Rock legend Glenn Hughes at the Boiler Shop, Newcastle

The year was 1973 and rock titans Deep Purple were going through some personnel changes. Bassist Roger Glover and lead singer Ian Gillan left the band, which in turn paved the way for the arrival of Glenn Hughes from Trapeze and Saltburn’s own David Coverdale.

The Northern Echo: Glenn Hughes at the Boiler Shop, Newcastle

An era known in the annals of rock history as the Deep Purple Mark III. During this time the band produced two groundbreaking albums, Burn and Stormbringer. A few years later, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore left Deep Purple, allowing for the appearance of the late great Tommy Bolin and Deep Purple Mark IV. This marked the release of the group’s tenth studio album, Come Taste the Band, before Purple went their separate ways in 1976.

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This short but sweet period of Deep Purple produced many distinctive anthems. Luckily for fans of the legendary band, Glenn Hughes, Deep Purple’s former bassist and vocalist, is celebrating this bygone era of the group on the road with a tour dedicated entirely to performing Classic Deep Purple Live.

On Tuesday evening, The Voice of Rock, as he is known to millions, arrived at the Boiler Shop in Newcastle where a huge crowd greeted him. Purple light shone down on the stage as the man of the hour opened the show with a gigantic performance of Stormbringer, before a harmonious performance of Might Just Take Your Life.

The Northern Echo: Glenn Hughes at the Boiler Shop, Newcastle

The beauty of this tour is that Glenn Hughes is not only playing the music he and his esteemed bandmates created, but rather attempting to recreate the magic of the Deep Purple live experience. A real 70s rock show, perhaps in the style of the Made in Europe album or California Jam, only in a more intimate setting and without the crowd of 250,000 in the latter case.

Each song in the set took on a life of its own, being jammed and extended, allowing each member of the group to truly shine. Keyboardist Bob Fridzema is the ideal performer to go into battle with the licks of the late, great Jon Lord. Likewise, long-time guitarist Soren Anderson, who has worked with Glenn for some 17 years, continues to implement the riffs, solos and melodies handed down by Ritchie Blackmore with the respect, humility and technical excellence they deserve. While power drummer Ash Sheehan is the ideal complement for Hughes and Co. to play and maintain a tight and solid groove throughout the night. Ash even got to take a drum solo on “You Fool No One.”

With Hughes’ approach to recreating the Purple live experience, most of the songs performed in the set clocked in at around the 10-minute mark. Nine of the band’s distinctive anthems could be heard in the show, including the encore.

Many singers in the latter stages of their careers wouldn’t be able to reach the same dizzying heights that Glenn Hughes proved on his last date on Tyneside. They don’t call him the voice of rock for nothing. Glenn has lost none of the power, range or passion for which he has become known throughout his career. The set was full of vocal acrobatics galore.

The unmistakable introduction to ‘Mistreat’ transported the Newcastle audience to classic rock heaven, while Hughes and co showcased the funkier side of the Purple repertoire on ‘Gettin’ Tighter’. The main set ended with You Keep On Moving.

The Northern Echo: The Damn Truth – The Bolier Shop, Newcastle

But we all knew what was coming – there was no way Glenn was going to finish the show without his signature number. As expected, the evening ended with perhaps one of the greatest rock anthems of all time: “Burn.” The latter was the perfect end to not only the show, but also the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Deep Purple’s groundbreaking release. On Tuesday night, Glenn Hughes was on fire in more ways than one.

The Canadian quartet The Damn Truth shared the stage with Glenn Hughes at this performance. The band was recently in the studio with legendary producer Bob Rock to work on releasing a new album.

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The Damn Truth recently announced that their brand new single “I Just Gotta Let You Know” will be released on Friday, September 20th. It’s the first single from their upcoming studio album for 2024. And it’s also the first new music since the band’s 2021 album “Now or Nowhere.” The latter was also produced by Bob Rock. A release that received high praise from fans and the industry alike.

The Northern Echo: The Damn Truth – The Bolier Shop, Newcastle

The Damn Truth’s intro tape featuring Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” played over the venue’s PA, providing the appropriate backdrop for the band’s performance. A hard-hitting rendition of “This Is Who We Are Now” opened the set, while fan favorites like “Only Love,” “Look Innocent,” and “Tomorrow” certainly hit the spot. With their classic rock style and retro aesthetic, The Damn Truth were a perfect fit for such a tour and occasion. The band’s energy, stage presence and arsenal of infectious anthems were enough to win over an army of new fans on Tyneside. Just like their esteemed producer’s last name, The Damn Truth know how to rock.

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