The Fleece, an incredibly small venue in the centre of Bristol, is well-known for its wonderfully dirty rock shows. With an almost addictive atmosphere, anyone lucky enough to find their way into this venue almost definitely finds their way back. Tonight, I found myself in the queue to see rock icon Glenn Hughes and, whilst I may have almost caught my death in the cold, I would have happily sacrificed a couple of toes to catch this show.
As everyone warmed up (and bought themselves a beer!), Stone Broken took to the stage. The Walsall-based band certainly pulled off a set to remember. A considerable percentage of the crowd had come to see these guys, and, on reflection, it is easy to see why! The hard rock quartet have exceedingly well-honed crowd participation skills, which meant that, coupled with an incredible stage presence, lead vocalist Rich Moss stirred the crowd into an almost riotous bunch in no time! Ever the fan of women making their mark in the industry, I simply must pause to pass comment on Robyn Haycock’s incredible playing. Female drummers seem to find it increasingly difficult to earn a good reputation in this genre, but Haycock’s work here was utterly stunning; fierce. ‘Wait For You’ was, for me, the highlight of Stone Broken’s set tonight. Every element of the song was executed perfectly! It was a pleasure to hear the voices, not only of the band, but of the dedicated few who knew this band inside and out; a truly heartwarming moment. As Stone Broken left the stage (to rapturous applause, of course!), no one in the room was left in doubt as to why this band is growing so rapidly. If you haven’t yet, I strongly suggest checking these guys out!
When the time came for Glenn Hughes to enter the stage, the little venue was packed to the hilt, and the heat was cranked up to the max, despite the cold weather outside. The intense anticipation and excitement were tangible. This was the last night of a fantastic UK tour celebrating the release of his new album, ‘Resonate‘, and Hughes certainly meant business!
‘Flow’, one of his latest releases, opened the set, and did not disappoint, gaining one of the biggest cheers of the night! ‘Medusa’ (which was written nearly 50 years ago!) was also featured, and shared much the same fate. Marrying both old and new work, Glenn Hughes created a wonderful euphony, and made the set one to remember. Hughes, in short, was an absolute pleasure to watch. His mastery of his instrument brought the bass to the very forefront of the show, which was without doubt a delight to see (and hear!) as bassists are, sadly, all too often forgotten!Glenn Hughes’ instrumental prowess is second only to his extraordinary voice. Indeed, he has one of the most exceptional, iconic, and distinctive voices in rock. Throughout the show, he consistently hit notes that people half of his age could only dream of! Recordings do not do this man justice; simply incredible. The set was insane from start to finish! Whilst the powerful voices of the crowd were present throughout the set, as the final song, ‘Burn’, ended they became almost deafening. After Hughes had exited the stage, and the house lights had gone up, I knew that I wasn’t alone in hoping that he wouldn’t leave it quite so long to come back to Bristol next time!
Review: Amy Jefferies.
Photography: Becky O’Grady