelin tribute band in the UK. Joining up with singer Nikki, he recruited guitarist, and Led Zepplin fan, Glen from the covers band he was in, and they auditioned for a great bassist, and soon found one in the guise of Ant, who now plays with the Lambrettas. This line-up rehearsed and were due to play their first gig when disaster struck and the gig was cancelled. Sadly the band separated from their singer and once again the search was on again.
During this time, guitarist Glen had to leave due to family commitments, leaving Ant and Simon to place more adverts in order to find a singer and guitarist to fill the vacant slots in this rapidly diminishing Led Zeppelin tribute band! After a few auditions, guitarist Adam Rose-Alison came on board, along with a singer who was to be short-lived in the newly-named CODA - a Tribute to Led Zeppelin. After a few gigs it quickly became apparent that Adam was exactly the sort of person that Simon had been looking for in order to form the ultimate Led Zeppelin tribute band. With his extensive knowledge of live Led Zeppelin bootlegs, his ability to play the guitar like Jimmy Page, and his skill in guitar building which resulted in him building a replica Gibson Les Paul as well as a double-necked Gibson EDS 1275, and his resemblance to a young Jimmy Page, Adam was an incredibly lucky find!
During this time, the band parted ways with their singer, and then Ant left to go on tour with the Lambrettas. This left Adam and Simon in the lurch once again, being only half a Led Zeppelin tribute band. However, Simon was fortunate to play a gig with a crazy loon of a singer called Peter Byrne, who expressed a love of Led Zeppelin. Simon and Adam quickly joined forces with Peter, and bassist James from another band Simon was involved with, and CODA - a Tribute to Led Zeppelin was reborn! The band played one gig in this line-up, and bassist James decided to leave! This left them with three-quarters of a Led Zeppelin tribute band, fully committed to being the best Led Zeppelin tribute band out there, and nothing was going to hold them back!
With several gigs already booked, the band were lucky enough to find some fantastic musicians to fill in whilst they searched for the ultimate John Paul Jones, including James Watson on bass / keyboards and mandolin, Paul Davis on bass and keys, Sid Pelling on bass guitar and Steve Smith on keyboards.
It transpired that the very person was right under their nose. Way back in April 2016, the band had been in need of a bassist to help out when they performed at Beatles Day at the White Rock theatre in Hastings. This talented musician went by the name of Rob Deery, and it turned out that he too was as much committed to the idea of creating the best Led Zeppelin tribute band out there as was Adam, Peter and Simon. So much so that he even went and learned how to play the keyboards and mandolin, just for the band!
It's Been a Long Time Since I Rock and Rolled
In a funny kind of way, it has. Whilst Simon had been playing the music of Led Zeppelin for many years it was only now, with the help of Adam Rose-Alison, Peter Byrne and Rob Deery, that he was able to fulfil his dream of forming the ultimate Led Zeppelin tribute band.
The final twist in the tale came during 2023 when Simon decided that he would be retiring at the end of the year. And so the search began for Peter, Rob and James to find a replacement Bonzo! And they hit the jackpot when a pro drummer from London named Neil Saunders auditioned for the role. CODA are confident that they have found the perfect replacement for Simon and that the band once again consists of four musicians dedicated to recreating Led Zeppelin's magic with passion, accuracy and love for every last detail, from the music to the costumes to the production to the live show:
CODA - a Tribute to Led Zeppelin is now the foremost Led Zeppelin tribute band in Europe!