Tonight’s gig is somewhat of a local affair. Glenn Hughes may live in California these days but he was born just a couple of miles up the road in Cannock. Supporting him tonight (and on the rest of his UK and European dates) is another local act, Stone Broken.
I’ve heard a lot of good things about Stone Broken but this was my first chance seeing them for myself, so I was looking forward to them almost as much as seeing Glenn Hughes. Well, all those good reports were spot on – these guys are a damn good band, and right from the start put in a really impressive performance. They sound good, they have the stage presence, and come across as humble down to earth guys. I’ll be amazed if they aren’t headlining venues of this size within the next couple of years. If you get the chance to go and see them play live, then do it – you won’t be disappointed.
After a great set from Stone Broken it was time for the man once dubbed The voice of rock. At an age where he qualifies for a pension there’s no sign of Glenn Hughes giving up and opting for a quiet life, and more importantly, at an age where most singers of his generation have voices that are a mere shadow of their former selves, Glenn Hughes still has the same vocal power he always did, and more impressive, he still manages to hit those amazing high notes.
He kicked his set off with “Flow”, one of the tracks from his new album (Resonate), and it’s a great choice – it’s a superb song and indeed album, and live it sounds even better. With a career as long as his, he’s spoilt for choice when it comes to what to include in the setlist as he’s done so much diverse stuff, but he’s done a great job of selecting the songs for this tour as they come from decades apart yet feel right together as songs from the new album sit alongside songs from his time with Deep Purple. There’s also older solo material, Hughes/Thrall material, and of course something from Black Country Communion (how could he play the Black Country and not play something from BCC?), so overall it’s a set that spans pretty much his entire career.
There’s a fantastic atmosphere tonight, both on stage and off it. Glenn Hughes looks to be having a great time on stage as do the guys in his band, and there’s a real connection to the audience. When he tells the crowd his mother is ill (and it’s terminal) you can feel the emotion. The sadness doesnt last long – he’s soon into the next song (Medusa). The use of the Hammond organ really adds richness to the music, and especially so in the Deep Purple songs, and Jay Boe does a great job, Pontus Engborg sitting behind the drums keeps the songs powering own and Soren Anderson puts in a great performance on guitar. Glenn Hughes likes his bass monitors nice and loud, and down at the front you can hear every note he plays crystal clear.
As a long-time Deep Purple fan, hearing him perform some Deep Purple songs live was a real treat, but his other material is so good the entire set was a treat. To end the night, he brought out a special guest, Inglorious singer Nathan James to perform “Burn”. Now I’m a definite fan of Inglorious and Nathan James who I believe has a superb voice, and he did a fantastic job, but singing alongside Glenn Hughes, I’d say Glenn has the better voice by far.
A fantastic night – Stone Broken truly impressed and are a band very clearly on the way up, and Glenn Hughes showed that after 40 years at the top he’s still got the passion, the drive and the energy to keep on going and entertaining the fans.
Muscle & blood
Stumble and go
Can’t stop the flod
One last soul
You keep on movin’
Might just take your life