Glenn Hughes
Tuesday 21st October, 2003
The Mean Fiddler, London, UK

By Charlie Farrell

70s Legend is back to rock

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!

In My Blood (Songs in the Key of Rock)
First Step of Love (Hughes/Thrall)
Higher Places (Song for Bonzo) (Songs in the Key of Rock)
Written All Over Your Face (Songs in the Key of Rock)
Seafull (Trapeze - Medusa)
Can't Stop The Flood (Building The Machine)
Mistreated (Deep Purple - Burn)
Wherever You Go (Songs in the Key of Rock)
Getting Tighter (Deep Purple - Come Taste The Band)

Seventh Star (Tony Iommi - Seventh Star)
Keep on Moving (Deep Purple - Come Taste The Band)
Burn (Deep Purple - Burn)


Back to the Concert Reviews Archive


2003 DPRP