at Smuget, Oslo, Norway, November 13, 2006

Glenn Hughes is touring in support of his latest album, Music For The Divine. The former Deep Purple and Black Sabbath singer has put out about a dozen solo albums in his career, and the new one is one of his finest efforts. However, despite all of his clever solo releases, quite a vast percentage of his audience will always be fans who don’t know much more of his work than those classic and excellent compositions he took part in writing as a Deep Purple member in the mid 70’s.

Those fans who have not updated themselves on Glenn Hughes’ latest productions, indeed attend his shows with a handicap. Tracks like the classics “This Time Around” and “Stormbringer” are left out of the set — instead, Hughes plays nothing less than seven songs from Music For The Divine (among these new recordings two covers are included, “Nights In White Satin” and “Whiter Shade Of Pale”), and four from his previous release, Soul Mover (2005).

Glenn Hughes live

However, hearing Hughes’ new songs live is a pure joy, no matter if you’re new to the material or if you’ve spun the discs a hundred times at home. One thing is his brand new and clever touring band (exit: JJ Marsh, re-introducing: guitarist Jeff Kollman from the Songs In The Key Of Rock record) … another thing is Glenn Hughes’ ultra funky Rock bass playing … but, first and foremost, it’s his super-superb voice that makes it all so very special.

The Oslo club Smuget was sold out, and the 250+ strong audience applauded heavily all the way through the two-hour long gig. The sound was good, and Hughes was in a very good mood, joking and talking with the crowd all the time. The live arrangements were very live, and the whole band was very passionate about their crafts. The songs from the two latest albums sounded great, with highlights like “Orion,” “Black Light,” “You Got Soul” (excellent drumming!), “Steppin’ On,” and the encore “Soul Mover.” They all were hard-riffing and heavy. The cover of The Moody Blues’ “Nights In White Satin” represented one of the best laidback moments of the evening.

In between, Hughes performed several vocal improvisations where he showed the crowd why he once got the name “The Voice Of Rock.” He might have lost quite a bit of the warmness in his voice over the years, and to a few there might be too much screaming, and the echo effect and the amount of reverb was from time to time a little bit too exaggerated, but still … impressive.

Glenn Hughes live

The drawbacks were actually (along with a dull performance of “The Land Of The Livin’”) the oldest songs! Hughes has sung “Mistreated” a lot better before, and “You Keep On Moving” had way too hard of an arrangement, squeezing out the original Soul feel of the song. However, the Jon Lord-ish keyboard playing saved the song. The last encore, “Burn,” suffered from a drowned guitar — what a shame.

However, when Glenn announced he would be back next summer, the response from the crowd was enormous. He should definitely find a larger venue to play at next time, and the audience should definitely do their homework, and keep themselves updated on Hughes’ latest solo releases.


The Valiant Denial
Monkey Man
Land Of The Livin’ (Wonderland)
Nights In White Satin
Black Light
In My Blood
Whiter Shade Of Pale
Don’t Let Me Bleed
You Got Soul
Steppin’ On
You Keep On Movin’
Soul Mover

Glenn Hughes


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