04 January 2018 (gig)
05 January 2018
Black Country Communion rocked a capacity Apollo last night and put in a very early contender for gig of the year with it.
Over two hours of some of the best and most committed rock I’ve heard in years and the abiding feeling that came out to the crowd was that these guys want to be there and are really enjoying playing together. A huge difference from the show at Shepherds Bush a few years back.
The new album ‘BCCIV’ reflected the change in attitude – harder rocking, less ‘produced’ and with a much greater input from Derek Sherinian’s keys but also much more an album of equals – and seeing it played out on the stage was a revelation.
Of course Glenn Hughes voice showed off that incredible range and power and his bass was as solid and as sinuous as ever. Joe Bonamassa’s guitar playing covered just about every genre of rock and Blues in the canon, Derek Sherinian’s Hammond playing was brilliant with fat rolls and so much subtle underpinning of the lead players. And then you have Jason Bonham – holy smoke, that man can hit a drum but he does it with incredible precision as well as monstrous power.
The show started off with an air raid intro before the band came on to play ‘Big Train’ and it was clear from the off that Hughes was having fun, bouncing and prowling around the stage like some feral wolf. Bonamassa tore out the classic riffs and Bonham was hammering out the rhythm like a machine gun.
Just as the crowd was in mid-cheer they tore into ‘Sway’ and from there on the power never let up.
All the favourites were in the set: a stunning ‘Song Of Yesterday’, ‘Cold’ creating a chill across the audience, a fabulous version of ‘Last Song For My Resting Place’ with Bonamassa intricate and powerful. I will never get tired of hearing ‘Black Country’ especially Hughes incredible bass riff and his soaring and searing vocals but for me the absolute highlight was ‘The Battle For Hadrian’s Wall’ as it ran into the brooding ‘The Crow’.
The amazing thing about the gig was that it happened at all.
Both Hughes and Bonamassa had, over the last couple of years, told me that it was unlikely they would get back together but when ‘BCCIV’ was released and the limited few dates were announced I allowed myself a little shred of hope that they might play up to the promise of four truly great rock musicians.
In the event, they played, they were amazing and if I see a better show in 2018 I will know I’ve died and gone to heaven.
An incredible night at Hammersmith Odeon.
Picture by Christie Goodwin