Glenn Hughes / Monumental Masterclass of Deep Purple Classics at Maid Of Stone

Maid Of Stone – Saturday. By the time the Headliner, Glenn Hughes, arrived, we had stopped caring about the rain and the weather. Many had since departed, yet those who stayed to the bitter end, bitter being the operative word as the wind had not eased, were presented with a pure masterclass of Deep Purple classics.

Glenn Hughes

Glenn Hughes - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
Glenn Hughes – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Though, in view of their soaking wet and cold state, probably many fans were happy for the headliner to play a shortened set, this was my one main gripe of the weekend. How come the Headliners played the same length of time as all the rest of the bands on the bill?

Surely, they were entitled to more than an hour. Answers on a postcard, please.

Glenn Hughes - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
Glenn Hughes – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

That said, this was a well-packed hour, and despite a slippery stage, Glenn brought his ‘A’ game to the park. Playing a set built entirely around Deep Purple songs, this was a delight and a wonderful slab of nostalgia with which to finish the day.

Glenn Hughes - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
Glenn Hughes – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Opening with Stormbringer, the band moved into the slow groove of Might Just Take Your Life, and to ensure that we were still awake, Glenn was prepared to ensure that we were with his familiar scream interspersing the songs. This man still has the pipes and likes to show it.

Moving into Gettin’ Tighter, the keys took to the fore with a jazzy interlude before the familiar riff kicked in. This was a song precluded by a story relating to the sadly departed Tommy Bolin, who the number was dedicated to.

Glenn Hughes - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
Glenn Hughes – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Like many of the pieces in the set, this was drawn out, and that gave the band an opportunity to show off their flare, verve and musicianship as they pulled the song into a soft blues.

With Glenn’s bass to the fore, this was an exercise in pure, undiluted musical excess and good times, and it was becoming clear that not only the band but also the audience were throwing off the miserable shackles of the weather and having a good time.

Glenn Hughes - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
Glenn Hughes – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

If one extended number wasn’t enough, then the opening familiar chords of Mistreated brought the arms in the air and the singalong to top off the day.

This has been and always will be the number that has been stretched, whether played by Purple, Whitesnake or Glenn Hughes. It is a classic of its time and was enthusiastically greeted by all and sundry.

Glenn Hughes - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
Glenn Hughes – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

The guitar work built up to a frenetic finale accompanied by Glenn’s cries and screams, one moment quiet and barely audible, the next, belting out in your face as he called down the heavens. This was an absolute masterpiece.

If things couldn’t get better, then we rolled back the years further with the familiar refrain of Highway Star and everyone singing along to the main guitar tune. And that was it. Fifty minutes down, and the set closed.

Glenn Hughes - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
Glenn Hughes – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Well, perhaps not because as soon as the lights dipped, they were back again, and the band were firing up for the obvious encore of Burn.

Though a short set by headliner status, this was still a triumph and sent those who had stayed out the day home with cheesy grins and smiles, expectations and hopes that the weather may be kinder the next day.

Glenn Hughes - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
Glenn Hughes – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Despite the elements doing their best to disrupt the event, this was a welcome return of great rock music to Mote Park. It would be interesting to see what Sunday would bring.

Glenn Hughes - Maid Of Stone Festival 2023
Glenn Hughes – Maid Of Stone Festival 2023. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Maid Of Stone Festival 2023 was held over the weekend of 21-23 July 2023. MetalTalk’s Adrian Stonley, Paul Monkhouse and Robert Sutton were reporting from Mote Park.

All Photography: Robert Sutton

Early Bird tickets are available for next year’s festival held over 19-21 July 2024. Tickets are available from here.

All MetalTalk Maid Of Stone 2023 coverage is at https://www.metaltalk.net/tag/maid-of-stone-festival-2023

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