Purple Glenn

February 19, 2018

The hinted at UK tour for Glenn’s Deep Purple show has been announced this week, promoted by (and tickets sold through) Planet Rock, although it’s not until much later in the year.  I’ll slap up the flyer which has the dates on, tickets on sale now.  Thanks to Keith Sharp and Tim Summers who were first off the block!



Snake Box Heroes

February 9, 2018


David Coverdale is taking Whitesnake out on an American tour in June / July 2018, supporting Foreigner/ It is billed as the Juke Box Heroes Tour, and opens with Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening (a massive jukebox favourite!). Thanks to Lutz Reinert for the news. It’s an extensive tour, the full list of dates is on our 2018 diary page at the bottom:



February 6, 2018

It looks like Glenn Hughes is preparing to do some of his Deep Purple tribute shows in the UK at last. The set is part of the Steelhouse Festival (in Ebbw Vale) in July. It’s a three-dayer, and Glenn is headlining on the Saturday night (28th July). We would imagine the other shows will be fitted in around this time, and look forward to catching one of these.
Touchingly the festival promoters have spoken about their first sight of the original band being via the California Jam video – on Betamax! “When we were growing up in Ebbw Vale, absorbing all the rock music we could, listening to records handed down by older siblings and saving up our own pennies for a Saturday afternoon binge at the local ‘Record Centre’, a game-changing piece of hi-tech entertainment hardware started to appear in houses all across the land – the video recorder had arrived and brought with it the possibility of seeing our heroes in glorious moving technicolour as well as hearing them. Our local video rental outlet had a copy of Deep Purple’s filmed appearance at Cal-Jam, 1974, a live concert so legendary and so exotic that it may as well have taken place on Mars. It proved to be a more popular rental in Ebbw Vale than ‘Friday the 13th’, ‘Any Which Way But Loose’ and ‘Jaws’…!”

Thanks to Tim Summers, Chris Hewlett

More from your local newsagent

February 2, 2018

Anyone still short of that Planet Rock magazine Deep Purple special we mentioned a couple of weeks back, the Waitrose supermarket chain in the UK have just put it in the shelves as a promotion this week so we could pick a copy up at last. Quite a good read all in all, and a few nice pics.

Hopefully easier to find than Planet Rock, the new issue of Record Collector out this week has a big article entitled The Untold Story of Made In Japan, although those who have read it suggest The Retold Story might be more appropriate. However quite a few nice photos, some in colour, so worth checking out even if the regulation Mk 2 group photo is looking a bit over-used.  I can’t resist a decent Debbie Harry photo, so that will probably swing it for me! Thanks to Stephen Clare and others for the heads up.  

Best heading though which turned up this week while I was trying to find out when Roger Glover first brought his Rickenbaker back on stage during the reunion (he can’t remember, if you can confirm do tell! We think it was 1993):

Roger Glover Explained – everything.explained.today
What is Roger Glover?

Rock in Rio

January 8, 2018

Glenn is reprising last year’s New Zealand Deep Purple Tribute set over in South America in April 2018 with a series of eleven shows. And as we all shiver, here’s the flyer to bring a bit of warmth! Thanks to Steve Clare.

Glenn Hughes Deep Purple tribute April 2018 South America

More shows

December 22, 2017

Every time we get the diary up to date, new shows keep being added!  There are now two more in Finland and an open air gig in Sweden added to the very end of the list, so the band are pretty much busy for all of July, with selected dates in May and June.  But they’re not all taking it easy prior to the Purple shows. Don Airey has a lengthy European tour set up, and is even appearing on a special show in Russia by the Tony Carey Rainbow Project, with Doogie White as well. Vince Chong has been in touch with Tony to elicit some details about the show: “this it is sort of a Rainbow fest, I guess, if only because we were all in the same band at one point or another. I’ll be playing nearly every song. Don is doing a couple of Rainbow songs, and Doogie’s doing three (later ones) and songs from Michael Schenker and Tank, as well as his solo stuff.”

Steve Morse has an even longer tour and Ian Paice is also on the road with Purpendicular.  Anyway, here’s the flyer for Tony’s Russian gig from Tim Summers (I can sense him checking the rouble / sterling exchange rate right now!) and the Deep Purple & Co. Concert Diary page is moved further up our side menu to make it easier to find.

Thanks to everyone who has been supplying snippets for the diary, credited on the page, and indeed to everybody who has contributed to the site over 2017, whether it be news, comments or emails.  And all the best to Darker Than Blue readers here and on the Facebook page for the Solstice and New Year breaks!  We’re off to the David Mellor Museum cafe in Hathersage for an ogle at the vintage Porsche on display for Xmas, a quiet cup of tea, a mince pie, a crack at the Times puzzle page and a wind down.

Coda : Purple never cease to provide us with something of interest. Earlier this week I was searching for tracks to play at the local music group. The theme was “clothes” and I was struggling after Rock My Plimsole by Jeff Beck Group (and avoiding the obvious Kinks and Bowie tracks.)  The next clear choice was No One Came but I hate playing Fireball for anyone but myself.  Then I figured they’d done it live, and spotted Live At Olympia 1996 on the shelf. So I took that version. I haven’t  played it for years as I had it in my head that the recording is a bit rough. And it is, but still sounded absolutely brilliant and the performance was astonishing. Everything you want from rock wrapped up in six exciting minutes. And one more to add to the regular playlist!



From your local newsagent

December 19, 2017

Planet Rock Deep Purple

Spotted the new issue of Planet Rock magazine lurking behind a newsagent’s counter in Chesterfield at the weekend with a familiar cover image; the In Rock sleeve (foldout and embossed no less!)  They only had one copy and it was reserved, but a nose about suggests a 15 page “epic” interview with the Messers Gillan, Glover and Paice amongst other things. The magazine is newish (I think this is issue 6), so not as well distributed as more established titles, but looks like it’s worth hunting down.  And it hasn’t taken them anything near as long as Classic Rock did to get them on the cover either!

Glenn has also blagged himself another cover story, the American magazine Bass Player dated jan 2018 but on shelves now. “The toughest man in rock” apparently! BCC also made the front of Interactive Guitar Number 53, but this is an online only magazine. Can you collect those? Will anyone want to look at real things in the future? Thanks to Stephen Clare for the info.

Bass Player Hughes

Deep Purple – England Tour 2017

December 8, 2017

Some of us wondered for Tim Summers’s sanity when he said he was doing three of the UK shows, but looks like he got the last laugh!  So we nicked (with permission) his tour diary report for the site. Photo : Vince Chong

Roger Glover Manchester 2017 photo Vince Chong

Yes, I know they did a UK tour, but for reasons that had more to do with logistics than xenophobia, I just saw the 3 dates that happened to be in England. Birmingham was the opening night of the tour, followed the next night by Manchester, and then 5 days later there was the London O2 show.
The sound and lighting at the shows was great (the entire backdrop being a giant video screen was cool), and both support bands (Cats in Space and Europe) were worth a look – Cats (featuring one time Ian Gillan guitarist Dean Howard) sort of defy description, whereas Europe are a whole different kettle of fish to that song which they’re so well-known for – they’re big Purple fans too, with singer Joey Tempest eulogising them at all 3 gigs (and at one, confirming that his band is actually named after ‘Made in Europe’).
Purple’s set-list remained largely constant throughout (including the 4 InFinite numbers – yay!) and was pretty well-balanced to my mind – obviously I doubt a set-list exists which would please everybody, with some people grumbling about the amount of new material being played…
New track ‘Time for Bedlam’ opened proceedings, with effects-swathed spoken vocal intro from Ian Gillan sounding much stronger than the rather tentative debut live performances some months back. In fact, it’s a novel (and great) experience for the UK not to be ‘the rehearsal’ shows at the beginning of a world tour (and still to have all the new songs intact).  There was the odd lyrical variation by IG during ‘Bedlam’ performances, but it all rhymed, and t’was ever thus really. A great opening number and there was barely time for the audience to catch their collective breath before Paicey’s flurry of frenzied familiar beats heralded the arrival of ‘Fireball’.  Not an easy song for a man in his 70’s to sing you’d imagine, but Gillan gives it a good go and sounds in mighty fine form where I was standing (all three times).  ‘Bloodsucker’ is next, nice and heavy with every lyric intact and delivered forcefully.  The last verse being sung rather than screamed took nothing away from a great version.  No lyric sheets required either.
Next new track ‘All I Got Is You’ follows on from IG saying hello and apologising for the chairs in the venue (“I ordered sofas and futons”).  The odd reference to his lyric sheets is needed here, and in London Ian G missed his cue at the start, but still managed to dive in at the right place before too long.  The song comes across great live with Don’s space age keyboard solo ringing out loud and clear.  Ian dedicates the next track to “our beloved Jon Lord” to warm applause – ‘Uncommon Man’ is still a beautiful piece, with Steve and Don wringing out the emotion of every note of the extended intro – great that this song at least has survived in the set-list from the ‘Now What?!’ tour. A nice kiss-to-the-rock-n-roll-sky from IG at the end too. ‘The Surprising’ is next, preceded by some different words of introduction from Ian G at each of the 3 shows I saw.  He saved the best until last with a rather hilarious Christmas tale from his childhood before the opening eerie (and loud) notes from Don appear to almost literally knock him sideways.  Great performance, although disappointingly a swathe of the Manchester and London crowds in the floor seats seems to take the slower pace as a cue to sit down… (some of us are getting on a bit Tim. Ed)
A majestic ‘Lazy’ perks the slackers back up again. A massive organ (oo-er) intro with psychedelic lighting effects on the huge screen/backdrop precede a very grand version of the Machine Head classic.  It’s been through a number of permutations over the years when you think about it.  A bit of a centrepiece these days – a worthy inclusion, preceded by an amusing story from Ian degenerates into a staccato vocal noise, which merges seamlessly into Don’s opening flurry of notes.  The last of the new songs follows, ‘Birds of Prey’ – this seems to be the one that Ian Gillan has the most trouble remembering the words to, but his being rooted to the spot, eyes averted (to where the printed lyric sheets are at his feet) kind of suits the serious nature of the lyrics and their delivery.  Steve Morse shines at the end of the song as he builds and builds to a shattering crescendo that is just awesome.  I was a bit worried about Steve even before I saw the Brum show – the BBC footage seemed to show less of the old ever-smiling Steve, and more grimacing that made me fear that the pain in his wrist was getting worse.  I decided in the end that it might just be guitar-hero posturing, but whatever the reason, his playing is thankfully unaffected.  Anyway a favourite from the new album for me, so very happy it’s in the set-list – may it remain so until the death, until the death of T-I-M-E!!
The return of ‘Knocking at Your Back Door’ creates a stir – slowed down a touch which gives the opening something of a grandeur – in fact my first exposure to it (at Birmingham) caused me to think the verses dragged a bit at the new tempo, but by Manchester it had either improved, or I was used to it.  A big solo from Don followed – rather wonderful it was too, with ‘personalised’ touches depending on which city he was in (‘Iron Man’ in Brum, ‘Coronation Street’ in Manchester and ‘Maybe It’s Because I’m a Londoner’ in…well, you know where). On recent tours (but not this one) Paicey has famously demonstrated his one-handed drum roll; Don goes one better and pulls-off a no-handed keyboard moment.
The inevitable ‘Perfect Strangers’ is next – strands of silver, 1000 illuminated warriors…fabulous stuff.  On paper I’d say that ‘Space Truckin’ had outstayed its welcome in the set-list, and Ian’s over-enthusiastic introduction of it made me fear he wouldn’t have enough voice left to tackle it in any meaningful way, and yet he does and it still manages to pack a punch – very powerful stuff indeed.
Steve is left alone to introduce ‘Smoke’ which he does in a straight forward way – into the riff without preamble.  Except in London that is, when Don Airey can be seen frantically gesturing into the wings for someone to join them on stage; a man in black emerges, carrying a white Strat (or was it cream?), the video screens show him to be a little chubbier than he used to be, yes, it’s …. John Norum of support band Europe, getting to play with his musical heroes (and seeming to love every minute of it).  Steve gracefully urges him to do the solo, which he does in a very respectful way.
The encores began slightly differently at the 3 shows I saw; ‘Goin’ Down’ was the instrumental played as the band returned to the stage at Birmingham, whilst it was ‘Green Onions’ at Manchester and ‘Peter Gunn Theme’ at the London show.  All great, and all curtailed when Paicey’s cymbal beat cued in ‘Hush’.  Great lively version with Don and Steve trading increasingly fast runs part way through.  Roger and Paicey are left on stage at the end for some drum and bass (ha) – essentially Rog’s bass solo briskly backed by the-man-at-the-back, before the rest of the band return for ‘Black Night’ (of course).  An homage to AC/DC is played by Steve at the Manchester show following news of Malcolm Young’s passing, then there’s guitar noodling (including ‘How Many More Times’) before Mr Morse’s call-and-response with the audience which is enthusiastically received at all three of the shows I saw. In London Steve played a snatch of ‘There’s No Place Like Home’, gesturing to the rest of the band.  I’ve heard many gripes over the last few tours about the static nature of the encore numbers, but the fact is that they work, providing a rousing way of bringing the proceedings to an end.
And there we have it – is it the end?  Who knows – the signs are positive that they will carry on a bit longer yet – Ian G even announced from the stage at Birmingham that they might do another studio album.  But as Paicey mentioned in a recent ‘Classic Rock’ Q&A, one of them could keel over and ‘that would be that’. After seeing these shows, I get the impression that it would take something catastrophic like that to stop them.
As always with these road trips, half of the fun is meeting other hardy road warriors along the way, and it was an absolute pleasure to meet quite a few this time out – you know who you are, thank you all.
Until the next time…  Tim Summers

Tour dates updated

December 6, 2017

Deep Purple’s 2018 schedule continues to grow, so we’ve fully updated the tour diary. It looks as if they’ll be in Europe for much of July, with gigs in Italy, France, Germany, Poland and Czech Republic now announced, plus the previously listed shows in Russia and Ukraine and a festival in Mexico. Big thanks to Lutz Reinert for the extra info.

On the road

December 4, 2017

“The Deep Purple are ready to return on the road in 2018…” according to my web translator. Two new July dates in Italy go on sale on Tuesday: July 9 Verona, Verona Arena , 11 July Nichelino (To), Stupinigi Hunting House.

Do we think the software is working on that last bit? Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi if you’re a native.