I have been treated to some amazing venues of late but nothing comes close to the stunning elegance of Hamer Hall. As the nights concert goers made their way down multiple banks of escalators to get to their vantage point for the evenings entertainment, I was feeling quite young with the mature aged punters taking their seats around me.
While it has been a lengthy intermission since Glenn Hughes departed Deep Purple back in 1976 there was a buzz amongst the fans as we waited for the lights to drop. The huge backdrop was based around peace and love and that message was one that was not overlooked during the course of the evening.
As Glenn Hughes and his band took to the stage the crowd erupted with shouts and cheers that many had held back for over 40 years waiting for this moment. Opening with Stormbringer from the 1974 album of the same name Glenn was timeless in his delivery although many years have passed since he sang this same song with Deep Purple. Might Just Take Your life, Sail Away were up next followed by Mistreated and our first guitar solo of the evening. As the band members left the stage guitar virtuoso Jeff Kollman gave us a taste of his shredding skills with a mesmerising solo that lead into You Fool No One.
With the voice of a man many years his junior Glenn dedicated his next song This Time Around to Jon Lord. Accompanied by Australia’s own, Lachy Doley on keyboards, this song was beautifully performed and was a very fitting tribute to the great man. A song that had never been performed live before was Holy Man, I wish I knew why because it was amazing with celestial lighting shining down from above, a diamond in the rough and one of my favourites of the night. Lachy’s solo on the Hammond organ was sensational, his hands a blur as they slapped at the keys with precision, and even a scissor kick or two thrown in for good measure. He is a master of his instrument and as stated by Glenn Hughes himself he is “the greatest living keyboard player in the world”.
Swedish drummer Pontus Engborg treated us to a sensational drum solo, hitting the skins with ferocity and such tremendous talent. The amazing acoustics of Hamer Hall leant themselves to the drums beautifully giving a crisp deep sound that resonated perfectly.
Getting’ Tighter and You Keep On Moving were fantastic editions and Glenn’s trademark vocals faultless through out. Smoke On The Water had everyone rocking in their seats with the familiar riff belted out with vigour and a little treat of Georgia On My Mind.
This was applauded with a standing ovation and hopes of just a few more. Wishes were granted and Highway Star and Burn were the final two of the night. Both equally amazing in there own right, everyone singing along and a few showing us their air guitar skills.
Bows were taken and Glenn expressed his message of peace and love and how music is ‘the healer’, it was such a refreshing statement and one that I agree with wholeheartedly.
Time has not wearied Glenn Hughes, his voice brilliant all night, even while fighting a cold. His bass playing skills effortless, his instrument an extension of his body that merged as one to complete this band of champions. Here’s hoping that it is a little less than forty years before we are treated to another night of amazing live music back on our shores. Until then we can give our records a spin and always be reminded on the awesomeness that is Glenn Hughes and Deep Purple.
Review Contributed by Cassandra Hale