Rock legend Glenn Hughes turns back the clocks during a combustible show at the Boiler Shop in Newcastle.

The year was 1973, and rock titans Deep Purple were going through some personnel changes. Bass player Roger Glover and lead singer Ian Gillan departed 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 that has been referred to in the annals of rock history as Deep Purple Mark III. During this time, the band produced a pair of seminal albums, Burn and Stormbringer respectively. A few years later, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore would depart Deep Purple allowing for the appearance of the late great Tommy Bolin and Deep Purple Mark IV. With this came 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 unmistakable anthems. Thankfully, for fans of the iconic outfit, Glenn Hughes, the former bassist, and singer of Deep Purple, is celebrating this bygone era of the group on the road with a tour that is entirely dedicated to performing Classic Deep Purple Live.

On Tuesday evening, The Voice of Rock as he is known by millions arrived at the Boiler Shop in Newcastle where a huge crowd was there to greet him. Purple light aptly shone down on the stage, as the man of the hour opened the show with a gargantuan rendition of Stormbringer before a harmonious airing of Might Just Take Your Life followed.

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

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

Every song in the set took on a life of its own, jammed out and extended, allowing each member of the group to truly shine. Keyboard player Bob Fridzema is the ideal performer to go to battle with the licks created by the late great Jon Lord. Similarly, long-time guitarist Soren Anderson, who has worked with Glenn for approximately 17 years, continues to execute the riffs, solos and melodies handed down by Ritchie Blackmore with the respect, humility, and technical excellence they deserve. Whilst powerhouse drummer Ash Sheehan is the ideal foil for Hughes and company to play off and hold down a tight and solid groove all night long. Ash even got to take a drum solo during You Fool No One.

With Hughes' approach to recreating the Purple live experience, most songs performed in the set came in at around the 10-minute mark. As such, the show, including the encore, featured nine of the band's unmistakable anthems.

Many vocalists in the latter stages of their career would not be able to hit the same dizzy heights which Glenn Hughes illustrated throughout his latest date on Tyneside. They don't call him the Voice of Rock for nothing. Glenn has lost none of the power, range, or passion that he has become known for throughout his career. The set was replete with vocal acrobatics aplenty.

The unmistakable introduction to Mistreated transported the Newcastle audience to classic rock heaven, whilst Hughes and company showcased the funkier side of the Purple repertoire during Gettin’ Tighter. The main set closed 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 close out the show without his signature number. As anticipated the night came to a close with perhaps one of the greatest rock anthems of all time, the being Burn. The latter was the perfect way to round out not only the show but also a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Deep Purple's seminal release. On Tuesday evening, Glenn Hughes was on fire in more ways than one.

Canadian quartet The Damn Truth have been sharing the stage with Glenn Hughes on this run. The band have recently been in the studio with legendary producer Bob Rock as they work towards the release of a new album.  

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The Damn Truth recently announced their brand-new single “I Just Gotta Let You Know", will be released on Friday, September 20th.  It’s the first single taken from their forthcoming 2024 studio album.  And it's also the first new music since the band's 2021 album "Now or Nowhere." Bob Rock also produced the latter. 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 of White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane played over the venue's PA and appropriately set the scene for the band's performance. A hard rocking rendition of This Is Who We Are Now opened the set, whilst fan favourites such as Only Love, Look Innocent and set closer Tomorrow certainly hit the spot. With their classic rock stylings and retro aesthetic, The Damn Truth perfectly fit the bill for such a tour and occasion. The band's energy, stage presence and arsenal of infectious anthems were enough to win the band over an army of new fans on Tyneside. Just like the surname of their esteemed producer, The Damn Truth sure know how to Rock.