Black Country Communion

Gig Review: Black Country Communion, O2 Academy, Glasgow, 29th July 2011

“We are Black Country Communion and we are a rock ‘n’ roll band” were the words from Glenn Hughes as the band left the stage prior to their encore but it is those words which say it all about their performance in Glasgow.

Storming on stage to Ride of the Valkyries, Glenn Hughes instantly signalled his intent to the audience as he walked to the front of the stage and kicked his bass into action with the opening to ‘Black Country’.

Dissecting the bands performance you understand in greater detail why Black Country Communion are defined as a supergroup. While his presence was felt on ‘Black Country’, it wasn’t until the release of ‘2’ that we began to feel the true depth that Derek Sherinian brings to the Black Country Communion material; an area that Hughes openly addressed. It isn’t until you watch and listen to Black Country Communion live that you fully appreciate his role as his performance simply lifts each song and the manner in which he performs could be felt within the crowd as they reacted warmly to his interactions. Jason Bonham’s energy throughout each song was equally as powerful as he drove each song and this is exactly what we have come to expect from him but it was the two lead performances that did steal the individual spotlight.

Joe Bonamassa, arguably one of the best guitarists in the world at this moment, needed no introduction but made sure he stood out to the audience in a gold suit, black shirt, sunglasses and baseball cap. In what almost seemed an effortless performance for the blues guitar prodigy, Bonamassa showcased why he is one of the most talented guitarists currently performing with a faultless performance not only on the guitar but vocally. Taking over lead vocal duties for ‘The Battle For Hadrian’s Wall’ and ‘The Ballad Of John Henry’, the title song from his 2009 solo album, Bonamassa showcases that nothing can stop him as dominates every single piece of his performance.

“I’m 58 but I have got a very young spirit” stated Glenn Hughes when I interviewed him in 2010 before the release of the band’s debut album and now 59, with his 60th birthday only weeks away, that spirit is still alive and well. From start to finish of the bands set, Hughes strutted up and down the stage like a teenager giving it everything he had. “The Voice Of Rock” put in a perfect vocal performance as he, in my view, put on the best performance by a frontman I have ever witnessed live at a concert.

While their albums are amongst my favourite releases over the last year, the biggest question was whether they could perform to such a level live and the answer is yes. In my review for ‘2’ I stated that Black Country Communion were more than a supergroup, they were a band and while a supergroup can easily release an album, not many carry the chemistry that these four men do on stage. Each member fed off one another, laughing and interacting throughout their set, powering one another on to perform at the best of their ability and to enjoy this moment like it was there last.

When Glenn Hughes stated “we are Black Country Communion and we are a rock ‘n’ roll band” it made the previous twelve songs I had just watched seem more real. It wasn’t just four men playing for money or for the sake of it, they were playing because this is their passion and this is what they were born to do. That performance was more than just four well-known musicians collaborating, this was four well-known musicians who shared a passion for the same music and it works on every level.

“There are a few sure things in life and this is one of them.” – Glenn Hughes on Black Country Communion

Set list

1. Black Country
2. One Last Soul
3. Crossfire
4. The Battle for Hadrian’s Wall
5. Song Of Yesterday (Joe Bonamassa’s Solo Intro)
6. I Can See Your Spirit
7. Save Me
8. Cold
9. The Ballad of John Henry (Joe Bonamassa song)
10. The Outsider
11. Derek Sherinian Solo
12. Sista Jane
13. Man In the Middle
14. Burn (Deep Purple cover)


Photographs by Vagelis Georgariou. Visit his website and his Flickr.


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Michael is the owner and creator of EspyRock. He is your general all round geek; sports fan; TV show fanatic. You can find him sharing his thoughts on his personal Twitter account. Contact Michael on Twitter or via Email.

2 Responses to “Gig Review: Black Country Communion, O2 Academy, Glasgow, 29th July 2011”

  1. Got to agree with the review (although it was Ride of the Valkyries, not Star Wars lol). It was a shame that the sound quality in the 02 was pretty terrible, especially for the singing, which is guttin’ because they have two brilliant singers. Still, a thoroughly good gig, great band.

    P.s. Was also happy to grab a Bonamassa plectrum!

  2. Why on earth did I think Star Wars? haha. Yeah the sound on Glenn’s vocals were pretty poor, I was to the right of the stage so it was hard then they eventually turned it up.

    Was very happy at good the performance turned out. I had read so many good things that it had built up for me but thankfully they didn’t let down.