Get Ready to ROCK!’s Pete Feenstra chatted to Glenn Hughes shortly before the start of his UK tour in October 2015. This hour special includes a selection of tracks from Glenn’s solo and band/project albums.
He’s a real trooper is Glenn Hughes. With no new album to promote (although plenty of recent collaborations) he has embarked on a UK tour freed of the shackles of recent endeavours.
After three well received Black Country Communion (BCC) albums – and the frustration that partner Joe Bonamassa was not to be diverted from his solo career – he was last heard with Jason Bonham in the three-piece California Breed. I thought that particular outfit was pretty hideous, all noise and no subtlety, and maybe the choice of “wunderkind” Andrew Watt on guitar mis-appropriated.
It seems even Glenn may have realised now – outside of the many liaisons – that he has a solo career to be peddling and proud of, with plans afoot for more touring in 2016 and hopefully on the back of a new solo album which would be his first since 2008.
The last time I saw Glenn Hughes was in 2006 when he played his local stomping ground – the much-loved and missed JB’s in Dudley, West Midlands – and on that occasion his band, including Jeff Kollman on guitar, really impressed. At that time, though, he was promoting a new solo album, ‘Music For The Divine’ .
Glenn always surrounds himself with wonderful musicians and this time round his secret weapon was Doug Aldrich, himself on the back-foot from a seemingly enduring liaison with David Coverdale. Away from the heightened expectation and the egos this new configuration had the makings of potential greatness, even if a little bit low-key.
But first, Jared James Nichols, a highly-touted guitar slinger from Wisconsin. He is like an American version of Virgil & The Accelerators – although a little less rough-edged – and the power trio format lends itself to muscular versions of tracks like ‘Haywire’ and ‘Playin’ For Keeps’ from his debut album ‘Old Glory And The Wild Revival’.
For my ears there were too many covers in the set, which dragged with the slow blues of ‘Come On In My Kitchen’, but maybe JJ needs to bed himself in with album number 2. He certainly looks the part.
With no new album, it was inevitable that in this set Glenn Hughes would fall back on a “best of” his back catalogue, although not necessarily the most obvious songs. As a primer for his music, this really couldn’t be beaten taking in as it did his time with Trapeze as well as a nod to more recent liaisons (BCC). And Doug Aldrich was acknowledged with a nod to his own recent past (‘Good To Be Bad’).
‘Mistreated’ was the mid-set highlight and, if a tad drawn out, was the perfect vehicle for “the voice of rock” and the almost a cappella coda. Of course the finale had to be an incendiary version of ‘Burn’ and thank the Lord there is an “original” who can sing it with as much power and resonance in 2015.
For the cognoscente there was probably not enough of solo album Glenn in the mix but that will presumably be rectified in future and whilst the presence of Aldrich quite a coup for this tour sparks might really fly if the two collaborate on new material.
A triumph, then, and an artist who seems genuinely humbled by his ecstatic audience and offering them the prospect of more exciting, if more self-serving, times to come.
Review by David Randall
Photos by Sean Friswell
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
Set list: Stormbringer / Orion/ Way Back To The Bone/First Step Of Love /Touch My Life/Sail Away /Good To Be Bad/ Mistreated/Can’t Stop The Flood /One Last Soul/Soul Mover
Encore: Black Country/Burn
Gig review (Jared James Nichols, 01.11.15)
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Pete Feenstra celebrated his 300th show in October 2019. Pete heads up a five-hour blues rock marathon when “Tuesday is Bluesday” from 19:00 GMT. Listen out also for his interview-based Feature show on Sundays (20:00 GMT)
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