Rock supergroup Black Country Communion are set to return to Wolverhampton Civic Hall for a special one-off concert early next year.
The Anglo-American group will be filming the concert on January 5, 2013, for release later in the year. It will be their first British date in over 18 months.
The band’s debut concert was at Wolverhampton Civic Hall in December 2010 and this will be only the second time that they have played in the area which gave them their name.
Black Country Communion consists of bassist-singer Glenn Hughes, formerly of Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Trapeze, Dudley-born Jason Bonham, son of Led Zeppelin drummer John, plus American guitar virtuoso Joe Bonamassa and former Dream Theater keyboard player Derek Sherinian.
Speaking to the Express & Star, Hughes, 61, said: “Let's just get all the locals in and let's get the Civic Hall rockin'. It's my old town, it's where I learned my trade from 1968. This is where I first learned to play, in the Civic Hall and the Wulfrun Hall.
“Those two halls in that complex are for all intents and purposes my ancestral home. Wolverhampton Civic is the most played venue I've ever played; it's my home.”
The gig will feature tracks from both of the band's albums to date as well and songs from their new album, Afterglow, which will be released on October 29.
Hughes wrote nine of the album's 11 tracks, co-writing the other two with drummer Bonham.
The singer said the album was deliberately very British sounding: “The album sounds like it was born in the Black Country. It was cut in five days and recorded in an extremely rushed fashion. Rushed not in the way of 'Come on, let's get it done', but it was recorded in a very live atmosphere, with hardly any overdubs.”
He cited three songs in particular as being the key to the album; The Circle, Afterglow and The Giver, with an autobiographical theme running through them.
“This album is an album where I'm not afraid to talk about who I am. In The Circle I talk about being upset by the fact I don't have a child,” he said.
“I wrote the majority of this album, nine songs, and then Jason had a couple of ideas that he sang to me over the phone and at my house. I said these are so good that we have to finish these. He's very shy. Although a big fellow, he's also very shy about his capabilities as a writer. He's a really super talented musician, not just a drummer.”
Hughes courted headlines in the rock media recently when he suggested that Afterglow might be the band's swan song. But he insists now that he hopes Black Country Communion will continue and that his comments were fuelled from frustration and aimed at motivating other members of the group to commit to a proper touring schedule – something that is made more difficult particularly by guitarist Joe Bonamassa's heavy recording and touring workload as a solo artist.
“What I was trying to says is look, we all know how old I am, especially up in Wolverhampton. I'm not 35 like Joe and I have a limited amount of years left where I want to rock on the stage and I want to do it in Black Country Communion,” said Hughes.
“We all knew that the group would be formed as a side project to play series of shows each year and we really haven’t done anything for over a year now which I thought we would do. So I was frustrated that the lack of touring would maybe signal the end. I don't want the band to end but I don't particularly want to be in a band that doesn't have any future. I know The Beatles didn't play many shows towards the end because back then records were more important than touring but these days touring is everything.
“So I'm not pointing the finger, I'm just saying let's play. All I'm interested in is playing the Wolverhampton Civic Hall every night for the next 15 years! That's what I want to do, I want to play live. So if it can't be with Black Country Communion it'll be with someone else.
“But if I had my wish, if I waved that wand, it would be with Black Country Communion. But it's not just up to me. If it was up to me we'd be playing all the time.”
* Tickets for the Wolverhampton concert are priced £49 (standing), £59 (balcony seated) and £44 (balcony standing)and will be available from 9am on Friday, September 21, at Midland Box Office: 0870 320 7000 or online at www.wolvescivic.co.uk