Black Country Communion - Shepherds Bush Empire - 30 December 2010

Arrived to see the queues going right around the building and producer Kevin Shirley going through the stage door and a real sense of excitement at only BCC's second official show after the previous night's show in the Black Country.

We here at Rockgig were lucky enough to be invited to the cd release secret show at John Henry's in September so knew that we were all in for a treat.
First up was Joanne Shaw Taylor who recently released her superb second cd "Diamonds In The Dirt".
The 25 minute set included 4 from the new cd "Can't Keep Living Like This, Jump That Train, Dead And Gone and Lord Have Mercy"all showcasing her bluesy vocal style,groove laden songs and her superb geetar playing.
I really can't compliment her enough and her superb soloing brought huge cheers from the large crowd.
As we entered the building a flyer told us she will be on tour during May with a couple of shows supporting Glenn Hughes.
I urge you all to go along and see a rare talent in small shows before her talent takes her to larger venues.
After the sheer out of this world experience of the secret show I had looked forward to seeing BCC in a larger venue.
Coming onto the intro tape of "Ride Of The Valkyries" as the lights dropped we were hit with the 1-2 from the debut cd of "Black Country"and "One Last Soul" with the crowd not needing to be asked to scream the chorus of "Black Country"with Glenn Hughes. Brilliant.
Great sound and an excellent light show with huge beams of light going all the way round the theatre only added to the evening.
All the band members play their part. Glenn's rumbling bass and vocals,Joe Bonamassa playing the geetar god with a more rock feel to his usual day job,Jason Bonham's powerhouse drumming and Derek Sherinian's keys adding the depth to the songs.
There's a real old school vibe in the songs but it feels so right.
When you hear that they only rehearsed on Tuesday,then Wolverhampton,then London it shows what an amazing chemistry the guys have and what a feel for the music too.
In total 10 songs off the debut cd were played. We seemed to start with shorter songs and then let the music take over in the second half.
We had "Beggarman","The Revolution In Me" and then "Down Again" and then the real fun began.
"Too Late For The Sun" feels like a studio jam on cd yet tonite it developed into a lengthy song that gave all the band members a chance to shine. Joe's geetar solo was stunning.
A 10 minute tour de force yet next song up "Song Of Yesterday"topped that.
With Joe now on vocals the song has just something more.
Stunning on cd live it's incredible.
Again Joe's extended solo brought the house down and then we moved onto his solo song "The Ballad Of John Henry".
Well the Joe fans in crowd had just has 20 minutes of joy and the applause at the end of this song brought the hairs up on the back of your neck.
"The Great Divide"gave Glenn a chance to shine on vox with him striking all the right rock star poses.
Before "Medusa"the old Trapeze number Glenn gave thanks that he had played the song in the 70's with John Bonham and was now lucky to play it with his son Jason. The song again gave all the band members a chance to shine.
The next song was mind blowing a cover of Led Zepp's "No Quarter". The light and shade of the song was brilliant and Jason's drumming and Joe's extended solo was top top drawer. Again finished to rapturous applause.
The set finished with the AC/DC inspired riff and big chorus of "Sista Jane" which is another great live song. The ending included a short drum solo a few bars of the Who's"Won't Get Fooled Again" and then back into "Black Country" to end where we started!!
One encore with Joe now without his jacket went into Glenn's Deep Purple days and "Burn" which again brought the house down. Joe had some real fun pulling lots of rock geetar poses and stunning solo.
And with that after an hour and 45 minutes they were gone.
A new cd is being recorded in January/February with the promise of a real tour after cd 2's launch next summer.
The band are having fun and it will be interesting to see what they can produce if they can play like that with so little time together.

I have been privileged to see BCC twice in their 1 showcase 2 show career.
The term "Supergroup"is used too often but was made for BCC.

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