Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Live Review: Glenn Hughes at the De La Warr Pavillion

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside...especially when that means seeing the voice of rock himself - Glenn Hughes!

It's certainly not our first time witnessing Glenn Hughes' live shows, however we were never lucky enough to be present during Mark III or IV Deep Purple. This makes nights like this that much more exciting and with Glenn bringing this tour to lesser known areas such as Bexhill-On-Sea, we feel as if we're on holiday!

After a short walk along the breezy seafront, we take our seats at the front of the stunning De La Warr Pavillion. The grand stage is dressed with the deepest purple backdrop and in the distance,  the echoes of Glenn's vocal warm-up can be heard, leaving fans on the edge of their seats. The moment Glenn sets foot on stage we're reminded of the pure soul and sensationalism that he executes. His stage presence is cool and effortless. He struts across the stage, bass hanging low, playing along to the opening riff to 'Stormbringer'. It feels natural to stand, applaud or dance and at times it seems as if Glenn is beckoning the audience to do something more than sit. Surprisingly and unlike other seated rock events, the fans do not take away from the atmosphere. Many fans tap, bounce and sing along to every word. There aren't any new numbers in this set...only fan-favourites and Deep Purple classics.

Glenn's band are first rate and prove this as they break into Burn favourite 'Might Just Take Your Life'; the perfect opportunity for keyboardist Vince Dicola to show-off his skills and pay unspoken tribute to the late Jon Lord. Glenn announces "It's good to be home" as he sports his Union Jack emblazoned sleeves. The soft hum of the moving bass line vibrates across the Pavillion and a light buzz fills the room. 'You Keep On Moving' from the masterpiece Come Taste the Band is soothing and the ultimate evidence to prove how Hughes' vocal range seems to continuously improve over time. A song like no other.

The set continues with Deep Purple classic after classic including 'Sail Away' and 'You Fool No One/High Ball Shooter' where Glenn truly connects with the audience, showing off his pearly whites and pinpointing individuals in the crowd.  'Gettin' Tighter' and 'Mistreated' arrive later down the line. Glenn shares stories of his time in Deep Purple, including that time in Ritchie Blackmore's kitchen where the beginnings of 'Mistreated' were first composed.  Guitarist Soren Anderson does a phenomenal job playing the styles of both Ritchie Blackmore and Tommy Bolin. Drummer Ash Sheehan not only blows the audience away with a charismatic and varied drum solo but is able to deliver every Paice beat with ease.  Hughes compares Sheehan to the characters in the movie Snatch, going on to say "he's completely crazy... and that's why he's in my band".  The stage banter and connection only adds to the musicianship and on-stage relationship.

They say time flies when you're having fun but this set is flying by quicker than expected.  Hughes continues with a bluesy medley of 'Smoke On the Water/Georgia On My Mind', the classic 'Burn' and a surprising finishing number in the form of 'Highway Star'.  He delivers this with pure power and passion yet I'm left wanting more... more from the Marks of Deep Purple that Hughes contributed on. A personal preference would have been to replace these Mark II songs with 'Love Don't Mean a Thing' or even an added treat with something from Seventh Star (I'll keep dreaming!) It was Hughes himself who introduced the set as "songs that Paice, Glover and Gillan do not play!" This is all minor in the grand scheme. The room is moving and as Glenn hits every note, the audience attempt to do the same.  Smiles surround me and I try to remember the last time I was at a show with such an uplifting vibe from all present.

A truly moving performance by a unique, modest and humble human being who somehow manages to make you feel like you're the only one in the room. His vocal range is consistently impressive and his ability to reach those extraordinary high notes keeps fans coming back for more. Glenn's positive spirit shines through both on a personal and musical level and we can't wait for him to be back again.

Photography: Michelle G
Writer: Kayleigh V

Live Review: Alive and Dangerous at The Underworld, Camden

The boys are back in London again!

Judging by all the pushing and shoving at the stage of the packed Underworld, it's clear from the get-go that Brian Downey's Alive and Dangerous haven’t lost any of their appeal. It’s the fifth time that they've brought their celebration of the 1978 masterpiece to Thin Lizzy’s London fans whose numbers seem to grow each time.

How perfect a choice Brian Downey has made with his band is clear from the moment they begin to play. We’re treated to not just a faultless run through of Live and Dangerous but a genuine and heartfelt tribute to the music and those behind it. Matt Wilson embodies the spirit of Phil whilst implicitly making it clear he is here to pay tribute rather than to imitate. He doesn’t let us forget the man at the back either, giving plenty of credit where credit is due. Brian draws attention to himself through his drumming alone, showing how little has changed in his musicianship and style since the good old days.   

Phil Edgar and Brian Grace bring Lizzy’s twin guitar magic to life again, capturing hearts during ‘Still In Love With You’ and getting the whole room moving to the melodies of ‘Don’t Believe A Word’, ‘Sha La La’ and well, everything else. It’s a joy to watch a band who are truly making the most of what they’re doing - having fun with each other and with some of the best music that the world of hard rock has ever seen.

With ‘Got To Figure Out’ we get something a bit different - a new song, written by Alive and Dangerous this year. There’s a little confusion from the crowd perhaps expecting only to hear songs they’ve heard time and time again. No matter, people are moving to the tune of this modern creation soon enough.

Finally, after a goosebump inducing ‘Black Rose’, we’re sent on our way to the sounds of ‘Whiskey In The Jar’ and promises of a next time we’re already looking forward to.

Upcoming 2020 February tour dates with Don Airey:

22nd - Waterfront, Norwich
23rd - Welly, Hull
24th - Academy 3, Manchester
26th - Foundry, Sheffield
27th - Lemongrove, Exeter

Check back at for added dates in the future.

Gallery coming soon!

Writer: Louise Dornan
Photography: M Godding