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BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION ALBUM LAUNCH SHOWCASE GIG IN LONDON: ”ARE YOU READY?…”

21 September 2010 13,227 views 11 Comments

Above Photo By Christie Goodwin

Black Country Communion:Album Launch Showcase gig –  John Henry’s Ltd Studios, London-September 20th 2010

Set List: Black Country/One Last Soul/Beggarman/Song Of Yesterday/Stand (At The Burning Tree)/The Great Divide/Medusa/Sista Jane (including Wont Get Fooled Again ending).

The photo of Black Country Communion that accompanied a preview of their debut album on the TBL site in late June  was met with  a ‘’Comments’’ response from the mysterious Nuvo 911 that said ‘’What a strange looking band. A Mexican, A kid, An Old Man and a Red-Neck . . . They probably sound great!’’

Last night a couple of hundred lucky attendees at John Henry’s Ltd Studios got to find out first hand if this was the case. Judging from the response to the hour long album launch showcase, the answer was a unanimous yes. The do sound great…and then some.

Prior to introducing a dramatic rendering of the Trapeze classic Medusa, Glenn Hughes made a humorous reference to that quirky description of the four members of the band that originally appeared on the TBL site. It was perfectly in keeping with the journey TBL has travelled on with them going back to the interview I conducted with Glenn in February.

Being in close proximity (make that very close proximity) to Black Country Communion on stage at the tiny rehearsal space in Studio 5 was the culmination of the months of build up that has also seen further TBL interviews logged with Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham and Glenn. The latter’s enthusiasm for his music and general worlds of wisdom on matters past and present, have been of much inspiration for this particular writer.

So yes it’s rose tinted glasses time –or not because BCC connected instantly with a calibre of musicianship that was a joy to witness. And in this week of all weeks with many thoughts of 30 years ago, being a few feet from a Ludwig kit adorned with the three circle symbol and played with a drummer with the surname Bonham was a moving experience. From the moment Jason did that oh so familiar rumble around the kit ala Bonzo on Listen To This Eddie, well the man was just awe inspiring. As a familiar voice behind me shouted ‘’Jason’s in the house‘’ and indeed he was. And as he once said he now is a man. When I last saw him play he was the star of the 02 reunion and unsurprisingly he was the star for me again last night.

The fact that the PA speaker for Jason’s feed was directly in front of me  and ensured his bass pedal activity shook my entire being only added to the effect.

An ‘’Are You Ready?’’ from Glenn and they were off into Black Country led by that incessant chugging Hughes bass line, it was more than evident we were in the company of four musicians who are rejoicing in the discovery of something special. Joe Bonamassa was completely immersed in the track firing out ferocious speed runs on the Gibson. Glenn sang with a verve and commitment that mirrors the sheer elation he has gained from this venture. What was also immediately impressive was how together the band seemed. Despite few rehearsals, the synchronicity between them seemed effortless, with not a fluffed ending in sight.

One Last Soul had Jason supplementing the swagger of the song with some Black Dog like drum attacks, Joe switching to a Black Beauty Custom. Beggerman followed – another full on assault with Glen and Joe clustering together in classic rock pose.  Song of Yesterday was a Bonamassa tour de force as he wrung every ounce of emotion out of the guitar. Stand (At The Burning Tree) provided the  opportunity for keyboardist Derek Sherinian to come to the fore playing off Jason’s jerkey spasmodic fills. ‘’This is one of our favourite numbers’’ said Glenn before they charged in to The Great Divide which is something of an Out On The Tiles for the noughties. There was more emotion as they eased into old Trapeze standard Medusa after which Glenn explained how John Bonham used to get up on stage and take the sticks to jam with Trapeze way back when – ‘’Now 39 years I am on stage doing it with Jason’’ As Glenn made a passionate acknowledgment of the late great Bonzo, I noticed Jason smiling and kissing his symbol tattoo.

They wrapped up the showcase with a quite devastating Sista Jane. This had  dual lead vocals from Glenn and Joe and an extended solo that saw Jason cavalcading around the kit with a series of Kashmir like coda fills – each one more frenzied that the previous attack. This instantly recalled to mind for me images of his Dad performing in Europe in 1980 doing exactly the same thing. As the song reached its climax, a familiar synth riff echoed from the stage and oh yes Jason went into the Keith Moon drum solo of Won’t Get Fooled Again. I was all set for a stage invasion ala The Kids Are Alright film when after couple of Townshend power chords from Joe, it all came to a juddering halt. My knees wouldn’t have made the leap anyway.

Afterwards the band hung around the studio with the ever amiable Glenn chatting to all and sundry. It was good to say hi to some familiar faces such as Dave Ling and Record Collector’s Tim Jones. I also had a good catch up with Glenn’s manager Carl Swann who reminded me of the time he performed with Debbie and Mick Bonham a the 1992 Led Zep London Convention.  Around the hospitality area HD quality official video of the show was being screened. The You Tube clips that are already up, were shot right next to us on the right of the stage as can be seen below.

I had a chat with Jason and he was on great form. He told me how much he is looking forward to the Led Zeppelin Experience tour which kicks off in a couple of weeks. ‘’’I’ve really pushed rehearsals so we can really get this right’’ he said. He is also pleased to be involved in Saturday’s ‘’Bonzo – The Groove Remains The Same’’ drum tribute to his Dad at the Key Club Hollywood for which Zoe and Deborah will also be in attendance. ‘’I’m really pleased to be part of that as there are so many great drummers paying tribute –it’s going to be an emotional night’’. With that he was off to drive back to the hotel ready for a day of BCC press interviews.

And that was Black Country Communion. And that was what rock can still be all about. It was a tremendous thrill to be so close to an all strutting, all encompassing four piece rock line up. No pretension, just out and out pure enjoyment. It must be hoped of course that the varying schedules of its members, will allow for more of the same as soon as is possible because this is a unit that gel with a ferocious intensity that deserves to be seen.

As for Jason, if you are heading in the direction of the Led Zeppelin Experience tour, prepare to be amazed. On the evidence of his performance tonight, this is a drummer at the very top of his game – capable of producing an enormous rumble across the Ludwig kit in time honoured Bonham fashion.

‘’Your Dad would be very proud of you tonight’’ I told him before he left.

And no doubt on many nights ahead…

Dave Lewis – September 21st 2010

With thanks to Peter Noble and Will Taylor

Above Photo By Christie Goodwin

Photos GF/TBL

Above Photo By Christie Goodwin

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11 Comments »

  • nuvo911 said:

    Thanks for using my comments in your article. You kinda wonder if anybody ever reads those things.

    One of the points I was trying to make was, real musicians don’t look like movie stars, as compared to what’s going on in today’s music. It is all image 1st with talent and musicianship last…. I mean, really last.

    When was the last time you heard a whole album that was good? Today it’s one or 2 tunes and your out. That’s why downloading is so popular. It ain’t worth buying the whole album.

    Nuvo911

  • Tony B said:

    Great band,70s rock is back

  • real gone said:

    Read my full review of Black Country Communion here: http://realgonerocks.blogspot.com/2010/09/black-country-communion-communion.html?spref=tw

  • Oz said:

    I could not agree more Chris!Jason even looks like John when he plays with them.Im so happy rite now.Peace brothers.

  • Chris Wright said:

    I think it’s no exaggeration to suggest that, just as his dad did back in 1968, Jason has finally found a band with its own magical chemistry.

  • Geoff said:

    I was there and felt so privilidged to be there too. What I saw was a mesmerising exhibition of paramount playing from four musicians at the very top of their game. The touring schedules of the individual members will make it difficult, but not impossible for a limited tour. But it will need hyping regularly until then for it to be a financial success. The music media are behind them so it could work. A special thanks to Joe and his management team for fixing for some of his diehard fans to share the event. Truly memorable!

  • Lee Henley said:

    Awesome vid, must have been great to have attended, this band seems very tight

  • russell ritchin said:

    I WAS NOT THERE BUT WISH I WAS I ALREADY LIKE ALL MEBERS OF BAND
    BUT COULD NOT EVER SEE THEM ALL GETTING TOGETHER.

    SOUNDS A GREAT NIGHT (REALLY ENVIOUS OF ALL THOSE THERE)

  • russell ritchin said:

    I WAS NOT THERE BUT WISH I WAS I ALREADY LIKE ALL MEBERS OF BAND
    BUT COULD NOT EVER SEE THEM ALL GETTING TOGETHER.

    SOUNDS A GREAT NIGHT (REALLY ENVIOUS OF ALL THOSE THERE)

    THANKS FOR THE REVIEW

  • Oz said:

    Thank u so much for the videos,I listened live on planet rock lastnite but to see them perform at the gig was awesome!!!!!!!!!Joe’s playing coupled with those chilling lyrics in “song of yesturday” acctualy made me cry.Thank u again.XXX Music is alive and kicking.

  • Elise said:

    Like the Chuck’s with the suit! Nice touch Joe! 🙂

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