In Concert

November 27, 2022

As someone who has hung on to far more printed ephemera than is probably sensible, I was tickled when this scan arrived from Gary Critcher to see he also keeps interesting bits and pieces. It’s a compliments slip from Safari Records, and the handwritten note is from Tony Edwards, who co-owned the label and of course managed Deep Purple in the classic era, and co-ordinated their back catalogue. The slip accompanied a review copy of the album In Concert, which Gary in his position as a one time BBC Transcription department manager helped me co-ordinate the release for EMI Harvest in late 1980. Tony also sent me a copy with a similar note (which I likewise kept), having (he said) spent the morning listening to the record! It kind of sums up Tony’s attention to detail and also his courteous nature to think of people – I can’t imagine many label managers doing this (indeed, having helped Edel put together their Jon Lord vinyl reissues a couple of years ago, I am still awaiting my sample copies, never mind a thank you, so they know what they can do next time they come a calling!). This slip was dated Nov 27th 1980. I’d do the maths, but it would be too depressing! Those two BBC recordings are still excellent examples of the band live, and the Lucille encore in particular remains a favourite of Ann’s.


November 21, 2022

Christmas is coming*, so some people seem to be out to make a quick buck from Deep Purple fans (and it’s not Edel this year!). This astonishingly bad set of fake signatures turned up quite recently. We cannot work out if it is Jean Piano or Saul Pair deputising on drums, while the IG scrawl is badly copied from his late Gillan band era signings. I think we’re said it before but we’re happy to try and verify signatures before you bid for them, or at least pass an opinion. Sadly this posting comes too late to prevent someone coughing up over $50 for it, although they do get what seems to be a genuine 7″ single. Still as a person we hoped we’d heard the last of says, “fake news”.

Not so much fake here as just misguided, unless we all missed the era when Tony Iommi joined Deep Purple? Almost as far fetched as the idea of Ian Gillan joining Black Sabbath. It must have been sort of around the Mk 3 era judging by the redrawn Stormbringer LP logo. This is actually a peel off sticker so probably more around out there if you want a real curio.

And as we’re having fun at people getting things wrong, this cutting (below) from a German magazine detailing the history of Deep Purple needs their editor to go back to rock school! Mind you we quite like the idea of Queen doing Hush.

My thanks to Tonny Steenhagen, Pericle Formenti and Tim Summers, doing shifts at Radio 4’s Watchdog this winter.

*Apologies to anyone who has been trying to avoid the C word.


November 17, 2022

As if this miserable weather wasn’t enough of a downer, DPAS towers is moping around after reading of the deaths of Hawkwind’s Nik Turner and Nazareth’s Dan McCafferty in the past few days. Hawkwind were one of Simon’s favourites in the early 70s with In Search Of Space still getting airplay fifty years on, while Ann has been streaming Nazareth hits this afternoon. Simon adds “I must have seen Nazareth in 73 but only fleetingly as we were too busy trying to catch Ritchie near the back stage area for autographs… never got the chance again, twit.”
Nazareth of course have enduring connections with Deep Purple, having supported them here and in America before Roger Glover took over production duties post-Mk 2, steering them to their most successful period chart wise and they also supported Mk 4 on some of their early US dates in 1976. IGB returned the favour by opening for Nazareth on their American tour later that year, with Slade of all bands also on some shows (see the advert above).
There is a great advert (which still eludes us!) showing upcoming gigs at the Sundown venues in London in late 1972 with Hawkwind, Deep Purple, Urian Heep, Steppenwolf, Quo and many more billed, plus Screaming Lord Sutch doing back to backs at all three venues. Those were indeed the days.
It’s been good to read the heartfelt comments below The Guardian news obituaries for both artists and knowing that while the media largely ignored them, they are fondly remembered by many.

Just been reminded that when IG was touring with his Repo Depo outfit in 1992 he did join Nazareth for an encore of Smoke at a gig in South America….

more hurtling

November 4, 2022

From what people say it looks like DP are preparing a tour special release as the Berlin concert was also filmed. They added ‘Let the Good Times Roll’ from the covers album into the set there too, complete with a horn section!
Simon’s brother Nick got to the Manchester Arena show and while often a bit cynical thought the journey well worth it: “Hugely impressed. The stand-in geetarist (stand in no more! Ed) is one hell of a player and perfect for their earlier sound. Don was a revelation, he’s no right to play as superbly as that. Gillan was far better than some videos I’ve seen. He stayed within his limits and it was enough for me. Overall, 8/10.”
“I think I’d agree with Roger’s thought that the Manchester audience was the most up for it (mad fer it, even). Whilst in London everyone in the floor seats rose to their feet when the band arrived on stage, in Leeds and Brum we remained seated until ‘Smoke’ (and then stayed standing. I was happy with the nice sit down to be honest!). In Manchester everyone was standing throughout, and pretty vociferous between songs. IG seemed taken aback – as did Simon McBride with the strong reaction to his call and response with the crowd during ‘Black Night’.” Tim Summers.
John Tucker : “At Birmingham Don played a piano version of Iron Man – I thought it had to be something by Sabbath, but hadn’t expected that one!” Tim notes “he did a bit of “Maybe It’s Because I’m a Londoner” at the O2 and “On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at” in Leeds.”
Tim adds it’s worth noting the effort they have put into beefing up their often lacklustre screen entertainment: “Whilst not at Rush/Muse levels of projecting an arena sized show into all corners of the barn, Purple definitely seem to have upped their game in this area. As well as some close-ups of the band members as they played (with no distracting split-second delay that used to mar these on previous tours) there were some other nice bits and pieces. I particularly liked the DP playing cards of the group shown (briefly) during ‘Smoke’, there were cards for Frank Z and Funky Claude too.”
Roger has been a bit unwell during the UK tour so skipping back to the hotel post-shows rather than joining in the meets and greets.

[Photo Keith Sharp]

“I thought McBride was brilliant, his going back to studio versions of Ritchie’s solos was a masterstroke. The only track I didn’t think worked that well was Anya, it has lost its majesty.
When A Blindman Cries was stunning, not something I thought I’d ever say about Gillan again to be honest. I found Airey quite entertaining, although his keyboard solo was more Keith Emerson than Jon Lord, pretty sure he nicked the whole of Emerson’s piano improvisations from the live album.
After the show I really felt Don was very thoughtful and made his way around the room chatting to everyone, even added his signature to Down to Earth for me.” Mike Richards
Final word perhaps to Tim Summers who did all the English shows: “The fact that the band still exists is a minor miracle, but that they exist and sound this good and exciting at such a late stage in the game surely deserves some sort of papal recognition.”

Hurtling round Britain

October 22, 2022

The UK tour seems to have started very well. Tim Summers was one of many who went down for the O2Arena event in London (stopping off to offer his services at No. 10 en route):

“Really enjoyed the Purple gig. The sound was easily the best I’ve heard at a DP gig – possibly at any gig ever. Major kudos to the sound guy – everything louder than everything else, but not at the expense of anything else. All clear as a bell too, even Rog’s bass work.
One big highlight was When a Blind Man Cries. I’ve seen this song done numerous times, but IG was just incredible, he really sang his heart out. Grown men in the audience were wiping away tears (I’m not kidding).
Simon McBride seems to be finding his feet and spreading his wings a little bit now. His extended intro to Uncommon Man was great, it started off in the familiar way and then went all Gary Moore extended-notesy. Sounded really nice.
The familiarity between Don and Simon showed, there was a Speed King style guitar/keyboard joust halfway through Hush. Don had a keyboard malfunction at the end of his pre-Perfect Strangers solo, causing a returning-to-the-stage Ian Paice to lean into his keyboard and give him ‘the look’. Don looked suitably abashed.
Even Smoke sounded quite exciting again, the introduction of a new banjo player having switched things up a bit (or made them sound a bit different, at least).”

Dave Browne travelled, up in his case: “It was a show that reminded me just why Deep Purple have been my favourite band for over 40 years. The sound was superb, every instrument clear. I recognised Northern Irish boxer Barry McGuigan in the audience. Lovely fellow, happy to chat and I got a handshake and a fist-bump (he was there as a guest of Simon McBride).
I appreciated Steve Morse’s contribution to the Ezrin-era studio albums, but McBride seems way more suitable for the live performances. He was having a ball, and it really came across. Most enjoyable Purple show since… maybe the 1996 Purpendicular tour.”

It looks like there may be a tour DVD. There were a few cameras getting bits and bobs at London, but Glasgow was set to be filmed in full. The band have based themselves in Manchester for the tour as it makes more sense logistically, plus it’s handy for the Tib Street chippie.


October 20, 2022

Gary Poronovich happened to be passing through Scandinavia on a cruise, and on a day trip to Goterborg found this lying in the street! So he rescued it, took it back to his stateroom on the ship (actually a 9′ by 6′ box room), dried it overnight and it is now back en route to his home in Montréal. As Gary said it is very battered but he quite likes the aged look it has given the poster and I kind of know what he means. The downside to his story is that the cruise missed both the band’s show by a day! Plus I wonder how long before the promoters catch up with the line up change?

Do let us have your thoughts / pics on the upcoming UK concerts anyway. From the band’s side the new direction sparked by Mr. McBride has inspired them to work on a new studio album for 2023…

There’s a guy buying Purple family stuff down my local record shop, swears he’s Elvis…

October 12, 2022

Not sure how many of us still enjoy a potter through old (and new) vinyl these days but if you do then Leeds still has a number of decent options and I can easily pass a day there when my friend Chris comes over from Canada. One such is Wall Of Sound Records (who I used to visit in Huddersfield), a used vinyl outlet which is now in the basement of Crash Records (Crash deal in new material, beware millions of teenage Goths if you go in on a weekend!).
Anyway, Wall Of Sound had an unexpected visitor earlier this year in the form of Elvis Costello. Amongst other things he was on the look out for a “Jon Lord production” which WoS’s owner Elliot (one T) was able to supply him with. Needless to say, having been alerted to this by his son Luke, Tim Summers decided he had to find out exactly what this might be so popped by on his next trip in to town. “It turns out it was a promo of the Boz ‘I Shall Be Released’ single, featuring Ritchie and Jon…and maybe Paicey. ‘Arranged by J Lord’.” Quite why this should be on Elvis’ shopping list we still need to find out, but it is a good record. We rounded it up on the Pre Purple People CD collection twenty years ago (£5 on ebay!).

On the way

September 21, 2022

Glenn Hughes had to pull out of some of the Dead Daisies American live dates but the band have confirmed a short UK visit in December, supported by Graham Bonnet’s band. Tickets now on sale (flyer below). Oh and Glenn and the band have cut a version of Oh Well er as well, though who was told to mix Glenn so far down needs a hearing test! It’s a prelude to (but not on) their new CD out in a week or so. Thanks to Tim Campbell.
Also on the horizon – Joe Lynn Turner has a new metally solo album out end of October, Belly Of The Beast, via Mascot. Thanks to Tom Dixon.


September 12, 2022
The Prague Symphony Orchestra practising Hard Lovin’ Man, yesterday

Ian Gillan is filling in time between sections of the DP tour by doing another of those orchestral rock tours, this time across Spain with the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra in November. He has been doing these gigs for over a decade now. The orchestra will be doing tracks by at least five bands fronted (I assume!) by different singers, and IG gets to close the show with eight or so Purple classics including Hush and two from the reunion, including a track off Whoosh, Nothing At All, which is chosen as Ian reckons it is his favourite Purple song of the lot at the moment.

Talking of Hush, John McEvoy thinks he heard Coral Bookmakers using it as the backing track in TV adverts last year…

John Alflat

September 5, 2022

Just a quiet word to remember John Alflat who died a couple of weeks back. Although he loved any number of bands, John was above all a dedicated Deep Purple fan and a Darker Than Blue supporter for many years here in Sheffield and we’d bump into each other at any DP related show locally. John had been fighting cancer for a long time and faced his condition with stoicism on his social media feeds. He was mates with my brother for many years and, doing away with convention, attendees at John’s funeral were urged to dress in their best / oldest Deep Purple t-shirts. John’s twitter handle was Blacknight and fittingly this was played at the end of the service. You sometimes wonder at the suitability of rock tracks for funerals but going over the lyrics in my head again it seems to work pretty well. It is indeed a long way from home.