Concert Reviews

Glenn Hughes (2018) Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 19, 2018    
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Glenn Hughes - Electric Ballroom, London (UK) - 15 October 2018

Glenn Hughes held a Rock communion to celebrate the music of Deep Purple with the people of London at the sold-out Electric Ballroom in Camden.

Dressed in proto-seventies Rockstar gear, Hughes delivered a set faithful to his tenure in Deep Purple Mk.III & IV. Combined with spectacular takes on 'Smoke On The Water' and 'Highway Star', there was confirmation to many in the audience that Hughes is the only singer who can truly do these songs justice now forty years plus later. It should be noted that there had been a bit of social network concern about Hughes covering the aforementioned Mk.II songs, but I saw no problem, the Mk.III & IV line-up did Ian Gillan-era songs and as long as they are done well, what's the problem?

glenn hughes live electric ballroom 1

Having said that, the set's high-point was the duo of Tommy Bolin-era songs, 'Gettin' Tighter' and 'You Keep On Moving', with their groove and feel that allowed Hughes to push the vocal envelope as far as he liked. With a heartfelt homage to Bolin, plus constant thanks to the audience, the set was a hot and intimate affair, but not just a set of four minute replicas of the originals. The classic songs were all jams with the musicians given the chance to solo and stretch, elongate and elaborate on the originals. As a result, the generally less impactful 'You Fool No One' became a centrepiece with musical excursions into Ritchie Blackmore-inspired noodlings, which made the main theme of the song more vital and worthy.

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Hughes gave a masterclass in vocal gymnastics on a number of occasions, but most notably on the cover of 'Georgia On My Mind' and the emotional ending to 'You Keep On Moving'.

With the inevitable 'Burn' as the first encore and with all amp valves so hot, the sound became a glorious and histrionic fuzz, but the Voice Of Rock cut through needless to say.

glenn hughes live electric ballroom 2

Given this was the last night of the UK leg of the world tour, there was no better way to celebrate than with the arrival on stage of a certain Joe Bonamassa for the final two encores – 'Mistreated' and 'Highway Star'. As he strangled the neck of his black Stratocaster, Bonamassa nailed the feel of 'Mistreated' with a colossal take on the Blackmore masterpiece and then graciously took more of a backseat, which left Soren Anderson to carry out the classic (and classically inspired) 'Highway Star' guitar solo.

Hughes mentioned that he wants to do more touring now, having released a massive back catalogue of studio recordings in the last twenty odd years; one thing is for sure – he certainly should because he made that Monday night in Camden feel like a Saturday night.

Review by Rob McKenzie, photos by Dawn Osborne

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