Don’t go looking for Glenn Hughes to be the changeling. He is one of the best vocalists rock music has ever had – the voice of rock – and his audience want him to be the Glenn Hughes they have grown up with and love like demons. And he is happy to deliver just what they want.
Saturday night (January 21) at the Islington Assembly Halls he played a belting set, full of power and no little soul and featured a stunning band comprised of Pontus Engborg on drums, Soren Andersen on guitar and Jay Boe on keyboards. Andersen is a stunning player and seems to bring out the best in Hughes with a number of the audience members saying that it was the best they had seen him in years. Personally, I have seen him a few times in the last few years and he seemed completely at ease with the band and his audience and equally happy with the songs. His vocals were incredible – he hits notes that no-one else would dare even try, effortlessly and as clean as you could wish for.
The set featured some of the classic numbers – a brilliant Medusa as well as a massive Black Country – and songs from the superb Resonate album especially an incendiary Heavy (1st encore) and My Town that rocked a little funkier than some of his earlier material.
Jay Boe played keys with passion and really added to the Glenn Hughes sound. I have seen him without keyboards once or twice and the music cries out for Hammond and Wurlitzer.
Listening to Black Country, I was struck by the difference that Soren Andersen brings over the Joe Bonamassa original. He is a natural rocker, bordering on metal (he has also been praised by none other than Joe Satriani) and he makes the song harder edged than the more bluesy Bonamassa.
Soul Mover had the crowd, literally, jumping for joy and he finished on a great version of Purple’s Burn that had heads banging throughout.
Glenn Hughes is a remarkable live performer and the show at Islington had more highlights than an Essex bouffant – stunning.
Earlier in the evening, we were treated to some fine rock from new band Stone Broken. A four piece with massive confidence, no shortage of good songs and all the best rock poses. Perfect to warm the crowd up for Hughes and I think they’ll go far.
Review by Andy Snipper
The set list:
Flow (from Resonate, 2016)
Muscle and Blood (from Glenn Hughes & Pat Thrall’s Hughes/Thrall, 1982)
Gettin’ Tighter (from Deep Purple’s Come Taste the Band, 1975)
Stumble & Go (from Resonate, 2016)
Medusa (from Trapeze’s Medusa, 1970)
Can’t Stop the Flood (from Building the Machine, 2001)
One Last Soul (from Black Country Communion’s Black Country Communion, 2010)
You Keep on Moving (from Deep Purple’s Come Taste the Band, 1975)
My Town (from Resonate, 2016)
Black Country (from Black Country Communion’s Black Country Communion, 2010)
Soul Mover (from Soul Mover, 2005)
Heavy (from Resonate, 2016)
Burn (from Deep Purple’s Burn, 1974)