April 19. 1969 (Saturday) – Tavistock Town Hall – EPISODE SIX

Episode Six Gillan Glover 1969 poster

Posters for Episode Six are not common; this one was unique – hand painted by a signwriter for a Saturday rave up show in Tavistock, promoted by the local football club, and making much if the fact that the group were ‘back by popular demand’ due to their ‘sensational stage act’ (even so the ticket price seems quite high for a non-chart act at the time). The large poster was pasted outside on the venue noticeboard where this snap was taken. Although nobody knew it, Ian Gillan and Roger Glover were just weeks away from joining Deep Purple (on the final Mk 1 tour of America at the time). It was when the US tour finished that they began their search for a new singer. Support group here were Pepperkorn (formerly Blitz).

June 1969

June 4. 1969 – EPISODE SIX – Ivy Lodge Club, Woodford Green, London

Ivy Lodge Club where Blackmore and Lord went to check out Ian Gillan, June 4. 1969

Blackmore and Lord drove up to this show in a youth club to check Ian Gillan out as a possible singer for Deep Purple. Ritchie got up for a jam near the end. They offered Gillan the job and he accepted. HISTORY : the building has been demolished. The local church held discos here between 1965 and 1970. No photographs of this Episode Six show have been found. See more details.  Gillan agreed to honour all existing Episode Six bookings.

June 7. 1969 DEEP PURPLE RECORDING De Lane Lea Studio, Holborn, London
Cutting Hallelujah, with Ian Gillan and Roger Glover, Derek Lawrence producing. This was finished over two more sessions later in the month. There was a rush to get this ready for their next American single.

June 16. 1969 DEEP PURPLE REHEARSAL Hanwell Community Centre, London
The group set up here on this date and continued to rehearse for their live shows and write new material for their next album. This period is fully documented in the book Wait For The Ricochet.

June 14. 1969 DEEP PURPLE Mother’s Club, Birmingham


This was one of the last shows by Mk 1, who would return to the club just six weeks later with Mk 2 (see below for more details). Just a look at the club’s advert for the months shows what amazing acts the club attracted. John Peel might as well just have moved in! He did a DJ set. Group Therapy (an American psychedelic blues rock quintet) could not make the show and singer Terry Reid headlined instead. Terry famously turned down Led Zeppelin and also Deep Purple. Tickets were priced at 12/6d.

Deep Purple Mothers Club June 14.69.jpg

July 1969 DEEP PURPLE Mk 2

July 10. 1969 Speakeasy London UK
Deep Purple Mk 2’s live debut, a famous musicians haunt in London. More details of the venue on the original DPAS site. Roger Glover signed a contract to join earlier in the day and wrote in his diary “A bit anxious at first but everything went off OK. Good reactions.”


July 18. 1969 Coatham Hotel, Windsor Ballroom ‘Jazz Club’ Redcar, UK
Bill : River’s Invitation (£35), Deep Purple (£150), Thunderclap Newman (£60)
A fan who went says David Coverdale’s band opened the evening. Coverdale remembered supporting Deep Purple early on in Mk 2 days. His band were regulars at the club. Thunderclap Newman had just got Something In The Air into the charts so were given headline billing at last minute although Deep Purple were paid more.
The Jazz Club was held in the smaller Windsor Ballroom next door to the Coatham Hotel on the corner of Newcomen Terrace and Turner Street. It was a dance hall before WW2 and then where concerts and the jazz club were held. The hotel is now apartments, the ballroom was last used as a film set for Atonement (a fake first floor was added and turned into a bomb site) but is now empty, and likely to be demolished for flats. Redcar seem unable to grasp what a great excuse for a North East rock museum this could be. Please note the Coatham Bowl was not far away, but a different venue altogether (and was pulled down in 2014).

Windsor Ballroom Redcar Jazz Club.png

July 20. 1969 Mothers Club, High Street, Erdlington, Birmingham UK
Bill : Amoeba, Caravan, Deep Purple (£125)

Deep Purple Mothers July 1969.jpg

Mk 2’s second live show saw them journey to a regular Midlands rock venue (they went on the train from Euston, the gear went by estate car). Mk 1 had played there just six weeks earlier. Support band Caravan were touring their debut album. Apollo 11 landed on the moon the same day! The Who, playing there the night before, were regular visitors too. Interesting that their ticket prices are not too far adrift; 12/6d for The Who, and 10/- for Deep Purple (50p). Also note that the club is selling concert posters for 2/6d post free!  They printed special posters for most concerts, and these fetch a lot of money today (one for Deep Purple is shown above). HISTORY : The venue was the Carlton Ballroom originally, and was renamed The Mother’s club in 1968. It was the best known venue outside London. They booked some 400 rock shows (Pink Floyd played there four times!) before shutting in January 1971. Mk 1 and Mk 2 played there. The building had two shops on the ground floor (on the right in the photo), and is still there, with a blue plaque on.

MOTHERS club.jpg

July 25 1969 Lyceum London UK [cancelled]
July 26 1969 West Hampstead, Railway Hotel, Klooks Kleek – UK [cancelled]
Two bookings, both cancelled. It is possible Deep Purple were going to be on the bill at the Lyceum Midnight Court concert on the 25th, which went ahead with Roy Harper headlining. On the 26th but Ian and Roger were playing with Episode Six (see below) so Deep Purple could not appear and the booking was rescheduled for August (see below).

July 26. 1969 – EPISODE SIX Barn Club, Little Barfield
This was the last Episode Six show with Roger and Ian. The band carried on for a time with new musicians including John Gustafson on bass (who would join the Ian Gillan Band many years later).

August 1969

August 26. 1969 – Klooks Kleek club, Railway Hotel, West Hampstead, London

69-Aug 26 klooks kleek.jpg

A rescheduled show.  This was a famous club held in the upstairs function room of a pub, and hosted many British bands as they were starting out in the Sixties. One regular described the room “Klooks was like an old Victorian drawing room, some 20 metres square and had no stage at all. The floor was carpeted, the walls curtained in red velvet and covered in flock wallpaper, all making for very good acoustics. There were no mixing desks, lighting rigs, sound/ lighting engineers or even sound checks, the bands just tuned up and played. It was a bit like a gig in your own front room and I often left with a stiff neck after peering over someone’s shoulder all night.” It closed in January 1970 after nearly ten years. If you took the photo from this show above please get in touch!

Below is a section from the contract for the original booking, which was made for Mk 1. Note the fee, a guaranteed amount plus a percentage of the door take if it went above.

klooks kleek deep purple 1969 contract.jpg

September 20. 1969 – Malvern Winter Gardens, Great Malvern, Worcestershire.

Deep Purple Malvern Winter Gardens

In the run up to The Concerto, Deep Purple played a handful of shows during September in Scandinavia and England, including this interesting show supporting Rory Gallagher’s Taste (although the small newspaper advert below tends to suggest it was the other way around!). The venue, which began hosting pop groups in the 1960s, used the same style of screen-printed poster design for many of their concerts at the time (that month alone they hosted Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, Taste, Deep Purple, Yes and Caravan. Promoter Freddie Bannister booked many of them, he later founded the Knebworth Festival). The venue was built in 1884/5 as Malvern Assembly Rooms but as much of the building was like a green house it got the name of Winter Gardens. It is still in use today.

deep_purple_richard_jones _46790844_deep_purple_ticket_226Malvern Winter Gardens

September 24. 1969 – Royal Albert Hall, London / Concerto For Group & Orchestra

The band’s groundbreaking performance of Jon Lord’s orchestral / rock composition. The evening opened with a piece by composer (and conductor for the evening) Malcolm Arnold, a three number set by Deep Purple, then the main event.


Recorded : this event was filmed on 35mm stock.  It was shown in part on a BBC TV special, released as a single album, and eventually issued on video tape in 1984 by the BBC as nobody else had the technology to convert the archived film. The original BBC Betamax edition is shown below. It has come out in numerous editions since.


October 9 – 11 1969 – International Pop & Blues Festival, Essen, Germany


Not a bad idea!

8 Responses to “1969”

  1. Jim Manngard Says:

    My favorite band and dear friend! Great memories!

  2. Ben H Says:

    Deep Purple did top the bill. Taste were fantastic, I can still hear Rory Gallagher stamping his bumpers on the stage during Catfish.

  3. John Says:

    Episode 6 had a drummer called Harvey Shields perhaps ?

    • simon robinson Says:

      The connection was that two of the SAHB toured with Ian Gillan as part of his live promotion for the solo albums in between Purple duties.

  4. timothy Says:

    Did ‘the sensational episode six’ later change their name to ‘the sensational alex harvey band’?!

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