Glenn CD, tour, vids…

September 23, 2016

Glenn Hughes promo photo 2016

The GLENN HUGHES roadshow is getting into gear with his new studio album Resonate due in late October.  A promotional video – all arty monochrome – was posted this week on his site for the track ‘Heavy’, and is… just that, although Glenn is filmed separately from the band who are all in the studio, with Chad Smith featured prominently.  I quite enjoyed it while it was on, a touch vintage Purpley in some ways. There is a special edition of the CD with a three track promo DVD, and it looks like the Japanese get a bonus track. A vinyl edition is also promised. The tour reaches the UK in November, supported by Living Colour.

Glenn Hughes Resonate
Pat Thrall turned up for a couple of Hughes / Thrall numbers at Glenn’s Las Vegas show in August, and if you can’t wait for the tour there is a professionally shot video of Glenn’s gig in Buenos Aires doing the rounds online.
And it also looks as if Black Country Communion will be returning to the scene next year, despite all the brickbats they were throwing at one another not so long ago. Glenn, Jason and Joe are it seems now back on message.

New album scheduled?

September 19, 2016

It looks like the new Deep Purple studio album has been scheduled for February 2017 according to Ian Gillan, and he expects them to be touring to support it from then onwards “for two years”.  I assume they have sensibly decided to hold it back into the new year in order to let Ian Paice have a damn good break; he has been relaxing down at his villa, so hopefully will be fit and well.  At least this gives us something to look forward to after some of the less than crucial releases this year.
Talking of which, Ian has actually been doing a number of phone chats supporting the new Gillan vinyl box set, one of these heavyweight hard-cased affairs which are currently all the rage (I was trying to lift the Rammstein boxed LP set up only a couple of weeks ago and decided I need to break the vinyl reissue habit, and started right there!)

Gillan vinyl box set 2016
This is the fourth or fifth UK vinyl edition for many of these albums; Demon themselves did them as picture discs not many months ago.
IGB are not included, one assumes they’re preparing another set for them, and most of us who still hang on to their collection will have at least one vinyl copy and quite likely the original first pressings as well, so I’m not sure who they expect will want this. At least those nice vinyl hardback editions from a year or so back tried something new and put a bit of effort into the pressing, packaging and presentation.
The set consists of LP1: Mr Universe, LP2: Glory Road, LP3: For Gillan Fans Only, LP4: Future Shock, LP5: Double Trouble., LP6: Double Trouble, LP7: Magic) and is out early October, coming in at around £80 – £90.  Needless to say the artful dodgers Amazon have got the world by the throat (or somewhere) and if you go to them you get a hard vinyl pressed 7″ version of the old flexi disc Spanish Guitar (which they couldn’t even be bothered to do a picture sleeve for) not available to anyone else. Nice one Demon, why not personally go round and shut every remaining indie record shop in person while you’re at it? Talk about turkeys wishing for Christmas.

The Man In Black’s due back?

September 16, 2016

Rainbow Blackmore live 2016Lots of chatter suggesting that Blackmore will confirm five more Rainbow shows in Europe during 2017, as was mooted back when the first shows were taking place.  His new singer Ronnie Mk 2 has also been talking about looking forward to this.  Let’s hope they can spend a little more time rehearsing to allow them to develop the potential shown in some of the set.  Blackmore has apparently taken on board, probably not without a little satisfaction, people’s preference for the next set to be more focused on Rainbow’s own catalogue.  Meantime there are rumours that once Coverdale and Paice showed him the door, Blackmore tried to get Hughes on board with similar results.  Looks like he needn’t have bothered!  Still no news at our end on the projected DVD/CD of the 2016 show, has anyone else spotted a release sheet?

Dylan Blue

September 14, 2016

Deep Purple Concerto Versace perfume

We posted an item about a French perfume launch which used Deep Purple’s Child In Time as their backing music not long ago, and now Versace have raided the band’s back-catalogue as well.  Quite whether Jon Lord would ever have imagined a section from his Concerto For Group and Orchestra being used to promote men’s fragrance is hard to know,  but whoever came up with the idea certainly earned their fee, as it fits really well.  As with the way of these things, the company have treated this like some sort of new Hollywood blockbuster with long cuts, directors versions and goodness knows what else, so I’m unsure how it will work as a 30 second TV advert.  Nor can I find any reference to the music whatsoever on Versace’s long-winded self-congratulatory puff pieces on their web site.
They forked out for everyone’s go to homoerotic photographer Bruce Weber to film it, who has obliged with lingering monochrome clips of fit guys rolling around in wet t-shirts or less, so one suspects this may be a post-watershed commercial if it gets shown.  Still £66 is little enough to pay for 100ml of perfumed alcohol if you’re going to end up looking like that I guess!

http://www.perfumeanorak.com/versace-dylan-exclusively-available-harrods

Some wag (hello Tim!) suggested that we see what other products Deep Purple tunes might suit, but the results were largely unprintable.  If you have any to add to the list let us know!  Strange Kind Of Woman for a Henry Moore sculpture exhibitions?  Kentucky Woman for a KFC recruitment ad?  Hard Road for the local tarmac surfacing consultants…

Howie’s Kick Off

September 12, 2016

howies-kick-off-logo-hero-image-shiny-head-productions-275x300Sunday was a day for me and Ann to remember Howie Kehl, a long time Deep Purple fan who kept us and many other Darker Than Blue people up to date with goings on in Australia when the band first reformed. We’d hooked up some time before that happened in the late ’70s, and in those far off pre-internet days used to correspond regularly, and sometimes phone when either of us was feeling flush. Howie was a good drummer, and he and Ann would chat about Ian Paice, a big influence on his work.
Piles of Australian cuttings would turn up along with a sheaf of biro written notes, and be eagerly read. We reprinted many of these cuttings in the DTB magazine, with people eager to glean what they could from the early Australian tour while waiting for the first glimpse of the band live over here.  Like ourselves, Howie followed the ups and downs of the reunion with fascination and bewilderment.
We co-operated together on the Australia release of the live album Total Abandon in the late Nineties, and his name appeared on the sleeve which he was very proud of (although I did all the packaging and design, mine didn’t for ‘political’ reasons!).
Howie died suddenly in 2015 but his friends and fellow musicians have been working towards a way to remember him and his contributions to the music scene, and have formed a co-operative called Shiny Head Productions (no need to know where the name came from!) to launch ‘Howie’s Kick Off’, which they plan will be a regular annual event to showcase local music and raise funds for upcoming bands and musicians. The first show took place on Sept 11th in Adelaide.
Howie will also get a dedication in the upcoming biography of Graham Bonnet; typically of the man, once he’d heard about the project he was in there helping with information about Graham’s extended periods working in Australia in the Nineties.
Sadly we never met Howie in person, but it’s been cheering to read how much people in Adelaide thought of him and want to keep his memory alive. You can read more about the launch here and we will be in touch to see if we can help in any way for future events.

Spoilt for choice

August 4, 2016

“Dear Mr. Brackmore, we understand you will be releasing a CD of the recent Rainbow shows, and would love to pitch some cover designs to you. Please see our ideas attached…”

Rainbow 2016 bootlegs

In fact, this is a selection of bootleg CDs from the three shows churned out in just a month by labels in Japan  (hence my sad stereotyped opening few words.) They all seem to be different too.  Astonishing. Not seen anything quite this frantic since the early Purple reunion era, and even then it took them several months to get up to this sort of level. I think I like the one best second up on the right which uses the lighting to good effect, and also because that’s about the view we got!
Maybe best just to wait for the official one after all?

I don’t know who took the photo, but assume they would wish to remain incognito in any case…

 

 

Slupsk

August 1, 2016

Deep Purple Poland July 26th 2016

I’ve been pointed at a nice gallery of Deep Purple concert images from the recent (July 26th) outdoor amphitheatre style arena show in Slupsk, Poland, hosted on a local news website, GP24. In addition they have slammed up seven minutes or so of reasonably well hand-held footage from the opening few songs (none are complete), including a particularly filthy opening verse to Hard Lovin’ Woman courtesy potty mouth Ian Gillan! They played the final show of the European tour in Germany last night (31st).

Deep Purple Poland July 26th 2016

If you follow the link please be aware it is very advert heavy.  Each new photo brings forth a different commercial.  Thanks to Tim ‘O’Tei’ Summers.

The sites

July 22, 2016

Smoke On The Water

Back in Blighty, and time for the final report on the Montreux trip.
As we mentioned, one of the reasons for the visit was for myself and Stephen to try and nail locations associated with the Machine Head sessions.  We were fortunate in this to have the help of Jean Paul, who worked with Claude Nobs for over a decade, and was a good friend ever since they met at scouts as teenagers.
JP, as everyone knows him, performed any number of duties, and shared an office with Claude from the late 60s and was there during Deep Purple’s stay in late 1971. As such he helped book hotels, and was instrumental in the hunt for alternate recording sites after the Casino fire (having been one of the crew who helped shove the Stones Mobile to relative safety earlier). And if you know the Didi Zill shot of Roger getting his teeth into a tasty looking burger during the recording, then JP (who was a Michelin starred chef) cooked those as well!
We met with any number of interesting people and numerous current residents, even the owner of the building, and got lots of detail about their stay in in 1971.
It is clear that there is a lot of goodwill from all concerned to make sure the building is suitably signed in future, as well as making some kind of trail for the sites associated with the album sessions (and a map for visitors to download).  After I had given everyone a quick history lesson (they sprang this on me just 48 hours in advance), Roger Glover told his side of the story to the assembled guests, before the chap who handles the area’s residents association then explained how he saw this going ahead. It is tricky because they do not want to disturb the privacy of the residents, but they would like to have the history better known. There is a plan for a large plaque or interpretive panel of some sort, but getting permission is complex as it is a listed building.  This visit had to be kept private, but if all goes well it might be possible to arrange future official pre-booked visits open to all.
Originally both Ian Gillan and Ian Paice had wanted to come as well. IP as you might imagine is being very carefully looked after, his wife Jackie travelling with him, and on the day they decided he needed the extra rest after the show the night before. Don Airey did come along though (and was as much taken by JP’s beautiful vintage MG outside the foyer as anything else!).
After the formalities, everyone had a chance to explore the corridor and the Doctor who lives in the far end (which is partitioned off now and forms part of his study) kindly opened his flat so Roger and everyone could work out where the band were all set up.
After an hour or so, when people had begun to leave, we were able to tour the rest of the building (which is listed) and then spend a couple of hours in the company of Yvon, one of the apartment residents who had helped organise the visit, and interviewing JP informally to get his take on the events and answers to many of our questions.  I’ve done a few rock interviews in my time, but sat on benches under the trees on the Lake Geneva shoreline (!) beats them all.
We then spent some time trying to take photographs to match up with those from the time. The above photograph shows the corridor as it is now for example. It was always hard to grasp the size of the blaze, but the photo below gives us an idea; the red awning on the left is the current Casino.  When it went up, the flames at one stage reached to the top of the apartment block on the right, and it was feared it too might catch fire.

casino, Montreux, 2016

We did have one reporter and photographer attend, and some of their material has already appeared in the local press.  There is also a report online in the Geneva Tribune (in French), with more professional photographs (the link to Smoke live is not from this year’s show.)
One reason for all this was to push me on to wrap up work on the upcoming Machine Head book, and if you want to keep in touch on this then it would be wise to scoot over to the publisher’s website and sign up for the newsletter if you have not already done so.  They are hoping to get the book out before Christmas.
In the meantime a big thanks to Stephen Clare who made some of the initial contacts for us; to everyone in Montreux who helped get this together, and Roger Glover for agreeing to take part. It was nice also to meet up with Mike Wiklund again (for the first time since Jon’s memorable farewell show in Ipswich), he was in Montreux for his 99th Deep Purple concert!, and photographer Sue Burton, who like us had decided just to make the trip as it was something she felt she ought to try and do at least once as a Deep Purple fan.

Lastly, I like quirks of fate.  While the Casino burnt out and was demolished, apparently some of the fire crew did pull fixtures and fittings out.  Some of the chairs survived.  And are still being used today!  I was quite sceptical, fearing we were being wound up by our hosts, but underneath it still has the Casino address property label…  though quite why anyone would want to risk their lives for something like this is beyond me.

smoke on the water

Meet you in the foyer

July 18, 2016

Hotel foyers are the traditional place to meet up when you’re staying in one.  However, you never really expect to bump into Roger Glover, and if you do it wouldn’t normally be in the foyer of the Grand Hotel in Montreux…  nevertheless here we are.  It’s a long story and as you might expect there was a little more to this than mere chance, and we will file a full report in a couple of days when we’ve had time to take it all in.

Roger Glover and Simon Robinson in the Grand Hotel Montreux

To put the location in context, this room is where Ritchie disappeared to from time to time to record some of his guitar work on the album (the black bag marks the spot).

I notice sandals are clearly back in fashion too. I have been asked by the owner to explain that this building is not accessible at any time except to residents.

flight-case

 

 

Purple plays Zappa

July 17, 2016

Ian Gillan montreux

Chatting – in broken French and English – with the owner of a small Italian restaurant, who was asking if we were in town for Santana, we had to reply that it was Deep Purple which had brought us here. He suddenly and unexpectedly went all misty eyed, and quietly proclaimed that Montreux was their spiritual home.
He might just have a point.  And last night there was something more than a little special about Smoke On The Water roaring off the stage of the Stravinsky auditorium, literally a stone’s throw from the small roller skating rink it was first laid down in 45 years ago.
And with Frank Zappa’s lad on guitar as well.
We haven’t travelled abroad for a Deep Purple show in almost twenty years, but a combination of circumstances made us push the boat out to do this one. I’d missed the last two UK visits, so it had been a while in any case, and as another fan (hello Sue) said backstage “it’s something you just feel you should do once.”
The set is more or less as the rest of this European tour, and the first third really steamed along for me, with a particularly down and dirty version of Hard Lovin’ Man which I properly enjoyed, and an edgy Bloodsucker too. After this blitz of opening songs, Ian apologised to the sold out crowd. “I’m sorry, that’s all the jazz we know!”
The show lost focus and pace for me a little around Uncommon Man, not a track I felt worked properly live (I’d much rather have the album opener myself), and Hell To Pay still sounds somewhat forced as a song. Which just left Vincent Price as the third of the current album cuts to save the day, which it did.
Ian Gillan coped well and was back to his rambling and often lengthy song introductions which always amaze and amuse in equal measure, while the band overall were a lot looser than when I last saw them, with plenty of little moments of them having fun musically and doodling around which always mark the group out and make life interesting. Perhaps they were not worrying about curfews for once (they didn’t come on until around 10pm) so could please themselves.
Nice version of Lazy and after Don’s keyboard break the group took the set to a conclusion starting with Perfect Strangers, which was good to hear after the rather under-rehearsed version we got from Blackmore just a few weeks back, a tight and powerful Space Truckin’ and – a Frank Zappa instrumental, which took them a little while to get started (Dweezil and Steve sort of taught each other the riff for a couple of minutes, while a roadie wheeled the music on a stand for Don to follow). “A poignant moment for us” was all Ian Gillan had to say, and it was.  In my head was the recollection too that it was the fourth anniversary of Jon Lord’s death.
The encores of Hush and Black Night seemed to go on forever, with Ian Paice and Roger Glover slogging it out for ages, and while some of the trendier members of the audience had long since called it a day, the rest of the Montreux faithful would have been happy for it to go on even longer.
I think this is the first time I’ve been to a rock show with the whole thing relayed via two screens at the side of the stage, a slightly unsettling experience, and I assume the gig will be issued on DVD at some stage as part of what seems to be a full blwon industry which has grown up around the Jazz Festival judging from the large shop in the venue.
But overall it was just great to be back in front of that unique and mostly wonderful racket which is Deep Purple on stage, and we’re glad we made the effort. What our bank manager will say next week is less clear!
It’s 7.00am in the morning as I type this, and I’m not the only one who couldn’t sleep much – a bunch of lads are strolling down the lake front yelling the Smoke lyrics out at the top of their voices…  Looks like that restaurant owner was absolutely right, so we’re off up to the Grand Hote-e-el after breakfast.