Monday night and the Robin 2 was jammed to the rafters for the opening act Jared James Nichols from Wisconsin USA hit the first resounding chord and we knew that this was going to be a show of rock infused blues. The set was a blinding display of how six strings can be manipulated with scorching licks, riffs that produce rivulets of sound and hooks for the lyrics no wonder the crowd were mesmerized. If that wasn’t enough out came the transparent glass slide and we dropped the tempo cranked up the emotion for a glorious rendition of Robert Johnson gone electric Come Into My Kitchen showcasing the depth of James Jared Nichols’ talents. The power of Erik Sandin and Dennis Holm as the rhythm section that powers and allows the control that Jared achieves as he shreds up his glorious guitar playing to fever pitch. With the set starting out with tracks from his superb debut album Old Glory and the Wild Revival including Crazy & Haywire showing that the music transcends the studio and hits the stage with a full-on glorious sound. His cover of Mountain’s Mississippi Queen was sublime Southern Rock the set was too short would love to have heard more of his scintillating guitar playing whether blues rock, delta or southern inspired music we wanted more slide, shredding or melodic manipulation of the fretboard. Jared James Nichols tonight was the perfect special guest left the audience wanting more guitar, more rock and more music and they didn’t have to wait long.
A short break whilst everyone gathered their breath and for many an opportunity to purchase the album to take the magic of Jared home he made a huge impact on the crowd who had come in the main to see Glenn Hughes.
Tonight, after a couple of short lived projects Black Country Communion and California Breed, bassist Glenn Hughes is joined on stage as part of his solo band by former Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich, and his drummer for many a show Pontus Engborg. The set entwined the many bands and projects Glenn has been associated with opening with the third re-incarnation of Deep Purple with the instantly recognizable Stormbringer showcasing his great voice, and raising the temperature even higher in the sold out Robin 2 on a Monday Night. Hughes told many amusing stories as he travelled like a time lord through the four decades of music-making he has been involved in. He took us back further in time back to the musical roots of a young boy playing in bands in the Black Country not far from the venue, as Glenn said it was like coming home tonight. The interplay and chemistry between Glenn and Doug was evident as the guitar and bass played off each other whether playing numbers by Trapeze and Whitesnake it was the rock vibe that mattered tonight. We heard Trapeze, Way Back To The Bone and another number dedicated to the late Mel Galley Touch My Life. Into the mix we had a Whitesnake classic Good To Be Bad, once gain showing how much they were enjoying playing music on stage live together, it is a partnership that works. The show was shaped so that everyone had a solo spot it was about all three musicians, and the tracks from Black Country Communion received a rapturous cheer as we heard One Last Soul and Soul Mover as the set reached the climax and then it was the end, the stage feel silent, the audience wanted more… Rewarded with an encore, fittingly tonight the extra music started with Black Country from Black Country Community and the lyrics may say It’s cold on the mountain, It’s cold in the wood… it was hot, very hot at the Robin 2 as the last track of the night Burn what a way to close the show on a Monday night in the Black Country!