Released: 2007, Edel Records/Playground Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Hughes’ last live DVD and CD called SOULFULLY LIVE IN THE CITY OF ANGELS came out in 2004, and now he’s releasing another live album - this time recorded in Australia. Hughes’ latest studio album came out last year and was titled MUSIC FOR THE DIVINE; one can say that Hughes is a very productive soul.
This album is also available on DVD and documents his acoustic performance at his first Australian performance in June of last year at the club The Basement in Sydney. Hughes performs songs from SOUL MOVER and MUSIC FOR THE DIVINE, but also old Deep Purple classics like “This Time Around”, “You Keep Me Moving” and “Mistreated”. Singer Jimmy Barnes does a guest appearance and this live album is a one-of-a-kind moment for Hughes. It’s fun to hear him in a totally acoustic setting and his songs really do well as acoustic versions; not many artists’ songs can do that.
The set list includes 14 songs and Hughes has managed to create a perfect mood for them. Hughes is in a great mood and talks a lot in between the songs. The only negative thing is the quiet audience which hardly makes a sound during the entire show. They come to life and sing along when “A Whiter Shade of Pale” and “Mistreated” are played.
I have problems with Hughes’ voice when he takes on the higher notes and screams at the top of his lungs, which is something he does a lot during this show. He sounds much better when he stays within his vocal range.
The show finishes with an appearance from Jimmy Barnes doing “Getting Tighter” with Hughes. The evening’s only encore is the song “You Keep Me Moving” which Hughes wrote with David Coverdale. The album clocks in at 80 minutes and I have nothing major to complain about. I do miss a few of my favorite songs, but the disc is a great complement to his last live album and if you have bought the DVD it’s fun to have the CD as well.
I recommend LIVE IN AUSTRALIA to fans of Hughes because it’s a brilliant showoff from one of the true legends of hard rock/rock’n’roll. If I were to choose between the CD and the live DVD I would probably pick the CD; it’s more enjoyable to hear the man sing instead of watching him.