Glenn Hughes @ Toldkammeret, Helsingör (DK)

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Glenn Hughes / STONE BROKEN

Date: 08th February, 2017
Venue: Toldkammeret
Tickets: 280DKK (€37/$40)
Promoter: n/a
Photos: Erika Wallberg

Ever since I saw Glenn Hughes at last year’s ‘Sweden Rock Festival’, I’ve been on the watch for some club-dates. Even if it was absolutely fantastic on that massive stage, it’s always better with a small club. Ok, it could have been a little bigger than Toldkammeret in Helsingör though.

But first, warming up the crowd for Glenn was the UK band STONE BROKEN, an ordinary looking Rock band doing a few numbers on this tour. Apparently, they’ve created a name for themselves back home in the UK, while them appearing on this tour poster was the first I ever heard of them. And yes, there were absolutely things I liked about STONE BROKEN. First, drummer Robyn Haycock’s punch and drive -; that '70s sound created by the likes of John Bonham and Bill Ward. Her force was phenomenal and she had such a good groove. The rest of the band performed flawlessly too but she really stood out. So yes, STONE BROKEN really sounded good, harmonies and the vocal lines were there. There style though, somewhere between Rock and Grunge, is not really my cup of tea and, frankly, most of STONE BROKEN’s songs were a bit too anonymous to make any lasting impression. It was recently released video “Wait For You” that stood out a bit from the rest. Perhaps, I’m off here since the place filled up nicely while they were playing and for each song the cheers rose which was cool to see. So, STONE BROKEN definitely get approved for a job well done even it they didn’t fit my taste in music to 100%.

I love it that it still happens, when I’m almost nervous for a show. Perhaps extreme excitement is a better word but just look at this, how cool isn’t it to get to see a legend like Glenn Hughes at a small club where it can get intimate and personal. More people than me definitely felt the same as the place was packed to the last spot. The downside though is that there’s no photo-pit at places like this one but I was lucky and got a spot in the front.

The first note played sent shivers down my spine; the opening song “Flow” is one of my all time favourites from the fantastic brand new “Resonate” album. The heavy groove worked fine on stage as well and Glenn sounded fantastic from the first note. The band did too. That Sören Andersen would deliver on guitar I had no doubts about. Also the drummer, as introduced later on, big-Swede Pontus Engborg is a fantastic musician and even if it was hard to see him on his flank of the stage, his playing made its mark. Since “Muscle And Blood” sounded amazing live on the ‘Sweden Rock Festival’ show, I certainly didn’t mind to get to hear that one again this night. The same can be said about the TRAPEZE song “Medusa”, it really sounded fantastic. The dynamics and nerve were amazing and the band delivered a really heavy version of it.

And that was very cool with this set. I mean, I loved the ‘SRF’ set and could easily have seen that again without complaining but that he changed quite a few numbers, especially the DEEP PURPLE songs. “Gettin’ Tighter” was cool to hear. Glenn complained a little about getting a cold due to the Scandinavian weather but nothing of that showed in his vocal performance, which was pointed out from the crowd as well, god damn he can sing. Normally when you see acts play live the vocalist get closer to the microphone for the falsettos and the really high pitched stuff. Here it was the opposite, Glenn’s normal voice is rather mellow so when he was going up he backed away from the microphone to balance out the volume and it sure sounded fantastic. The natural room-reverb added to his screams made it all really out of this world and again every hair on my body stood straight up.

One more song that sounded absolutely fantastic was “You Keep On Moving”. The addition of Hammond / Organ sure did its trick on a few places. Apart from the aforementioned band members there was also Jay Boe who did fantastic on the Organ and as special treat, if it was for the show or the tour I didn’t really get but also on guitar there was Anders Bo. The double guitars worked fine and created a very heavy sound. What was so fascinating with this event was that even if there were many musicians and elements fighting for the frequencies the sound was amazing, very dynamic and balanced between all the different instruments. For sure, the bass was a bit more pushed than in normal setups but that felt natural, it was after all a Glenn Hughes show. After “Soul Mover” from the great album with the same title and the BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION trademark track “Black Country” the band said a brief goodbye and left the stage. The crowd wanted more of course and expected it to happen. And what surprises me with Danish crowds is that they are rather quiet when it comes to things like this. In general, they give good support but yes, they don’t scream as much as crowds in other parts of the world.

Anyway, Glenn and Co. came back and did another fantastic number from “Resonate”, the super heavy “Heavy” track. The first song I heard from the record and it was set on repeat right away. It was basically only “Burn” of the DEEP PURPLE tracks that were the same here as for ‘Sweden Rock Festival’. It was no surprise that it would come as an encore and it worked fine. But I don’t think it would have mattered what track Glenn Hughes would have picked to close the show, it would have worked anyway. It seemed that everyone knew everything he was doing which is very cool.

So yes, I walked away with the same feeling as after the ‘SRF’ gig and with a huge smile on my face. Glenn really impressed here too and the whole thing worked even better in a small club and everything was basically perfect, sound, performance and setlist. What more can you ask for?

Glenn Hughes setlist:

01. “Flow”
02. “Muscle And Blood” (HUGHES/THRALL song)
03. “Gettin' Tighter” (DEEP PURPLE song)
04. “Stumble & Go”
05. “Medusa” (TRAPEZE song)
06. “Can't Stop The Flood”
07. “One Last Soul” (BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION song)
08. “You Keep On Moving” (DEEP PURPLE song)
09. “Might Just Take Your Life” (DEEP PURPLE song)
10. “Soul Mover”
11. “Black Country” (BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION song)
12. “Heavy”
13. “Burn” (DEEP PURPLE song)

Glenn Hughes

Glenn Hughes @ Toldkammeret, Helsingör (DK) (photos by Erika Wallberg)

(click to enlarge)