When you have a voice as strong as Glenn Hughes, why wouldn’t you revisit the music you created over 40 years ago?

It goes without saying, that Glenn Hughes is in impeccable form right now. The release of both Resonate and BCC IV being a testament to this. So, it seems only fitting that now would be the perfect time to revisit his glory days with Deep Purple MK3/4.

The ‘Voice of Rock’ has been out on the road with his ‘Glenn Hughes Performs Classic Deep Purple’ tour for over a year now. This being Glenn’s most extensive run in many years. Tonight Glenn Hughes makes a welcome return to Tyneside whilst performing in front of a packed out crowd at the O2 Academy Newcastle.

British guitar slinger Laurence Jones kicks off the proceedings and certainly wins over the Geordie faithful early in the evening. Opening with a track from his new album The Truth in the shape of soulful and somewhat funky “What Would You Do”, Jones showcases the many different sides of his repertoire. From up-tempo rock numbers like “What’s It Gonna Be”, through to the beautiful slow blues of “Thunder In The Sky”, there are many different sides to Laurence’s playing and they all impress.

Jones is not only an incredible guitarist, but also quite the showman, and this comes across in particular during his take on “All Along The Watchtower”. Laurence brings his short but sweet set to a close with a crowd-pleasing rendition of the CCR classic “Fortunate Son”, which in turn leaves the O2 Academy Newcastle wanting more.

The stage awash with atmospheric Purple lighting as Glenn Hughes takes to the stage dressed in a jacket bearing the union jack flag.  Hughes immediately launches into a triple whammy of Deep Purple favourites including the groove-heavy “Stormbringer”, a joyous airing of “Might Just Take Your Life” and the harmonious “Sail Away”. This, in turn, sets the tone for the night ahead. 

Tonight it’s all about the classics, and there is no shortage of them. Sometimes you have to revisit the past to bring yourself back to the present. Hughes pays homage to his former bandmate the late great Tommy Bolin early in the show before turning up the funk with an epic performance of “Gettin’ Tighter”. As the song plays out, Hughes and guitarist Soren Anderson come together with some impressive guitar/bass harmonies.

Glenn’s groovy bass licks sit perfectly on top of new drummer Ash Sheehan’s hard-hitting beat. The sounds which they create together are reminiscent of a diesel locomotive steaming down the tracks, and without a doubt, everyone is on board. Glenn plans to continue this tour for two further years; he declares ‘This train ain’t stopping’.

Of course, Hughes co-wrote “Keep On Moving” with fellow local lad David Coverdale, with the track featuring on Purple’s 1975 Come Taste the Band album. Hughes who is in good spirits this evening jokes that they wrote the song together when they were only 5 years old. A soulful rendition of the track itself sits mid-set and features some astounding Hammond work from Jay Boe, who grapples with the treasured riffs of the late great Jon Lord all night long.

Having such an incredible band of musicians surrounding him, during the course of the night each artist on stage takes their moment in the spotlight with a solo spot. Most of these solo features are anchored around an extended version of “You Fool No One”.

As Hughes heads into the closing stages of his main set he wheels out the big guns with the anthemic “Mistreated” before Soren Anderson leads the band into the unmistakable “Smoke On The Water”. A two-song encore featuring an emphatic performance of the Hughes signature tune “Burn” and the rock and roll juggernaut that is “Highway Star” rounds out an incredible and somewhat nostalgic evening of classic rock from one of the genre’s finest sons.

Whilst many of his peers, including his former bandmates in Deep Purple are looking to call it a day Glenn Hughes continues to keep on pushing forward. The ‘Voice of Rock’ is still going strong and showing no signs of slowing down.

Glenn Hughes
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Laurence Jones
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Event Date: 10-Oct-2018

About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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