Northern Ireland

Belfast music shop worker stunned by visit from Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant

Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant with Rory McCormick in Belfast on Tuesday. Picture courtesy of Matchetts.
Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant with Rory McCormick in Belfast on Tuesday. Picture courtesy of Matchetts.

A MUSIC shop in Belfast received an unexpected visit from rock royalty this week after Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant popped in to buy a harmonica.

Rory McCormick (25) from Matchetts said he could hardly believe his eyes when an unassuming Plant (74) strolled into Wellington Place shop on Tuesday.

"He was an absolute gentleman, a lovely man to speak to and very relaxed," he told The Irish News.

"He was really just chatting to us like a normal customer and didn't really let on about who he was too much."

As a passionate Led Zeppelin follower, Rory said it was a struggle to suppress his inner fandom when faced with one of his musical icons.

"I didn't want to bother him of course, so we just treated him like a normal customer then at the end we just asked him if we could get a few photos," he said.

The singer purchased "a Honer blues harp in the key of A" harmonica ahead of his Tuesday gig at the Ulster Hall with the musical collective Saving Grace.

"He was only really in for five minutes with his other band members, so it was a quick enough encounter. But he was a really lovely man who was happy to have a quick chat.

"There was one young teenage customer in who was buying a mandolin at the time, he went over to ask for a selfie and he was happy to oblige."

No stranger to famous walk-ins, he said other staff members had previously served members of The Script and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith.

"I would definitely say that Robert Plant was definitely one of the biggest legends we've ever had.

"On our Facebook page, someone made the comment 'you better have told him no Stairway,' but I think he can get a free pass for that."

Belfast already boasts a claim to rock history, as Led Zeppelin famously chose the Ulster Hall for the first ever performance of their signature epic, Stairway to Heaven, on March 5, 1971.