Darker Than Blue News Update June 16 2011

A little late with the latest DTB News Update; we had builders descend on us again last week to gut the old bathroom. Seeing as the fittings dated from 1967 some might say about time, but if the previous owner hadn’t scoured the life out of them, I’d be putting them back! Sadly though re-enamelling the old bath was going to cost hundreds, and involve a journey down to the Aga factory in Birmingham. Anyhow, they’re having the day off today while the plaster dries, so a bit of peace and quiet to catch up.

Bernie Marsden and David Coverdale 2011

HERE WE GO AGAIN • Trying to work out just how long it must be since Bernie Marsden and David Coverdale were on a stage together. He left the band in May 1982, so close on thirty years. Incredible. This took place at Whitesnake’s show in Sweden, and the photo here was taken by Jesper Almén. For good measure Adrian Vandenburg also showed up. Bernie is going to guest on a few of the shows over the next couple of months.

DEEP PURPLE SET LIST • Adrien Rouyer has sent us the setlists of the Deep Purple concerts in Quebec City (June 4th) and Montreal (June 6th). Silver Tongue was played instead of Maybe I’m A Leo. Reviews on the website. Nice to see Well Dressed Guitar back in the set, been a long time*…

1. Highway Star / 2. Hard Lovin’ Man / 3. Silver Tongue / 4. Strange Kind Of Woman / 5. Rapture Of The Deep / 6. Woman From Tokyo / 7. Contact Lost – Steve Morse Solo / 8. When A Blind Man Cries / 9. The Well-Dressed Guitar / 10. Knocking At Your Back Door / 11. Lazy / 12. No One Came / 13. Don Airey Solo / 14. Perfect Strangers / 15. Space Truckin’ / 16. Smoke On The Water.
Encore : 17. Hush / 18. Black Night.

ROGER GLOVER has announced the birth of his new baby girl, christened Melody. [Lee Worrell says she was spooked by the fact that actress Karen Gillan who plays Amy in Dr. Who – don’t tell me you’re not watching it – has just given birth to a daughter in the last episode, very close to the time RG announced the birth of his second. And both called Melody!]. RG then rejoined the group to kick off their North American tour with shows in Canada, where he did a phone interview with a Toronto paper. A few answers touched on matters of interest to DP fans:

Why an orchestral tour? – Well, it’s good to have a new hook to hang your coat on. We’ve toured so much and so many people have seen us. So we thought this was a different kind of challenge. We’re best known for the old songs, so it’s about time to try something a little different.
What is the orchestra going to add to songs like Highway Star, Hush and Smoke on the Water? – It’ll be just bigger, I suppose. Still the riffs you know and the melodies you know, but bigger and more intricate. But the orchestral-symphonic idea sounds a bit more highfalutin’ than it is. I think we’re actually leaning more towards the jazz side of orchestral music rather than symphonic. So there will be an element of subversiveness in there.
I would think having to play with an orchestra might handcuff a band somewhat. – Well, there will be sections where that will happen. Obviously, there will be parts that will have to be played exactly right. But then, they’re songs that people know and they want to hear them exactly right, anyway. But there won’t be any compromises on our part. With orchestras, it’s very difficult to get a balance, because rock bands are so loud. Well we’re not that loud anymore. These days, we like to leave people with their hearing intact. Brains we don’t care about, but hearing …?
You’re starting the tour here. To what do we owe the honour?
You just drew the long straw! Actually, Canada has always been good to us. Strangely enough, America is a little tough these days. I don’t think we’ve toured there for three or four years. Our profile has dipped a bit, I suppose. That’s another reason for this tour. It’s a way to generate a bit of interest again. We’re working on a new album. We’ve had a writing session; we were in Spain for about nine days and came up with a bunch of good ideas which we’ll work on later this year, and then come back with, presumably, a killer album.
It’s been six years since your last record. Is that because nobody buys albums anymore? – There’s an element of that. There’s been disagreement in the band about whether to do another album. They really don’t make money any more. My opinion is that we are an album band and should make them even if it costs us money, because that’s what we do. Maybe I’m a traditionalist, but I believe we should stay what we are. We can progress with our music, but the way we do it should be the way we’ve always done it. There’s nothing wrong with that. An album is like capturing a moment in time. And in a band with a history like ours, those moments mean a lot.
(Do you rehearse?) – I don’t even remember that word! We haven’t rehearsed for years. We all know what we’re doing. We’re good musicians. So like most Purple things, it’ll be done by the shirttails, and it’ll somehow all fall together. Besides, if something goes wrong, people love it.

We also have some more interview extracts on the site, as Roger seemed to do loads. But nobody buys albums anymore? Hmmm. So AC/DC are lying when they say they sold 9 million copies of their last album? And they’re hardly in the same league musically…

TV ADVERTS • I forgot to mention that a number of people reported UK TV adverts for the Deep Purple leg of the orchestral tour screened during April. Tim Campbell saw them on the Dave channel (for non-UK readers, this is a cable only channel for repeats of network programmes).
“The advert was for the upcoming ‘unique and exclusive’ Deep Purple concerts with Orchestra – I presume the definition of unique and exclusive no longer includes previous occurrences of said unique and exclusive event! I was busy in the kitchen but heard the advert from the TV in the living room – overflowing pans of pasta prevented me from running in to see what the thing looked like.”
Tim also added that he can can imagine in 30 years time that DTB people will be debating ‘did this advert really happen’  as we have in the past over the Burn one in ’74! Possibly, though I doubt I’ll be writing it.
“Is this the first UK TV slot since ‘Deepest Purple’ back in 1980 whatever?” he wonders? I think it might well be Tim. I do vaguely recall that one, all grainy clips from the California Jam. Kind of surprised it wasn’t a central part of the recent CD/DVD anniversary edition of this indispensible collection*.
Still it’s a measure of both how affordable this sort of advertising has become, and of the demographic watching these channels.

BBC SESSIONS • On the archive scene, formats and editions of the Deep Purple BBC set are now firming up. EMI will issue a standard 2CD version, and back it up with a deluxe box set. This box is likely to include the two CDs but in separate card covers, with different art to the regular 2CD version. There will be two single vinyl albums, one for each line-up. These will have special sleeve art with rare photographs, and inner bags. There will also be a 12X12 booklet with pics and text. I am told that the vinyl edition will NOT be sold separately, in line with a number of recent such box sets from the label. DTBOnline store has the box set edition to pre-order and you can see the proposed sleeves on the BBC Sessions page.
All the surviving tracks have been collected together and we should have a final listing before too long. I was working through the Mk 1 disc yesterday and it was very interesting to listen to, especially to hear Blackmore blossom over the first year. I’m hoping we might get to include a couple of vintage radio ads for the sessions which came to light too.
A couple of the surviving off-air tracks were so dreadful quality wise that these will be left off, but this only affects one otherwise unissued track – in the other cases they were just slightly different edits or intros. You can read more about the project and comments on it on the BBC Sessions page.

PAICE • Ian Paice is doing another show with guitarist Tolo Martin in Italy. The show date is August 5. 2011 and it takes place at the Muddy Waters Club. Paice has played on a couple of his CDs in the past. http://www.muddywaters.it

Shadowman Watching Over YouSTEVE MORRIS • Away from Deep Purple, Gillan guitarist and co-writer Steve Morris has released the fourth album from the band Shadowman. Titled Watching Over You, it has been getting some good press amongst fans of AOR music. “A perfect soundtrack for a long hazy summer, twelve memorable songs that are just hook filled, that will be ringing around your head in no time. Steve Morris weighs in with some stunning guitar work, but also there are plenty of keyboard solos too to balance things out. Shadowman are everything you could really want from a British melodic rock act. Certainly the best Shadowman album so far, that will be up there at the end of the year with the best of the contenders, make no mistake about that,” says the Zero Day Rock site. It can be ordered from DTBOnline store now and more details are in our embryonic review section on the blog.

GMT Raw LiveTORME / MCCOY • Also due shortly is a live album from Gillan’s even older sparring partners, Bernie Torme and John McCoy (with Robin Guy bringing up the rear). GMT as they are known have done two strong studio albums to date, and this is the chance to hear tracks from both done live, along with a version of No easy Way, and Bernie letting loose on one of Blackmore’s favourite Hendrix tracks, Fire. It can be ordered from DTBOnline store now. There is a brief review on the blog.

RAINBOW • Further away, it looks as if the next two special edition Rainbow reissues will be Long Live Rock n Roll (previously announced) and the live album from 1976, Rainbow On-Stage. Plans for the bonus disc have been put together and will be announced as soon as we are able. I got my fingers gently tapped for previewing the Perfect Strangers tracks too soon!

glenn hughes black country communion 2 coverSHIPPING NOW • At the DTB office the Blu Ray copies of Phoenix Nights have been shipping out at last. These were delayed by the pressing plant apparently so the label put the release back a couple of weeks. Despite being told by distributors and producers that the DVD and Blu Ray would play anywhere, they turned out to be region coded for Europe. Ann is sorting out a couple of customers in the US who ordered but did not have multi-region players. Whitesnake’s Live At Donington package is also shipping now. If you need either, they can be ordered at DTBOnline store. Black Country Communion 2 is also shipping. The Ltd Ed CD is nicely packaged, with a tough fold out digi-pak featuring a message from each band member, a booklet and embossed cover. I must admit I was blasting it out so loud that Chris the builder came through and ordered a copy… and so if Ann is sounding a little frazzled on the phone at the moment, now you knowwhy.

John Alflat emailed to say he’d just seen a gig advertised for It’s a Beautiful Day playing in Sheffield at the Greystones pub on the 13th of this month. Can it be the same band who had one of their tracks ‘borrowed’ for Child In Time way back in 1969? Or some young whippersnappers who liked the name…

BCC UK TOUR • Just in case anyone is still undecided, a reminder of Black Country Communion’s UK dates, but be warned, they were wanting £45 for tickets at Leeds (Glenn went bonkers when he heard about this). I must confess it made us change our mind about going, it makes it a £100+ evening out which at the moment we simply do not have.
The band play Leeds O2 Academy (Tuesday 26th July), Newcastle O2 Academy (Wednesday 27th July), Glasgow O2 Academy (Friday 29th July) and Manchester Academy (Saturday 30th July).
Meanwhile Nigel Young says GH has his own Radio Show on Planet Rock, on Sundays, 6pm UK time, Starting June 5th. Not sure how long this is going to run for, but Craig Charles better watch out!

Having seen some recent snaps of Roger Glover in his headgear, Matthew Kean wondered if the bassist will be collaborating in a reformation of Wings, to re-record their classic album “Bandana On The Run”….

DANCING NYLON SHOES • Lastly Steve Morse was asked recently why IG went barefoot on stage a lot. He didn’t really know, but related a story that at the Live 8 show in Canada the other year, where DP got to do three songs (we have the compilation DVD in stock with two of them on), the organisers had laid a black plastic membrane over the stage. It was a really hot day. DP steamed onto the stage, and Morse was surprised to see Ian start dancing. The plastic was red hot. He then danced off stage and put some shoes on quick!

(* sarcasm)

4 Responses to “Darker Than Blue News Update June 16 2011”

  1. Roy Davies Says:

    Totally agree with the Shadowman review…..The band is a bit of a UK classic rock supergroup. For those who don’t know – Chris Childs / Harry James both ex of Thunder on bass/drums, Steve Overland of FM on vocals (its essentially his ‘other’ band project) and our Mr Morris, who turns in another tour de force on guitar; if it was 1985 the band would be huge!
    Indeed, listening to Steve it makes me wonder why he didn’t get the Purple job on this showing- technically not as brilliant but a far better ‘fit’ in circa 1994 than Steve Morse has proven to be since (in my opinion of course!!)

    • simon robinson Says:

      Interesting idea Roy, though maybe he’d be a bit too laid back? From the shows I saw with him he seemed to prefer to just get on with it and wasn’t so much of a showman. Perhaps a series of guest guitarists would have been interesting, like they rotate the Have I Got News For You presenters!

  2. Lee Worrall Says:

    Roger’s third daughter!

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