at Mean Fiddler, London, U.K., April 8, 2004

I will never ever forget the first time I saw Deep Purple’s legendary California Jam concert on video, recorded the 6th of April 1974. I was 16 years old, it was 1989, and I’d bought a VHS copy from a friend.

This was the first time I listened to Deep Purple’s Mark III line up, and I’ve got a lot of memories from that evening in front of the TV; the solos, the songs, David Coverdale trying to fill Ian Gillan’s shoes … but what I remember more than anything else was that pile of hair with the bass guitar to the left on the stage. I didn’t get much out of the bass playing, but once in a while this guy went up to the microphone … and sang his ass off compared to anyone I’d ever heard sing in my whole life!

That was Glenn Hughes of course, “The Voice Of Rock”, which he later has been called by many. The California Jam was way back in 1974, but Glenn Hughes is still around singing his heart out, which I got to witness on the 8th of April 2004 in London.

This was the final date on the European Hughes Turner Project tour, which meant Glenn Hughes was not the only singer on stage that night. Joe Lynn Turner is half of the project, and that guy sure can sing as well.

Even though they both have been singers in Deep Purple, and Hughes once spent some time singing in Black Sabbath, and Turner got known in the 80s as the singer of Rainbow, they have managed to add some very enjoyable new tracks to their live set. Quite a few in the audience had come to hear old Deep Purple and Rainbow classics, but with their two excellent studio albums, HTP has managed to prove they are still able to compose quality hard rock.

However, whether or not the song is old or new, Glenn Hughes is impressive! His vocal performances on songs like “Losing My Head”, “Alone I Breathe”, “Mistreated”, “Getting Tighter” and “Burn” were sensational. Hughes sings like there’s no tomorrow, and he never fails to squeeze another soulful scream through his vocal cords after you’d bet he needs to shut up to gasp for air.

So, even though Joe Lynn Turner still sings great after all these years, sounding much more experienced than aged, he is nothing compared to Glenn Hughes. There is no one in this genre that has got as much soul in his/her voice than Hughes. On his own, Turner would have received the entire spotlight himself, and would therefore have been better off even with a smaller audience. Hughes would have been better off alone too, at least then his audience/fans wouldn’t have had to wait for Hughes’ voice every time Turner got to sing.

The band, JJMarsh on the guitar, Tomas Broman on the drums and Kjell Haraldson on keyboards, did a very pleasant job. Haraldson looked like he was enjoying this more than anyone, and he managed the noble art of knowing when not to play. His playing was remarkably well portioned and positioned. JJMarsh provided the audience with guitar play that took care of the classic sound of songs more than thirty years old, as well as bringing the sound an up-to-date edge for the new tracks.

“Mistreated” was one of the evening’s highlights. JJMarsh made an intro both personal and true to the classic before Hughes made this 2004 version last forever with a tremendous vocal jam towards the end of the song. At this time, Turner got his first of several long breaks. Hughes got none, not even during Turner’s Rainbow numbers, thanks to his bass duties.

Speaking of Rainbow … Joe Lynn Turner knows how to sing them good ol’ songs. “Street Of Dreams”, “Death Alley Driver”, “Spotlight Kid”…and the song which probably was the evenings biggest chart hit: “I Surrender”. The audience loved it. It bothers me a great deal, though, that this rock and roll star has chosen to look the way he does. Turner scares me with his wig, jewelry, fake tan, bleached teeth and make up … ( Being a lady’s man is the ideal, Joe, not a lady man! ) Turn off the spotlight someone!

All right … Turner sang “Street Of Dreams” from Rainbow’s Bent Out Of Shape album (1983), but what about “King Of Dreams” from Deep Purple’s Slaves And Masters album (1990) when Turner stepped into the void after Gillan? It’s a great song, and I did witness HTP play it on their 2002 Can’t Stop Rock & Roll Tour. Back then Hughes as well performed the Seventh Star’s title track from his time in front of the Black Sabbath microphone. On this year’s tour, neither of these two albums were represented. A bit of a loss, I think. No one else attends to those two parts of rock history.

Glenn Hughes tries his best to make sure people don’t forget Tommy Bolin, though. He dedicated “Getting Tighter” to the memory of his former pal and fellow Deep Purple member. The song was great until it broke into an uninspired drum solo. A drum solo … quite odd to add when you’ve dedicated the song to someone’s memory, I think.

I got a bit disappointed with “You Keep On Moving” too. Somehow it just didn’t groove very well. Anyway, this was a great night! It is hard not to be pleased when you on the same night both get tons of rock history and brand new mastered rock songs performed by two legendary singers with voices that haven’t faded.


Hold On
Can’t Stop Rock N’ Roll
Losing My Head
Alone I Breathe
I Surrender
Street Of Dreams
Gettin’ Tighter
You Keep On Moving
Death Alley Driver

Devil’s Road
Spotlight Kid


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