Its been a few years since I last saw Mr Hughes play in London. His flirtation
with the funkier side of music didn't particularly appeal to me and I was seriously
disappointed by the set he played when touring with his Return Of the Crystal Karma
album. However reports that he had returned to playing more rock-orientated music
and excellent reviews of his most recent disk Songs in the key of Rock gave
me the motivation to check him out once again.
Equipped once again with a very capable group of Swedish musicians, but with only
longtime cohort J.J.Marsh remaining from the band I'd seen 3 or 4 years back, Mr
Hughes came on stage around 9pm, looking extreemly healthy. The band opened with
In My Blood from his new album and set the tone for the rest of the set,
which was that he was definately in the mood to rock.
The Hughes/Thrall Project number First Step of Love and a couple
more numbers from the new album, including one dedicated to John 'Bonzo' Bonham of
Led Zeppelin followed before he dipped right back into his back catalogue,
to a song that Glenn told us he "wrote when I was 18". Entitled Seafull,
it was a tune from the Trapeze album Medusa and enhanced by lovely
keyboards from Lasse Pollack it was by far the most progressive tune he played all
evening and something that I'm going to have to investigate further.
After a number from his previous disk Building The Machine, we were then
treated to a stunning version of Deep Purple's Mistreated. Sure it is
a tune made famous by David Coverdale, but it is some time since he performed it
live and it was sheer delight to hear it interpreted by a voice which could do
the song justice. Though Glenn had a tendency to go over the edge to the 'screamy'
side of his voice during the gig, here he kept it perfectly under control and J.J.
Marsh executed Ritchie Blackmore's solo parts to a tee. Fantastic stuff and
worth the admission price alone.
After this, the following number Wherever You Go was a letdown, but they
picked up once again with a further Deep Purple tune. This time Glenn chose
to pay homage to Tommy Bolin in the form of Getting Tighter, from the
Come Taste The Band album. This turned into a lengthy jam with all of the
musicians demonstrating their chops but brought the set to an early close.
Fortunately the band returned and once again we were treated to something out
of the ordinary as they launched into Seventh Star from Tony Iommi's
solo disk, Seventh Star, recorded when Glenn was singing for Black Sabbath.
Then it was back to Glenn's Purple-era material for Keep on Moving and a rousing
set closer of Burn, which no Glenn Hughes's gig would be right without. It
wasn't the best rendition I'd heard as by this stage Glenn had resorted to screaming
just a little too much when reaching for the high notes, but it brought to an end
a fine concert and confirmed the press's opinion that Hughes is rejuvenated. Roll
on next year's Hughes Turner project tour!