One of Leeds newer venues, The Church, hosted one of rock’s less new artists as Glenn Hughes came to town.
Notwithstanding a knee playing up, Hughes was clearly enjoying being in Yorkshire. The last time I saw him I had a full head of hair and he had a great voice. He’s still got the hair I haven’t, and more importantly, his voice remains – a great rock voice, capable of blues, soul and more.
The former Deep Purple bass player and front man has featured with any number of of modern music’s top echelon in intervening years, as well as carving out a solo career and more recently linking with Dream Theater keyboard player Derek Sherinian, premier guitarist Joe Bonamassa and drummer Jason Bonham in Black Country Communion.
Tonight’s high octane show featured music from Hughes’ four decades in music, but unlike some visits from old favourites, the new material from the latest albume Resonate did not show any dimming of the flame.
There were a mix of old and new tunes, from Medusa – written when he was 17 for Trapeze – which was a chance to show an undimmed vocal range and set opener from the new album, Flow, which packs a punch that woldn’t seem out of place in the ring at Vegas.
Dealing with the vagaries of touring with a cold, there were some nice interactions about the cruel needs of blowing your nose on stage.
His touring band were tight and it was great to hear a Hammond organ bringing back memories of classic Deep Purple in the hands of Lachy Doley on Might Just Take Your Life from 1974. Hughes’ full throated rock blends with guitarist Soren Andersen’s showmanship and skills like chilli in dark chocolate. In the corner was Pontus Engborg, laying down a solid rythmn to underpin the weight of classic rock.
Closing encore numbers, Heavy from the new album certainly is; and it was followed by a personal favourite from the Deep Purple canon, Burn. A good way to end a wet Wednesday night, as Hughes shared the love, which was reciprocated, and accompanied by good wishes for his mother.
A voice that has stood the test of time and and great audience engagement were hallmarks of both a professional and a man clearly enjoying his work. If you haven’t heard anything by him for a number of years, check out the new album. You’ll find a good slice of well crafted hard rock, built to last.
Support act West Midlands’ Stone Broken had a chance to show they are no slouches, with a 30 minute romp through their paces. Keep an eye open for them – as they head for Download 2017.