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Black Country Communion

Who Killed John Henry?!

Arriving rather early to scope the venue we were rather alarmed to find some vans outside a building that can only be described as an industrial unit, near the door to Pentonville prison. Hardly the nicest area around, we took our chances and left!
However coming back at the advertised time of 7pm we found a group of people standing on the other side of the road, next to an older building that we hadn’t noticed before, and before long we were ushered through a courtyard to a small 2 up 2 down type of building. Upstairs is the bar, and downstairs is the venue. If it’s too loud you can watch the show on the tv upstairs! (I’ll cope!)
There’s a real sense of anticipation in the air, considering the majority of the audience are regular journalists, the rest of the audience (120 – 150) being made up from competition winners and such like.

The room for the show is approximately 50% stage, and 50% standing area, and come 8 o’clock it was great to note that there was no one taking the tv route, everyone was crammed in that room to witness the begining of the BCC story live.

A few minutes later than planned they stroll out and after a moments warm up launch into Black Country. The sound levels are spot on, everything loud and clear for certainly the heaviest song of the night. There’s a palpable sense of relief at the end, and the rest of the show builds momentum perfectly. You realise that literally other than during the recording sessions this is a band that are merely hours into their career. Each song played is still a learning experience for the band as new areas of solo come out.

By the time we get to Medusa the band is in full flow. On the record I wasn’t sure we needed another version of Medusa, being rather fond of the original personally. I’ll eat my words now and say simply it was epic. Perhaps it was the heat, the size of the room, that you could feel the music rather than just hear it, always a bonus in such a small venue!

Throughout the night everyone is on top form, Glenn’s voice is great as per usual, but controlled. Joe Bonamassa’s guitar always spot on, Jason Bonhams thumping drum style, and Derek Sherinian’s great Hammond swirls. The latter finally coming to the fore in the soon to be epic Sista Jane which finished the show, ending with more than a nod and a wink to ‘Won’t get fooled again’ and barely an hour after it started it was all over.

Upstairs later there was a playback of the show on tv screens all over, and everyone seemed genuinely excited about the show, and the future!

BCC will be touring early next year, dates are being put together currently, and more music will be recorded before that tour.

Yes it’s being hyped, especially in the UK by Planet Rock radio, who broadcast the show shortly after it had finished. But live, in the flesh, just sometimes the hype is worth it!

15 Comments to “Black Country Communion”:

  1. 1
    purplepriest1965 says:


    Another nice review of the show.

    A bit awkward regarding the clearly sentimental bits about Jason Bonham.

    It reminds me of the strange occurrence in Jurgen in OTR.
    Yeah, I know OTR does NOT take the BCC route of recording and playing new songs.

    Well, still hoping for a change is the only thing we can do.

  2. 2
    T says:

    As word of Black Country Communion grows, the media undoubtedly will mention “Glenn Hughes, formerly of Deep Purple…” in announcements and press releases.

    Deep Purple should take advantage of the free publicity as attention is once again focused on the classic-era via BCC (and the Nasty Habits Mark I Songbook release) and come out with their own product.

  3. 3
    David Sanderson says:

    I like BCC, Is it just me or does ‘One last soul’ sound a little like ‘Nobody’s home’?

  4. 4
    HardRockPete says:

    Looking forward to hear the BCC record, and hopefully see some liveclips on YT from this “secret” gig. Bass, drums, hammond and guitar- basicly all you need to make great music!

  5. 5
    peter chrisp says:

    great stuff!!!

  6. 6
    Barfly Gypsy says:

    well i think they doing a great job. what i do miss is more space for mr Shernian.
    He should crank up his hammond so we could hear a hammond from hell instead of that swirly sound he has now, it fits better behind BB King whos also great by the way.
    And a god Hammond solo is for me just as intresting as a guitar solo so Mr Hughes give him a little bit more space please. They all got skills to diliver and they shoud all do it.
    Listen to the tune Sons of anu from Sherinians solo album Black utiophia 4,30 min in the tune he has a solo duell with Al Di Meola, just after some shredding from Yngwie listen to the organ playin there , thats what i wanna hear a little bit more from Shernian.
    Now hes just an unused capability.
    I think One last soul is the weekest song on the album.
    But besides that thay now sounds more like a trio than a quartett i think its a great album that fits in my record collection.

  7. 7
    purplepriest1965 says:

    @ 2

    I wish Rod would join Nick.
    That would be something I REALLY would be travelling places for!!!!

    Btw, I also hoped for MORE HAMMOND in BCC.
    I love the stuff but…..

  8. 8
    Tommy H. says:

    @ 6, 7:

    I watched and heard a few songs from BCC and till now I’ve been asking myself what Sherinian is doing most of the time. I can’t hear him and on stage if I didn’t know that they have a keyboardist I wouldn’t believe there is one. Is it the poor recording quality or does he play quiet in the background all the time? I don’t know but if he’s just there “for the sound” it really would be a shame. Apart from that I’m looking forward to their album.

  9. 9
    denn brown says:

    this is the new deep purple in the 21st century brillant ,we need rock like this,
    pity purple dont sit up and take notice rather than being rock and roll mercenaries………

  10. 10
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Who killed John Henry???!!!!

    First it did not really struck lightning in my fuzzy brain but…..

    A few days ago I went into Zeppelin world again through google, tube and whatever……
    Amongst so many other things I witnessed SLOW DANCER versions od several era and felt so bad I missed out on Roberts 2007 show!!!

    I read that Jasons father was called John Henry!!!!

    I had not forgotten about his first name ofcourse.

    This is this the 2nd time in a short while I read a suggestion about murder instead of the stories.

    I m not a NIRVANA fan, on the contrary, but got on one of those tubes with comments because I was searching for something else, that movie about scent and so on….

    After throwing a few stones into the fans waters,I was blocked and thus forbidden to react again.
    Still after months I get a reaction now and then, kinda funny.

    One thing I said if they searched for something really exiting they should check out DP In Rock and so on.

    That guy blocked me and still gave another one the freedom to spit at me.

    Not impressed I tried to copy and paste the link to HardLovin Man but was blocked.

    This is what I call rewriting history, being selective and all, staying in your own narrowminded world.

    How comfortable when everyone agrees with you because everyone else gets blocked.

    Ofcourse I was not very subtle.

    I told those, still impressed after all these years, NIRVANA suckers that this kinda music was the celebration of hate and ugliness.
    And so on…..

    Why being mild?!
    With all that ugliness, limited talent, singers without real soul and hope they killed opportunities for great bands in the early 90 s.
    Convincing masses of so called depressives that this was the shit!

    I ve been depressed a lot and GRUNGE, HOUSE and RAP triggers me into wanting to kill myself!!!

    While listening to greats like

    Ronnie James Dio
    Ritchie Blackmore
    JS Bach

    and so on…..
    gave me a reason to live.

    So much inspiration and love.

    Why hang on to anti music?

    Punk and new wave started that filthy shit and still we are not free of it.
    People like to that monotoneus drivel like house for many decades now.

    I still hope its not the metaphor for the real end of everything.

    I digressed.

    Does someone over here know about this so called theories that Kurt and John Henry were killed instead of something else?

  11. 11
    Jeff Summers says:

    Once again an ex member of Purple is riding high in the UK charts…I ask myself “how come DP release hasn’t entered the top 30 in this country (UK) for well over 2 decades?” Anybody got any ideas??

  12. 12
    stephen says:

    re #10
    Who killed John Henry was just a quote from the title track of the last Bonamassa cd, nothing more, nothing less.
    Given the venue was called John Henry’s I thought it apt.

  13. 13
    purplepriest1965 says:

    That the venue is called John Henry made it even more intriguing.

    Was Glenn suggesting they ruined the place by renovating it?

  14. 14
    stephen says:

    no, honestly, there was no other meaning. no one in the band suggested anything. I merely thought it a good tag line.

  15. 15
    TruthHurts says:

    Very interesting points raised here, Priest.

    Since 1991 the ‘music’industry has been peddling grunge, indie, hip-hop, schlager garbage as the only relevant, worthy listening experience.
    There are lots of brainwashed morons out there who lap it up and will ridicule or scoff at those that don’t feel the same.

    I, like you lose the will to live after being exposed to this tripe for too long.
    It has made the life of talented bands that had real potential (and who weren’t around in the ‘golden ages’ of rock)much more difficult, uncertain and frequently shorter.

    But I still have faith that eventually MUSIC WILL OUT.
    It definitely has for BCC…..


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