At The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., January 20, 2017

GLENN HUGHES (Live at The Riverside, Newcastle, U.K., January 20, 2017)
Photo: Mick Burgess

This show is something of an unexpected post-Christmas bonus. Originally slated in as a co-headliner with U.S Funk merchants Living Color in November only for them to bail at the last minute for a European tour with Alter Bridge leaving a bemused Hughes high and dry.

Hughes to his credit quickly rescheduled the tour at the earliest possible time so our loss in November is January’s gain. Hughes was back and he meant business and with his first solo album in 8 years, Resonate hot off the press he was primed and ready to go on this, the opening night of his UK tour.

With a recording history stretching back to 1970 with the first Trapeze album and taking in Deep Purple, Hughes/Thrall, Black Sabbath and Black Country Communion as well as California Breed and a host of solo albums, Hughes has a wealth of material to draw from.

Sidestepping the easy option of a Deep Purple big hitter to open the show Hughes launched into Flow from his latest album with its hulking hard driving bass heavy groove it was a shrewd choice and with the groove machine going into over drive for the Hughes/Thrall classic Muscle and Blood, Hughes was off to a screamer.

Hughes has an innate ability to combine two of his greatest loves Funk and Hard Rock with a vocal that one minute caresses with Soulful touches then let’s rip with the roar of a blood hound. It’s no surprise that on one hand Stevie Wonder called him the greatest white Soul singer of all time while Dance nutters KLF dubbed him The Voice of Rock.

It’s this versatility that raised a few eyebrows during his tenure in Deep Purple where he turned their Blues based Hard Rock into something altogether more Funky, Exhibit 1 being the wonderful Gettin’ Tighter with a Funk breakdown that makes even the most leaden of feet want to party.

His latest release Resonate however sees the dial set to Rock, big time. With big riffs and his even bigger voice Hughes is showing a confidence that is lacking in so many of his peers and he has every right with the likes of Stumble and Go and My Town adding to an already impressive collection of songs.

Joined again by long-time sidekick Soren Andersen after last year’s tour with former Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich, Hughes bubbled with enthusiasm as Andersen’s versatility and ability to ignite the songs into life was the perfect fit.

With the much welcomed news of a brand new Black Country Communion album later this year with Blues legend Joe Bonamassa, it was fitting for One Last Soul and the piledriving Black Country to whet the appetite for that to hit the racks after the summer.

Hughes incredible vocal prowess not to mention his Funk driven approach to his bass playing have created an utterly unique take on Hard Rock and with his range and power undiminished by the ravages of time, Hughes stands alongside Paul Rodgers as one of the few vocalists of the ’70s who have maintained their voices at a level every bit as good as in their heyday. In fact Hughes sounds so good at the moment that this could very well be seen as his heyday.

Being the consummate performer Hughes knows how to go out with a bang and what else than Deep Purple’s Burn was the perfect way to ensure the night ended in a blaze of glory.


  • 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.

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