Guitar legend Tony Iommi was among the performers who took part in the opening ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Thursday evening (July 28). The guitarist recently revealed his attendance at the event, announcing that he will be performing alongside saxophonist Soweto Kinch for the “dream sequence” performance of “Hear My Voice.”
Footage from the secondary stage was shared by Facebook account Language for Fun Lichfield, giving viewers a glimpse of how Iommi’s whining guitar riffs worked so perfectly with Kinch’s sax playing. The song they played was “Hear My Voice”, which was based on the title track from the 2020 film Trial of the Chicago Seven, and re-imagined by singers Indigo Marshall and Gambini. Check out the images below.
The opening ceremonies also included a performance by Duran Duran. The XXII Commonwealth Games will continue until August 8. Among those tuning in for the evening was Iommi’s Black Sabbath cohort, Ozzy Osbourne, who commented on seeing his former bandmate perform, “Tony Iommi, I was really proud to see you tonight at the opening of the Commonwealth Games in our home town of Birmingham.”
For Iommi, it was a bit of a loop moment playing with a saxophonist again. Sabbath’s proto-1960s lineup – before they adopted the famous moniker – included a saxophonist and a slide guitarist, as Iommi recalled on the podcast In the wings Last year.
Indeed, back when he, vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward first came together in 1968 as the Polka Tulk Blues Band, the band included saxophonist Alan “Aker Clarke and slide guitarist Jimmy Phillips.
According to Iommi, when the act finally chose to go down to the hard core, a fake breakup was needed. “It didn’t seem to be going anywhere at first,” the guitarist recalls. (Listen to it around 7:30 p.m. in the player below.) “We had a saxophonist and another guitarist, a slide guitarist. And it was a horrible argument, to be honest.”
The band “kept going” for a while, he adds, “then we decided we didn’t need a saxophonist and a slide reader. We’re going to break up, we’re not going to So that’s what we did, and then we broke up for a week or whatever, then we got back together just the four of us. … It was just a playground when that was six of us – everything everyone was trying to do a solo at the same time.”
Although Black Sabbath is no longer active, Iommi can currently be heard performing alongside Ozzy Osbourne on Osbourne’s new solo track “Degradation Rules”. The track appears on Osbourne’s upcoming guest-filled album, Patient number 9which is expected on September 9.