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Prague, Zlin and
Budapest 19-22 May
We all came
out to the Budapest on the Danube shoreline to make a video with the
Funkmeister. Or should I say, all I hear is Burrrrrrrrn the DVD.
We caught the tour as Glenn was emerging from Germany into Prague and we
wanted to see how the new material from FUNK was translating live.
Oil and Water stood out the best from the new on that night. Prog rock
laced with Glenn's brand of funk and a riff of Iommiesque proportions. The
considered swing of We Shall be Free also sat well among the more
established tunes such as Mistreated which Glenn treats skilfully,
dovetailing a vocal solo just when you think the Purple classic has ended.
The dramatic opener Crave sets the scene well and I prefer it, as a
fanfare, to the title track of Music for the Divine on the last tour.
By the time we reached Budapest, I'd made my mind up that FUNK will
provide a strong basis for future Glenn Hughes sets along with the modern
established classics such as his signature song Soul Mover, Don't Let Me
Bleed and Steppin' On.
This is the horn of the dilemma for an artist of Glenn's experience and
integrity. He has often said that a set laced with Deep Purple Mk3 and 4
numbers would not do it for him. One of the biggest criticisms of Mark 8
is that it may have become cabaret.
It's an unwinnable debate as sections of the audience will undoubtedly expect
more of what they know, but for the record Glenn is content with just the two on
this tour. Burn was executed energetically and received enthusiastically on all
The wizened beards alongside the pretty faces reflected Hughes's wish to freshen
up his fan base. Standing at the mixing desk for Budapest, it was during the
second vocal solo on Don't Let Me Bleed that many of the slimmer sorority tended
to take a nature break. Glenn's incredible vocal talents would be better
demonstrated by a ballad say the subtle soulful meanderings of Imperfection from
the new album.
I'd also love him to surprise us with a revisit of the autobiographical
Addiction at some point. But I am being greedy.
This is a
fine band with Anders Olinder being allowed to express himself on Fender
Rhodes without using the Hammond Organ as a reference. Luis Maldanado uses
his retro Tommy Bolin style Echoplex as a rhythm enhancer.
With most digital sounds being so sanitised these days, it's good to see an
artist taking risks and with JJ Marsh the twin guitars gives a welcome
dimension. With Matt Goom on a Bonham Ludwig kit, this is as tight and focused
band as I have seen Glenn perform with. The sound quality was excellent.
And the bass player? You will see in Glenn's interview that he wants the bass to
drive the songs. With this double Ampeg backline, wear some garters if you are
attending Wolverhampton, Liverpool or London this weekend. It's the first time
since 1976 for the Liverpudlians. By his own admission he 'should be dead.'
Thankfully he is very much alive and still making big waves instead of relying
on the ripples of the past.
Review and photos by Keith Thompson
Video by Keith Thompson ©
2008 All rights reserved.
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