Archive for the ‘Ian Gillan’ Category

On display

October 22, 2019

John Spiers spotted Ian Gillan in the National Archives at Kew recently… not visiting, but on display!  They have an exhibition about the Cold War up at present, and devote a cabinet to the subject as reflected in books and music of the time. So “pop artist” Gillan’s 1981 Mutually Assured Destruction 7″ single is included. We know we’re getting on when stuff like this begins to turn up in public archives but it’s interesting to see curators paying attention to it.

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Contracturally Obliged

September 4, 2019

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You need a spreadsheet to keep up with some new releases these days and Ian Gillan’s Contractual Obligation album/s which came out at the end of July is another example, with a Blu Ray, triple vinyl and double CD being on offer.  Even the label, Ear, got confused. Because each of the three formats is from a different show on the tour, you would need all three if you’re a completist!  Whether the title is a nod to Monty Python’s final studio recording or not I don’t know; I assume IG signed a contract for the tour and knew this was part of it?!  It is quite easy to get a bit cynical over something like this, and the performances are of necessity a little ‘rehearsed’ to keep on track with the backings, but it’s quite impressive to see the full orchestra kicking off, realising how big a deal it is for the crowd, and also how we have come to accept scenes like this compared to (gulp) fifty years ago.  Hang Me Out To Dry even reminded me a bit of PAL chugging along with all the brass.  As Tim points out in his comments below the guitar player has been rumoured as a possible deputy should Steve Morse need to rest up, so it’s interesting to take a listen on those grounds as well, and IG does pretty well on what I’ve listened to for my money.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rL3mGMKhDPc

The tracks are all from the live shows IG did in Europe and cover Warsaw, Moscow and St. Petersburg in late 2016 (Ear calls this ‘recent’ and does not bother to give the recording dates on their site).  Set wise, and backed by Don Airey’s group and a local orchestra each night, IG romps through cover versions from solo albums, a few Purple cuts, and etc.  So decent marks for not churning out the same old same old, though most of the Deep Purple songs are fairly familiar from recent tours. You might have thought with three different release they could have used a different photo on the front of each one but that must have sounded like too much hard work.  The set-list seems to stay the same for each show which is understandable, as follows:

1. Hang Me Out To Dry 2. Pictures Of Home 3. No Lotion For That 4. Strange Kind Of Woman 5. Razzle Dazzle 6. A Day Late ‘N’ A Dollar Short 7. Lazy 8. Rapture Of The Deep 9. When A Blind Man Cries 10. You’re Gonna Ruin Me Baby (z Grace Gillan) 11. Ain’t No More Cane On The Brazos 12. Difficult To Cure (Beethoven’s Ninth) 13. Anya 14. Perfect Strangers 15. Hell To Pay 16. Demon’s Eye 17. Smoke On The Water 18. Hush 19. Black Night

Tim Summers went the full monty and gives us a few thoughts:

I’m enjoying the ‘Contractual Obligation’ releases by Ian Gillan – three different gigs on three different formats is a gimmick which seems to have even confused its instigators (earMUSIC), as they put up a live video for one track on YouTube, labelling it as ‘Live in Warsaw’, when it’s actually from Moscow (like the rest of the Blu-ray release). Nice to hear/see ‘Brazos’ in particular again – Ian seems better suited to singing it these days, not straining so much to get the ultra-low notes in the middle (“There’s some in the graveyard…”etc).  Weird to hear IG introducing ‘Difficult to Cure’ by name (“A song by Airey, Beethoven and Blackmore”…).  Some tracks (SKOW/Lazy/SOTW), I’d rather had been substituted for something a little more obscure but the pro-active orchestra (and conductor) lend them a different slant. My one criticism of the Blu-ray is that they seem to have felt that because it was filmed with 28 cameras (or whatever), they had to use all the angles as often as possible – the average length of each shot is less than 4 seconds, which, whilst it holds your attention, can be a bit wearing after a while.  They do calm down a bit for the slower tracks (maybe the editing machine was somehow linked to beats-per-minute…).  Possible-rumoured-Steve-Morse-live-understudy- (if needed) guitarist Simon McBride sounds good anyway – and actually reminds me of Steve (and his take on ‘Lazy’) a bit, the way his guitar cuts across the orchestra at the start of ‘Hang Me Out To Dry’. In keeping with a bit of a history of sleeve cock-ups, the CD says ‘LIVE IN IN WARSAW’ on the front… Oh and the best song Ian Gillan ever wrote* is included of course – ‘Razzle Dazzle’.

* Tim is I trust being sarcastic at this point. Ed!

Vox : IG

August 2, 2019

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It looks as if Deep Purple’s new studio album (which rather neatly will be their 21st, it just seems more!) is being planned for 2020. As we reported earlier (Back In The USA) the recording work from the group was completed in Nashville and it looks as if IG (above doing his thing for Rock Aid) laid down his vocals in early June. The next stage will be the the mixing.  I guess they could have got it sorted for release later this year but that would then clash with their touring for the latter part of 2019 which is already booked and could confuse promotion. Keeping it under wraps until 2020 gives plenty of time to prepare everything for a proper launch, teaser videos and all the usual gubbins that seem to go with a major album these days, and hopefully some shows with new material, etc.  And of course flying the band out to exotic frozen locations and planning those ice-breaker type shots takes time!

By the way, I read the other day that to earn an average UK wage a musician needs to get 32 million downloads in a year.  So all us old gits who stick to buying physical media can at least know we’re doing our bit to lower that lousy average.  Also we should have said happy anniversary to Steve Morse, who passed his 25th anniversary of being a member of Deep Purple recently.  I was hammering through Abandon the other day to privately mark Jon’s passing (the neighbours might disagree about privately) and marvelling at Steve’s contributions at the same time.  That’s a hell of a stint.

Malcolm John Rebennack Jr.

June 28, 2019

Bath Festival 1970

Or Doctor John to most of us!  His recent death at the age of 78 has been widely reported but it is perhaps worth noting amongst his more illustrious career highlights (he made his live debut as The Night Tripper in the UK at one of the legendary Bath Festivals, check out the flyer above – what an amazing bill), and some two thousand sessions and guest appearance (!), there are connections with the Deep Purple scene.

Some will know that Tommy Bolin worked with Dr. John at one point, although details are a bit sketchy. Three tracks are known to exist, and also feature Alphonse Mouzon on drums. They have not been issued officially but do circulate on whatever the modern version of a cassette is these days (Tommy Taylor where are you now!?). The songs were cut in 1975 after the Mind Transplant sessions in Los Angeles and while the tapes are lousy and are regarded as demos, they do suggest the tracks were pretty much finished up wherever the quarter inch masters are.

I must admit I had forgotten that when Ian Gillan and Roger Glover wanted some funky piano on their Accidentally On Purpose album, they also turned to Dr. John.  He plays his fingers off on two of the covers,  Can’t Believe You Wanna Leave and Purple People Eater. This album was cut in 1988 and came close to cracking the American charts at one point. Well worth checking out (there have been umpteen reissues) if you don’t know it, there are some great songs on there. I wasn’t alone in feeling there was a career choice to be made there instead of slogging it out with the increasingly fraught reunion!

Thanks to Matthew Kean, Tim Summers, Timothy Campbell, Mark Maddock.

Men In Black

June 7, 2019

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Ish. One of the nice things about Deep Purple having a bit more time off this year is it means they can do other things, and some of them have been treading various red carpets over the last couple of weeks, albeit not getting quite the coverage in Grazia that others do as a result.

Deep Purple Mk 2 were given a nice International Achievement Award at this years Ivor Novello Award ceremony in late May, with little statues for the five (Jon posthumously), and three of the band (above) were able to go along and accept these. Thanks to Tom Dixon for the heads up.

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Ian Paice has been busy at his Buddy Rich Ronnie Scotts gig but apparently the buggers would not allow photography so nuts to that.  Ian Gillan was in the audience and Russell Taylor who went along says it was a great experience being so close to the world’s greatest drummer on stage. This photo was taken backstage and shows the current Rich Band drummer on the right, Rod Stewart, Paicey and Buddy’s daughter.  I have to say Rod has gone up in our estimation after sending a decent donation to that model railway club who had their show smashed up by twats a few weeks ago.

Lastly in our celebrity red carpet round up, Ian Gillan, posing by the open-air Marine Theatre not far from his house in Lyme Regis. He’s not nicked an inter-city 125 sign off a train, but to mark the 125th anniversary of the theatre, IG, a patron, sponsored their web site overhaul.  Nice to see him looking so well and what a cracking spot it looks to be. Thanks to Geoff Quade, who is on their mailing list, for the information.

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Dance Coming

April 12, 2019

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Paice Ashton Lord‘s only studio album Malice In Wonderland is getting reissued by Ear / Edel soon.  The music includes the original album and eight bonus tracks from the abandoned follow-up sessions.  At the time of the old Purple Records CD edition back in 2001 this was long thought lost, but chatting with Sandra Ashton one day, she said Tony had been playing his cassette only a few days earlier…  Jon and Ian had given him permission to take the tapes an maybe make his own album from them, but it never happened.  The CD comes in a digipak with a nice booklet featuring lots of unseen photographs from the rehearsal sessions in London at the end of 1976 and band images from the publicity shoot at Jon’s house (check out the atmospheric shot of Jon from the BBC recording above).  Sleeve notes are by Simon (these have been revised, updated and tweaked he promises!).  It’s certainly one of the most played albums from the Purple family here at DTB towers. Despite sounding very unfashionable when it first appeared it hasn’t really dated at all. So if you missed it before, then we do recommend it. Just sad that neither Tony or Jon are not around any more to pester for new quotes…

Ear are also reissuing the original Ian Gillan and The Javelins CD this month to back-up the recent follow up album.  This is musically the same but with revised artwork and they have gone with one of Simon’s designs for the sleeve. It will also appear on vinyl.

Record Store Day 2019

March 25, 2019

A bit of an uninspiring selection on the Deep Purple front again this year for Record Store Day it has to be said, with only three offerings appearing on April 13th.  Demon are doing Gillan’s Mr. Universe, the pretext being to mark the 40th Anniversary of the album (which just makes us all feel old!).  Collectability is boosted by “split coloured vinyl” (rather than split kneee loons) which sort of looks quite neat. But whether it’s enough to tempt people is debatable.  The Demon web site does not show how many are being made.

Friday Music are shoving out their rather lacklustre Tommy Bolin CD sampler Come Taste The Man on vinyl in a run of 1,000 copies, this is for the US but shops here seem to be listing it.

Lastly there’s a 2LP release of Butterfly Ball, with the original album plus the demos and such which appeared on the CD reissue and I don’t think have been on vinyl before.

You can check out all special releases on the Record Store days website

https://recordstoreday.co.uk/releases/rsd-2019/

Thanks to Mark Maddock for his help.

Here’s a snap of the Gillan disc.

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Bernie Tormé

March 18, 2019

Sad to learn that Bernie Tormé has lost his battle with Pneumonia.  He died on Sunday 17th. Bernie of course featured in arguably the classic Gillan era, and cut the albums Mr. Universe, Glory Road and Future Shock (both of which were top three releases) and sneaked onto a bit of Double Trouble. Few who witnessed those album tours will forget them. Certainly to me they were some of the most enjoyable post-Purple live shows thanks to their anarchic energy which derived in no small part from Bernie’s own Punk era career dating back to his days playing at the Vortex Club. Bernie had numerous post-Gillan projects (including a trio with John McCoy for a time) and was always busy; his last solo album came out in 2018.

The photo below shows his guitars on stage in 2014 before a special concert for rock promoters Mundell Music…

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Rock, meet Classic

March 4, 2019

Here’s the flyer for the Rock Meets Classic event in Switzerland this week, sent by Denis Zuercher. The concept is celebrating a tenth anniversary this year, and while I’ve not checked back IG must have done a fair few of them!

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Sharp suit

February 7, 2019

Who is the dude in the sharp suit? It’s Otis Redding. What’s he doing? Trying to get tickets for an Episode Six concert by the look of it!  We were looking for the release date of (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay recently, and hadn’t realised it was only issued after his early death in 1967.  But there were some promo photos and one of them showed him looking at a this great poster showing upcoming concerts.

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I like an archive hunt so went looking about. The poster suggested it was The Upper Cut Club, and sure enough there was such a place on Woodgrange Road in London. The name? It was opened in December 1966 by boxer Billy Walker, who with others ploughed money into converting this former East End skating rink into a music night club.  The opening week was to die for, with The Who, The Animals, Jimmy Hendrix (sic) (Boxing Day afternoon, 5/-!), Pretty Things, Spencer Davis Group and more.  Otis himself played there on March 18th the following year when this snap was taken for the NME, and Episode Six were there the night before.

The club itself apparently suffered by being in an out of the way spot, and didn’t get the crowds needed. It turned into a bingo venue after twelve months. The building has survived and is now marked out by one of those blue plaques. Thanks also to Tonny Steenhagen.