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GLENN HUGHES, The Robin 2, Wolverhampton
6/7 June 2009

Glenn Hughes, photo by Lee Millward
Photo: Lee Millward

Glenn Hughes descended on his home town for his only UK dates until 2010 with a double whammy of Deep Purple plus solo on Saturday and a tribute to his alma mater Trapeze on the Sunday.

We were promised some never performed songs from Burn and we got the AOR classic Whatís Going on Here, an underrated jig often overshadowed by the usual suspects. Talking of which no Burn but, to be fair, Mr Hughes has been plugging that one for five years now, so itís no bad thing to keep the audience intrigued. It worked for Blackmore!

A stray vocal mike picking up the bass bins on stage did make the first two songs sound Sabbathesque (no bad thing) but the culprit was quickly discovered and balance restored in this acoustically sound venue.

Jeff Kollman, Glenn Hughes, photo by Lee Millward
Photo: Lee Millward

Sail Away was a welcome addition to the set and long may it remain as a staple, Anders Olinder adapting the Jon Lord synth moments with aplomb. Mistreated never fails to disappoint with Kollmanís appropriate take on the Blackmore histrionics combined with the addition of Glennís voyage through the octaves.

Glennís voice is still in good shape and he cuts a very lean figure these days. His philosophy of eating the right foods and resting with intent is obviously paying dividends. I am witnessing Holy Man 'the only one they let me sing on my own' off Stormbringer and thinking what could have been if he hadnít listened to the man with the dodgy smarties back in the 70ís.

The George Harrison of Deep Purple perhaps?

Image conscious but not averse to self effacement, Hughes asked 'Should I take this f***** off?' referring to the red silk scarf which was skilfully draped around his neck.

Solo highlights such as Crave from Music from the Divine and Love Communion off F.U.N.K and Donít Let Me Bleed from the modern classic, Soul Mover, were well received by the sell out audience.

Jeff Kollman, photo by Lee Millward
Photo: Lee Millward

The second night was a tribute to the music of Trapeze for which I had the privilege of watching the rehearsal in the morning.

What was apparent from such classics as Medusa and Seafull was that Trapeze probably had the top 30 classic in the cooking pot around the time Hughes jumped ship to Purple. Having said that, the Sunday evening was a night of celebration of what was, not what could have been.

Glenn Hughes, photo by Lee Millward
Photo: Lee Millward

Glenn once again donned his old friend and mentor, the late Mel Galleyís black beauty Gibson for Seafull. Talking about a Glenn Hughes guitar solo sounds weird but there it is folks. Emotional, confident and well delivered, there were inevitable lumps in throats.

Trapeze were an eclectic mixture of bad ass funk arranged progressively. The music is timeless and letís hope this recorded gig makes its way to the online shops.

Review by Keith Thompson

Photos by Lee Millward

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