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Old Jan-06-2018, 12:26 PM
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David David is offline

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...this review from the London show sent in via Nigel Foster

Black Country Communion - Eventim Apollo

Well it will always be the Hammersmith Odeon to me, a place of so many treasured memories for me dating back to the mid 1970s. Fast forward to 2018 and there is another treasured memory to store in the bank after witnessing Black Country Communion’s outstanding gig last night. I saw BCC at their infamous Shepherd’s Bush gig a few years ago and last night was every bit as legendary.

A huge band like this has no need for a review from me but I could not let the event pass without some words of praise and observation.

Arriving in the stalls and making my way down towards the front, one look at the stage gave the cue that this was going to be a full on rock show. As you looked left of stage the Orange amp stack for Glenn Hughes, right of stage a Marshall stack for Joe Bonamassa and at the centre at the back the colossal drum kit of Jason Bonham.

And that is exactly what ensued over the next two and a quarter hours, full throttle pedal to the metal classic hard rock that had this venerable theatre throbbing from start to finish.

For me Black Country Communion are a true definition of a rock supergroup, four majestic musicians that individually are sublime and collectively unparalleled. Last night each excelled and made a stunning contribution and it just all seemed so effortless for them. Bonham, like father like son laying down piledriving drum grooves that thundered out across the arena driving the band on. Derek Sherinian plundering the Hammond Organ throwing down deep rich textures of sound. Joe Bonamassa peeling off blistering jackhammer riffs with total abandon and throwing evocative shapes as he engineered a torrent of phenomenal solos rammed full of sonic notes. Finally front and centre the lithe prowling Hughes carving out trench deep grooves on the bass and swamping the venue with his howling banshee wail of a vocal.

It really was a gig played at a searing pace with no let up in the intensity and it was abundantly clear that despite the blip when the band split, this quartet belong together and love playing together. Mutual respect and genuine kinship was there for all to see and created a riotous atmosphere for the crowd to feed off.

Hughes is the showman engaging the crowd, throwing the shapes and sharing neat anecdotes and all the while controlling things like a master conductor. Bonamassa seems to relish being freed of being the only focal point and he looked totally relaxed and in his element. Throughout he displayed the prowess of a master technician combined with a raw passion for the guitar and sounds that can be conjured for it. Bonham is peerless, without doubt the finest rock drummer around, incessant trench deep thundering grooves underpinned the band’s sounds. Sherinian daubing rich colours and textures on keys adding layers of aural sounds.

The band now has four albums worth of material to draw from and they took from each crafting a perfect set of which there were many highlights including tracks from the new album. Sonic soundscapes that mesmerised me were the outstanding renditions of The Crow and the majestic and beautiful The Last Song For My Resting Place. Other personal favourites that shone like flame filled beacons the epic nuances of Hadrian’s Wall and Cold.

After a full on two hours the band returned for an encore and peeled the paint from the walls with a towering version of Black Country. Hughes whirling and swirling like a dervish and Bonamassa the assassin with the razor sharp axe carving out a torrent of scything riffs. An extended low down and very dirty Mistreated brought the curtain down on a wonderful night.

Long may these titans of rock continue to weave their spell and make music together.

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