Review & Photography by Ritchie Birnie for MPM
Glenn Hughes rocks up to Glasgow on his 50th Anniversary tour of Burn and turns back the years, dusts off the cobwebs from some old songs and completely blows away this awed crowd.
Tonight is a celebration of everything 70s and there could not have been a more perfect choice in support than the incredible The Damn Truth. After the psychedelic intro tape of “White Rabbit” gets the funk in order as the band take to the stage which has very little room and the always spiffed up and retro Canadians plug in with huge smiles and burst into “This is Who we are now” and you instantly know this group just love what they do.
I was lucky enough to catch them doing a headline show earlier in the year so I knew the majority of this crowd would be unaware of them and in for a real treat.
The band had already grabbed the audiences attention with their music and the unlimited energy on show. Singer/guitarist Lee-La Baum owns centre stage and intermingles with the rest of the band with pure unadulterated fun and enjoyment.
The majority of tonights set is made up of the most recent album “Now or Nowhere” and quite rightly as a bunch of the tracks were produced by Bob Rock and if these songs are good enough for him they are sure as hell good enough for us.
Of the eight songs tonight we only get the track “Get With You” which was not on that album but for everyone here nobody cared, we got a top notch band, some incredible songs, a drum and guitar solo and entertained way beyond our expectations.
I have to say I have seen Glenn Hughes many times over the years but I do not think there was one show that I was more hyped about than this one and as much as my anticipation was through the roof all expectations were blown away with ease.
The instant “Stormbringer” started I knew the night was going to be very special and never before has a gig given me so many emotions and realisations within one set.
I was seven years old when Burn came out and it was not until six years later I would discover Deep Purple and I hoovered up Mark 1,2,3 and 4 in short shrift alongside Rainbow, Whitesnake and Gillan. It was an amazing time for me discovering the music and the intermingled histories of these band members and Burn was one of the stand out albums for me.
The intro of “Stormbringer” and “Might just Take your Life” was outstanding. I have no idea how long ago it was when I heard these tracks last live but I was in awe and transported to that stupid, young and excitable teenager.
Next up was “Sail Away” and Soren owned that guitar intro. That funky assed song came to life and exploded. The crowd were in a trance and as the night wore on Glenn relived stories of the time regarding Ritchie and the likes of that infamous Californian Jam show and thinking back that was one of those Rock’n’Roll stories you loved as a rebellious teenager and like most of the people here I had a poster on my wall from that show with the huge Rainbow in the back.
“You Fool No One”, “High Ball Shooter” and the accompanying drum solo took up a huge chunk of the night and as someone who is not a big solo fan I was wholeheartedly entertained. I have never seen a drumstick enter so many orifices in my life.
I had seen Glenn play “Mistreated” before and I remember that night I was completely speechless and tonight he managed it again. The intro was there to hide the song but when it kicked in the cheers almost took the roof off.
The band were in amazing form, Keyboard player Bob Fridzema is a well known man in this town due to his time in King King and he was on fire. He was in ecstasy playing those Jon Lord parts and I cannot imagine anyone on the planet doing a better job.
You cannot get past this song without talking about Glenn as he was perfection personified. The man looks great, dresses great, plays demon bass and has the vocal pitch of an eagle with its nads in a vice.
During the night Glenn discussed how he is the only person still doing these songs and this was where I was hit like punch in the solar plexus realising that one day these tracks will never be heard live again. The fact that we can still hear them 50 years later is something else and for this we owe Glenn a huge debt as we will never see the likes of tonight again.
Glenn spoke throughout the night, about his love of the city, his love for the music and his thanks for the life he has had and as humble as that man is the biggest lump in my throat was on introducing “You Keep on Moving” and saying the reason he always plays this song is to remember Tommy Bolin and to make sure his name lives on.
As I said I came into all of these songs at the same time. I still have my original vinyl copies of Burn, Come Taste the Band and Tommy’s Teaser. I didn’t have that Purple/Blackmore snobbery as I loved the early and the latter Purple just the same and Tommy was a genius taken way to early.
For “Highway Song” Glenn ditched the bass and went full Rock Star but he could have went side stage and dragged on a junkie to fill in and I could not even hear Glenn due to the crowd. This track sent the audience into a crazy, old people mess. What a performance.
The show was finished with what else but “Burn” and the shown closed exactly as it started with euphoria and nostalgia. Tonight was an experience that every Rock fan should see. I struggle to write the words on just how amazing it was. I have seen some incredible shows this year but they pale in comparison. Glenn Hughes you are a living legend.