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Deep Purple star Glenn Hughes set to rock The Waterfront

PUBLISHED: 17:11 13 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:11 13 November 2019

Glenn Hughes Credit: David Pickles

Glenn Hughes Credit: David Pickles

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Singer and bassist Glenn Hughes has been at the forefront of the rock scene for decades, and he's still going strong. ADAM AIKEN caught up with him ahead of his forthcoming visit to Norwich.

Glenn Hughes Credit: Richard BolwellGlenn Hughes Credit: Richard Bolwell

Terms such as "music legend" are often bandied about without justification. But when it comes to Glenn Hughes, it's a label that is bang on the money.

The Voice of Rock has a CV that is right up there with the best, with highlights including Trapeze, his stint in Black Sabbath and, more recently, his role in supergroup Black Country Communion, alongside the likes of Joe Bonamassa.

At the moment, though, it's his legacy in Deep Purple that is at the fore, and the singer/bassist is returning from the States to celebrate his time in that mighty band, including a show in Norfolk next week.

Deep Purple have had a veritable who's who of talent in their ranks during their five decades, and are still going strong today. But for many fans, it's the Mark III and Mark IV line-ups from the 1970s that are the most memorable.

Hughes, who hails from Staffordshire, joined the already established Purple in 1973 alongside a young David Coverdale, and that line-up (completed by Ritchie Blackmore, Jon Lord, Ian Paice and, later, Tommy Bolin) brought us the Burn, Stormbringer and Come Taste the Band albums, as well a subsequent plethora of live releases. His current tour - Glenn Hughes Performs Classic Deep Purple Live - is a trip back in time to that era.

"I decided that it was time for me to honour the legacy from back in the day and play the songs that no one else is playing from Deep Purple Marks III and IV," says the 68-year-old.

"I'm a playing a selection of songs that, in general, fans want to hear. I've done a survey of what the fans want to hear and these are the songs that tick all the boxes for everyone. There's a little bit of California Jamming, a little bit of Live in London, a little bit of Live in Long Beach…

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"I think I'm really the last man that was in the band then to play these songs, so I'm really grateful for this. There are a lot of great memories."

Glenn Hughes Credit: Mick BurgessGlenn Hughes Credit: Mick Burgess

When Hughes joined Deep Purple, he shared lead vocals with Coverdale as well as taking on bass duties. What was it like to join a band such as that?

He says it seemed an entirely natural progression. "It was the next thing for me after Trapeze. It was a band that I felt comfortable being in - there was no pressure, it was a family. It was just a huge opportunity for all of us to play and write these great songs."

Although he is still going strong, don't expect any more solo releases from Hughes soon.

"I've done over 150 albums in my life. I'm not saying I won't record another album but I don't have to. I think playing live is the way I need to pursue my life now. It's about who I am as an entertainer. I love to sing live. My love is playing these songs to as many people as humanly possible."

As with many of his peers, Hughes lived the rock-star lifestyle off stage as well as on it. Unlike too many others, he came through the other side, and perhaps that's what's behind his gratitude to still be performing at the highest level.

"I'm one of the guys that has recovered from drugs and alcohol and I'm carrying the message of recovery," he says.

"Through my work and my songs, I know I help people. That's my goal - to help as many people as I can. I'm very, very happy now and very grateful to be doing this."

Glenn Hughes Performs Classic Deep Purple Live is at the Waterfront, Norwich, on Wednesday, November 20. Support comes from Dead Sea Skulls.

For tickets, visit seetickets.com

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