Posted by: docdenbow | June 11, 2011

Glenn Hughes & The Watkins Westminster Amp – Birmingham 29th May 2011

Over the past football season I have been swapping messages via Twitter with Glenn Hughes (formerly vocalist with Trapeze, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Hughes/Thrall, Gary Moore, KLF and currently Black Country Communion) mainly about the fortunes and misfortunes of the mighty Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Anyhow, eventually the “Voice Of Rock” noticed that I had mentioned on my Twitter profile that I owned a Watkins Westminster guitar amp. Now these little babies date back to the late 50s early 60s and Glenn told me that he had had one as his first amp when he was a lad and that he regretted parting with it.

Now this little amp has been sitting a a cupboard in my house for several years being spectacularly neglected and unused. On the odd occasion that I do play I use either a borrowed Fender practise amp or my Session Rockette 30 due to the fact that both of these have headphone sockets.

My wife is forever telling me that I am a hoarder holding on to stuff that I never use and constantly cluttering up our home with assorted “tat,” so when I offered the Watkins to Glenn she was over the moon. As far as she is/was concerned this was a giant step for me, parting with something like the Watkins Westminster.

Anyway I made the offer to Glenn, with a message along the lines of “if you want it, it’s yours.” and he offered me a couple of backstage passes to his then upcoming tour. I went up to see him and his band at Birmingham Town Hall on 29th May 2011 with the said Watkins secreted in a black bin bag! There were a couple of foul ups regarding both the tickets and the passes but once sorted me a my buddy settled to watch Glenn and his band deliver a storming set featuring songs that encompassed a wonderful 40 year career. (sorry Glenn but the career IS that long!)

After the show we were shown to a busy backstage area where there was a lot of coming and going of road crew, support band Raven Vandelle, and lots of Glenn’s friends and fans. Anyway, bin bag discarded I decided to introduce myself and the amp to Glenn as we had been standing around for 10 to 15 minutes and I felt acutely self aware and more than a
little out of place.

As soon as Glenn saw the amp he grabbed my hand and said “Denis! You made it!” He grabbed the amp off me and led me to his dressing room where we had a short chat. I could see that he was really made up to see that little old Watkins, and if I’m honest was more than a little overwhelmed by his enthusiasm. It really seemed to mean a lot to him. After Glenn had spoken to everyone else waiting in the backstage area we went back into his dressing room and grabbed a few photos of Glenn and me with amp.

Oh, and sorry Glenn I pinched a bottle of Volvic Lemon & Lime as I had to take my medications! (Epilepsy) Hope you don’t mind!

Let me tell you I got a real kick out of giving him that amp because it obviously meant a lot to him.

Ciao For Now




  1. To be fair, he does look pretty happy. What kind of guy was he? Was he nice to you or a diva?

    • Glenn was very friendly and I didn’t find that he was anything of than a bloke from from Cannock who’d done well for himself if you like.

      Met him again after an acoustic show at the Glee Club in Cardiff and spent about 45 minutes talking about about the Wolves and stuff. When I mentioned that my pal Andy had driven up from Swansea he immediately asked how I was epilepsy wise, so yeah he’s a good chap.


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