at The Sage, Gateshead, U.K., September 27, 2010

GLENN HUGHES (Live at The Sage, Gateshead, U.K., September 27, 2010)
Photo: Mick Burgess

Glenn Hughes has certainly been a busy chap of late. Not only is he riding high at the Top of the UK Rock Chart with the splendid Black Country Communion debut release, he’s also putting the finishing touches to his long-awaited autobiography and is overseeing the forthcoming reissue of Deep Purple’s Come Taste The Band album. If that’s not enough to keep the average person busy for a month of Sundays, then Hughes is taking his solo band on the biggest tour that he has undertaken across the UK in decades.

GLENN HUGHES (Live at The Sage, Gateshead, U.K., September 27, 2010)
Photo: Mick Burgess

The Sage, a stunning mirrored dome-like purpose built complex of music venues with breathtaking views across the River Tyne and over towards the impressive skyline of the city of Newcastle, provided the perfect setting for Hughes to make his first appearance in the region in eight years.

Prior to the tour Hughes had promised a return to his Rock roots after being re-invigorated by his work on the Black Country Communion album, and true to his word Hughes delivered exactly that.

Kicking off with “Muscle and Blood” from his much loved Hughes Thrall opus, and armed with a Grand Canyon-sized killer groove, which pretty much set the tone for the evening as an irresistible bass heavy groove, Hughes powered through a set of great material.

In the past, some have said that Hughes has leaned too heavily on his Deep Purple repertoire … and why not? He has produced some great songs during his tenure in Purple. However, there is much, much more to Hughes than Deep Purple, and his current tour has given him the chance to break out and show what he can do.

GLENN HUGHES (Live at The Sage, Gateshead, U.K., September 27, 2010)
Photo: Mick Burgess

Drawing heavily on his own solo work, as well as the hugely underrated Trapeze catalogue, meant that such gems as Soulmovers‘ “Don’t Let Me Bleed” and “Can’t Stop The Flood” from Building The Machine slipped in perfectly alongside vintage Trapeze classics like “Touch My Life”, “Keepin’ Time”, and the simply immense “Medusa”. Trapeze were a band far ahead of their time and anyone who has yet to sample their delights would be well advised to hunt down a couple of their albums.

Many singers with their roots in the 70s have been unable to maintain their form in recent years, yet Hughes seems to get better with age. His range versatility in veering from smooth Soul to full on Rock with a blink of the eye is incredible, and his range and power is as good as ever. It’s no wonder that Stevie Wonder dubbed him his favorite singer and KLF pronounced him “The Voice of Rock”. Hughes is rightly considered up there with not just the greatest Rock singers, but one of the greatest singers in music, full stop.

Hughes also manages to play the genial front man too, cracking jokes and having playful banter with the crowd. He has the uncanny knack of making every last punter in the audience feel like he’s playing just for them, and it’s all done with a genuine feeling of warmth to his fans and that appreciation was duly reciprocated by the packed crowd.

GLENN HUGHES (Live at The Sage, Gateshead, U.K., September 27, 2010)
Photo: Mick Burgess

For this tour, Hughes has assembled a fine band, which includes Scandinavian Tommy Bolin/Ray Gillen look-alike Soren Andersen, who not only looks the part but has the ability of bringing the best out of the songs. Andersen clearly relishes the opportunity of playing with Hughes and the creative spark between them is almost tangible. It’ll certainly be interesting to see what they can produce together in the studio when the time arises.

Hughes doesn’t ignore the Purple years entirely and treated the crowd to a stirring run through Burn’s “Sail Away”, a real treat for Mark III fans, and with the title track from the same album closing the show, no one would go home disappointed.

With a cleverly constructed setlist, which covered much ground from his 40-year career in music, Hughes delivered on his promise to Rock the UK. His career is currently in an upward trajectory, and with his superb current solo tour receiving rave reviews from city to city and along with Black Country Communion’s album setting the charts alight, 2011 could well be the year in which Hughes climbs right back to the top of the tree.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.