Black Country Communion (Apollo London) Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 09, 2018    
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Black Country Communion - Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, London (UK) - 04 January 2018

With no support it is straight into the set for the main band with a clarion call of air raid sirens and the relentless rhythm of 'Big Train' from 'Afterglow'. One unmistakeable scream from Glenn Hughes and memories of his time with Deep Purple come flooding back, something assisted by classy Hammond Organ from Derek Sherinian. Weeping with emotion, Joe Bonamassa's guitar miraculously shreds while still keeping a bluesy tone. The keyboards and drums (from Bonzo's son Jason Bonham) each get a little spotlight turn right at the beginning to emphasize everyone on this stage is punching above their weight. There's no messing about with this band, it's full-on from the start... and what a class act! Even the lighting is noticeably several cuts above the average gig.

Black Country Communion Live 1

When Hughes sings, you can hear the result of a lifetime of influences, not only from Rock but also the diverse best of genres like R&B and Motown, instant layers of feeling and tone which simply doesn't exist in the average voice (amazing since he admits he can't even remember the eighties)! The man even wrote 'Over My Head' (Beatles-like in its simplicity yet still original) in his sleep! However, these geniuses are also modest and down to earth too.

Black Country Communion Live 3

Constantly thanking the audience (with Bonamassa admitting it was his fault the band was on hiatus for six years), these are reformed characters, having been through so much they seem genuinely happy to just be making great music in each other's company with no bullshit. Yet this is no OAP's convention; Hughes stalks the audience and moves his body like a twenty year old ducking and diving like a wildlife specimen, Sherinian has a six pack, Bonamassa's intensity is ever present and Bonham booms out from the stage.

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The material is varied with five songs from the new album showing this band consistently continue to produce great material and a good even spread across all of their four albums. Bonamassa gets a shot at vocals on 'Song Of Yesterday' and 'Battle For Hadrian's Wall'. We even get Gerry O'Connor from The Dubliners playing mandolin and violin on 'The Last Song For My Resting Place' which is a bit Led Zeppelin in its mix of Celtic influences and Rock.

Black Country Communion Live 5

No doubt reminded of David Coverdale, being at the Hammersmith Odeon and one of Coverdale's favourite venues, Hughes indulges in a humourous "here's a song for ya" before launching into 'Man In The Middle' from BCC's second album. A majestic version of 'Black Country' with ultra-flexible vocals and a complimentary voice and guitar combo reminding of Ian Gillan/Ritchie Blackmore at the California Jam rounds out the initial set. The classic 'Mistreated' completes the encore with Hughes not trying to imitate Coverdale, but making it very much his own with his trademark super high Falsetto (although singing the final line low in tribute to the great Cov).

Black Country Communion Live 2

It was a great privilege to see these expert musicians playing together again – long may it last!

Dawn Osborne (photos by Eric Duvet)

Black Country Communion Live 4

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