Darker Than Blue NEWS ROUND-UP SIX July/August 2011

Apologies for it being some time between updates. Pressure of several work deadlines has kept me off the blog for a couple of weeks, but I’m getting back in the swing again. The extra work was coupled with more broadband connection issues have made life difficult. We finally had a BT engineer up who tackled the problem over two days with a bit of lateral thinking, swopped a couple of our lines over, and quadrupled our connection speed at the same time. Result!

Just a magical show by Deep Purple under the stars in the old Roman Arena in Vienne France! photo courtesy Jerry Fielden

Deep Purple • Now • The Orchestral Tour seems to have garnered, I think it is fair to say, mixed reviews, at least at the start. The worst we saw from one newspaper ended with a line that it was a waste of money for ticket-buyers. Which we assume didn’t include the reporter who got in gratis. However I spoke to one guy who saw them in LA and says Gillan gave one of the best performances he’d ever heard by him in Purple. Some might feel a tour like this merited more rehearsal time than was afforded it, rather than work it out as you go along!
Having done some writing in March, the band are now looking to September to record an album, even though according to Roger there have been lively discussions about whether they should bother as they reckon it’ll lose money. Maybe they need a support slot from Eric Idle (Always look on the bright side). And here’s me thinking making albums used to be about enjoying yourself, getting creative and shit like that.
Anyhow, the majority vote was to proceed, which could mean a new studio record by the end of this year. Mind you, Ian Gillan has just told one reporter that they don’t need any new material, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Meanwhile Jon (or Doctor Jon as we should now refer to him after he got his honorary degree the other day!) has been advising Don about tackling “Hard Lovin’ Man” properly: Airey says. “He heard we’d added Hard Lovin’ Man to the set. He told me to play the organ line just as loud as I possibly could. He also said never get in the way of Ian Paice’s (drum) fills!”
We’ve got a couple of reviews of DPs short ‘set’ at the Sunflower Jam do on the blog as well.

Deep Purple • Then • Work on the BBC set is progressing. It all stopped as the possibility of a missing Child In Time having turned up got us excited, but sadly it turned out to be a poor quality off-air of the last session version. The artwork package is looking good, and we’ll have updates on the Deep Purple BBC CD page over the next few days with a little more detail. Both the 2CD and the elaborate Vinyl Box Set can be pre-ordered at DTBOnline store already. Expected release date is October.
Deep Purple’s Live In London 2CD is finally getting a release in America, nine years after it came out in the UK. The package is based on the original EMI booklet and the CD will be accompanied by other archive reissues, though the other titles have all been out in America before. They are also getting Phoenix Rising out there shortly. Don’t ask me in what format/s! It has also come out in Japan. Meanwhile some of the EU formats went out of stock for a time, but have now come back in again at DTB so Ann has got all outstanding orders sorted. A few people have asked about the much heralded extra footage left off the package; this is around half an hour of a pro-shot show from Maryland, Feb 76. I don’t know if it has audio or not.
The Come Taste The Band CD is up for an award in the best reissue section of the Classic Rock end of year awards by the way.

Gillan • If the tour with Deep Purple and orchestra weren’t enough, IG is booked for some more solo shows in January 2012 on another of those Rock Meets Classic outings he did before. There are likely to be 20 dates around Europe. Clearly IG is getting into Classical Music as he is presenting and narrating a new DVD documentary on the life of Chopin. It has won ‘Best Documentary’ award in Brazil, at Florianopolis, 2011. The programme will air on a Polish History channel and then be issued on DVD. It’s a 23 minute show, but the DVD will have another ten minutes of bonus footage.
We noticed one of IG’s ‘gold’ sales awards for the album ‘Perfect Strangers’ by Deep Purple was up for grabs in Sotheby’s Entertainment Memorabilia auction in Knightsbridge the other week with an estimate of £500 – 700 on it. Not sure who put it up for sale.

Mk 4 Book • Earlier this year a nice wedge of Deep Purple Mk 4 negatives and slides was auctioned in America. I kept an eye on this and with a friend we had a joint bid on one of the lots, but just missed out on the main batch. I have since been in touch with the people who did win the material and we are working on putting these together in a new book, which will have b/w, colour, live and off-stage images, most never published before. In addition I’ve arranged with a journalist who was there to let us use some of his material. Mindful of having pre-announced titles in the past which are still in progress, this time we’ll wait until all the material has been scanned before giving out more details, though the publishers are aiming for later this year. Also with the thought that there are a few expensive titles due this year and next, the Mk 4 book will be a normally priced edition.

The Ultimate Machine Head collectable? Nissan are launching a new small van, which they’re going to call the Lafesta Highway Star! So far as we know, there is no tie-up with the band on this, who will continue to use artic trucks on tour rather than what seems to be just a rebadged Mazda5 vehicle. On Machine Head discussions about a special release for the 40th Anniversary are still going on, though as all agree the last CD remix was impossible to better, I’m not sure what can be done.

We’ve been glued to what has been quite an exciting F1 season (might as well make the most of it before Sky paywall it off our screens), but missed the comments in the pre-race interviews about Sebastian Vettel. Eddie Jordan says he has it on good authority that Vettel is a ‘huge fan of Deep Purple.’ We’ll, he ought to earn enough for a couple of tickets this season!

Jon Lord • has mastered hip text speak, although we’re not sure if the title “C4G&O” will still be there for the new studio Concerto recording come release day! The recording has been filmed. Jon is turning up at the Shipley Arts Festival once again in mid-July (10th), with a performance of To Notice Such Things. (You can get ticket details at http://www.thecapitolhorsham.com). He has also lined up some more Blues Project shows in Europe (see gig list at deep-purple.net), and we’ve a snap from a recent one courtesy of Daniel Andriot posted this week (with news of a live CD). One of the shows has been recorded to sell at gigs, with a cover which looks for all the world like he’s got severe toothache… and another live title from 2009 is also scheduled.

David Coverdale • DTB man Mike Galway went along to see Whitesnake in Manchester and amused himself by checking the various gifts which were handed up to David during the show. There was a bunch of flowers from a female admirer, which seems fair enough. Not long after a box of Yorkshire Tea teabags was passed up, to remind DC of his North Yorks roots no doubt. This was finally followed by a box of ‘candies’. DC was puzzled and had to get one of the band to read out the make. Ferrero Rocher. Clearly someone with a sense of humour! On the upcoming Whitesnake book by the way, we should have a progress report shortly. I have been closeted away with the updating for a couple of weeks now, which is one reason this update is a bit late. There are also rumours that David and Bernie will be up to something together musically soon.
Roger Glover • RGs new album is shipping now from DTBOnline. It’s got many of the same folk who helped him on the last one, and his daughter also guests (and has co-written two of the tracks). There are more details on the blog.
Black Country Communion
Black Country Communion’s 2 hit the No. 1 spot in the Official UK Rock Album Chart in the third week of June, overtaking the Foo Fighters. A little bird who managed to see the band in rehearsal for the upcoming tour tells me they have absolutely nailed a version of Burn, which made him think Mk 3 had come back to life. Simon saw them in Manchester and has got his thoughts down for the review page. DTBOnline has the vinyl editions of both albums as well as the CDs in stock at the moment.

We’ve got some other new live reviews on the blog, and there’s a page on another of Blackmore’s guitars resurfacing for auction recently. Do check out the posting of a recent new publicity shot of DP which has generated one or two amusing captions. On the web site David has added some of the new Whitesnake pictures which people have sent in on a couple of new galleries. Some have been of such good quality that I’ve put the publishers of the new Whitesnake book in touch.

Will the UK have a national chain of music shops for much longer? It seems as if HMV continue to struggle financially. I appreciate that a lot of it has been of their own making, the stores have utterly failed to address the shopping habits of older buyers, but it’ll still be a sad day if they do go. There is no way I would have gone surfing for the new Blondie album, but when I saw it on the shelf at HMV, had a study of the limited edition packaging, I took a flyer. That sort of purchase will disappear along with the shop. There is some irony in the fact that it looks as if the six year battle against VAT fiddling on the Channel Islands which the big online boys use to undercut everyone else is at last being seriously addressed and the off-shore tax dodge will get closed shortly allowing smaller retailers to compete fairly once again. And yes I should declare an interest as a small (very small) retailer! The further irony that it has taken a Tory government to start to get to grips with it hasn’t been lost on me either.
Obviously the reason that labels have been going down the special fan-pack route like Blondie (and of course Whitesnake) is so if HMV do close, there will be a route open to get music on the shelves of Smiths and other stationers.

Thanks for help on this round up to: Lee Worrall, Mike Galway, Nigel Young, Marcin Rybacki, Marcelo Soares and Annie Graham.

PS nothing to do with DP, but a stonking story from Tull’s Ian Anderson (and others) in a Guardian feature about bands and their worst live experiences. He thought it was warm beer some ‘fan’ had showered him with as he came on stage. It wasn’t.

And guess whose brother decided to move into a new flat above a shop in Enfield on Monday?


7 Responses to “Darker Than Blue NEWS ROUND-UP SIX July/August 2011”

  1. Heimdall Says:

    I missed this post… great info, thanks! Any progress on the Mk IV photo book?

  2. vince chong Says:

    I can only hope that Deep Purple would approach another new lp with an open mind. There can’t be too many LPs down the road, so I would challenge them to create something the band and their fans can be proud of. Be adventurous, have some fun and above all don’t let the necessity of a hit single enter the fray. The hit single may garner some sales but music history has shown that some of the greatest LPs ever recorded never had a hit single. A few crazy instrumentals, cabaret, jazz fusion, some psych, a little folk and blues and throw in some metal to shake the foundations. Go totally bananas! Perhaps a lot to ask for but I am keeping my fingers crossed.

    • simon robinson Says:

      It does seem a big ask Vince, but otherwise the whole reunion will just get sidelined in years to come if they don’t lay down a couple of markers.

  3. Ian Douglas Says:

    Re Black Country Communion 2, I think there is some astonishing material on here – GH is at the top of his tree especially on Cold! Received the biography too this week and looking forward to going through that. Yes some tracks on BCC2 redolent of Mk3 (and I thought what a blast that would be). Looking forward to Whitesnake book – how good though is Classic Whitesnake – the M3 Show DVD was wonderful I thought! Ian

  4. Mic Says:

    Black Country Communion doesn’t seem to worry about “losing money” with two new albums in a year. Just sayin’ Purple.

    Thanks for the round-up.

  5. Mike Galway Says:

    Are you doing a page to pass messages of support on to Jon Simon? Come on Jon, get well soon-don’t forget-we love ya x

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