Glenn Hughes - Boiler Shop, Newcastle 17.10.2023
With the stage bathed aptly in purple light and haze Glenn Hughes steps up to the microphone and delivers “Comin out of nowhere, Driving like rain.." and the steam hammer like groove of 'Stormbringer' kicks off our evening of classic Mark 3 & 4 Deep Purple. 'Might Just Take Your Life' and 'Sail Away' go to prove Glenn’s voice is stronger than ever with him hitting every note no bother at all putting many a younger singer to shame.
Ash Sheehan on drums features next with that instantly recognisable cow bell intro into 'You Fool No One' including not only segments of 'High Ball Shooter' (which I really would love to hear in full at some point) and 'Goin' Down' but also a drum solo of epic proportions.
Celebrating his time in the band and the upcoming 50th anniversary of the 'Burn' album Glenn is keen to share stories with the crowd about writing what would become some of rock musics all time classics with Blackmore Coverdale Paice & Lord. At one point he even tells himself to shut up and play he’s so caught up in the history telling throughout the night.
Soren Andersen has been Hughes (stage) left hand man for many years now and is a monster player in his own right but when he’s playing these Purple numbers he manages to capture the Blackmore and Bolin feel in equal measures but is never just a copy cat. Saying that though there’s no mistaking the opening notes of 'Mistreated' wrung out of his Fender Strat to the approval of the crowd who are in fine voice singing along with both Glenn and Soren showcasing their vocal and guitar talents. Now I’m going to be a bit blasphemous to some here in that I could happily have a couple of other deeper cuts replace it but that’s just me, it’s a classic yes and we are here to celebrate the 'Burn' album so it’s got to be there.
Hughes has quite a relationship with Newcastle and again wearing his heart on his sleeve gives thanks to all of those up here who have helped him over the years since he turned his back on the demons that could have easily taken him from us before now. It’s just great seeing him look so well and happy smiling from start to finish of the set.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Glenn show where he hasn’t spoken about his love of the late Tommy Bolin and tonight was no exception ending the set with 'Gettin' Tighter' allowing him to get his funky bass lines flowing and the wonderful 'You Keep On Movin' both from 'Come Taste The Band'.
I get the impression he has tried to create a set which is a mix of 'California Jam' and 'Last Concert In Japan' as the band return to the stage Glenn handing bass duties to the tour manager and he takes the mic as they dive headlong into the only MK2 song of the night 'Highway Star' again with Hughes and Andersen nailing the vocal guitar dual of old.
By now we are past curfew but no one’s pulled the plug and just as well because you can’t celebrate the album without the title track and arguably one of the best rock anthems of all time 'BURN'!!! Bob Fridzema on keyboards was solid all night but it was here where he absolutely did Jon Lord proud fingers dancing across the keys counter acting Sorens awesome fretwork. It’s a blistering song at the best of times but a perfect closer for tonight
Hughes tells the crowd he will be back but hoping to be doing more of his solo material live and possibly a Black Country Communion tour and album.
I’ve no idea where he gets the energy, I reckon when I get to 72 I’ll be happy just walking up the stairs let alone planning two tours off the back of a current one!
Glenn Hughes - https://www.facebook.com/glennhughesonline
Photos - G's Gig Shots