Uli Roth & The Legends Of Rock
Usher Hall, Edinburgh, 23rd Nov.2002

The venue is sparsely populated as Frank Marino comes onstage. Itís been a long time since I last saw Frank play live, hopefully it will not be so long again. Frank is a great guitarist, totally aware of the abilities of his guitar and himself. He plays really well, backed up by a tight band. Extending his solos becomes the norm for every song, and he is soon coaxing extraordinary sounds from seemingly out of nowhere. A fine opening act introduced by Uli Jon Roth, Frank quickly wins over the audience, though he didnít really have to try too hard with one over-enthusiastic individual sitting up front. This spectator quickly establishes himself as the nutter of the night, as he strikes the most ludicrous poses, extending his tongue and leaping about with St.Vitus dance attributes.

Frank is followed swiftly by Uli Jon Roth. As fine a guitarist as Uli Jon is, his song selection and guitar virtuosity left me a little cold. Itís all fine and well playing Vivaldi and guitar concertos, but to be honest most of the crowd would have preferred to see him rock out a little with some Electric Sun material. Indeed the best song of his set was the closer ďHiroshimaĒ, where he played some wonderful guitar during the solo.

A quick break and Glenn Hughes is introduced. Right from the start with the crashing opening chords, it was clear this was whom a lot of the audience has come to see. Stormbringer is so powerful compared to everything thatís gone before. JJ Marsh is way down in the mix, though Glennís vocals are right to the fore. The crowd is on its feet and the place comes alive. You can feel the electricity, a real excitement is building for the first time in the evening. Mistreated follows, the guitar is similar to the Cal Jam version of the tune, and Glenn sings superbly. Getting Tighter follows, incorporating a frantic run through Dance to the Rock and Roll. Absolutely stunning does not even come close. The band build up the funk rhythm, and Hughes screams his guts out, really giving it all. You Keep on Moving has the crowd in fine voice, with the band really tight and confident in their playing. Burn finishes the set, a quick dash to the stage by the front few rows, Amazingly someone gets onstage, only to be ushered off, and the powerful song really belts along. Magnificent. Glenn is speechless, shaking hands with the people at the front, huge grin on his face. The audience is drained as Glenn leaves the stage promising to return later.

Jack Bruce follows, or tries to follow. Joined by a flamboyantly dressed Roth on Guitar, he delivers a fine set of Cream tunes. A superb White Room finishes his set. Frank Marino returns for Voodoo Chile, which is an amazing display of guitar work. All Along the Watchtower finishes the main set, with Roth and Marino trading guitar solos. I must say the twin guitar harmony work during this song was wonderful to hear. Both of the guitarists smiling at each other as they play toe to toe, swapping solo runs with abandon.

The encores arrive with Jack Bruce doing Eleanor Rigby, rather well I might add. I Feel Free has Glenn on backing vocals. An emotional Bruce introduces Glenn for the final song of the evening, an astounding, stunning version of Whiter Shade of Pale. Glenn is quite simply incredible in this. The audience is sitting with rapt attention, everyone is watching Glenn. Musicians stand at the side of the stage, as if they can not believe the vocal delivery of the song. And the show ends with everyone taking a bow, and Glenn shaking hands with everyone he can. An awesome performance by Glenn, stole the show completely, and so good to see him on a large stage again. The turn out was a bit disappointing, but there had been little advertising of the show. Worth the admission fee alone for that rendition of Whiter Shade of Pale.

review: Kevin Dixon

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