Posts Tagged ‘2016’

CD of fame

February 14, 2019

We covered the shemozzle surrounding Deep Purple’s elevation to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2016 (“I’m not going if he’s going” etc.), but missed this nice little collectable, a compilation CD featuring the five nominated artists.  The cover is great, would have made a nice LP. I don’t know what the tracks were apart from I assume Smoke On The Water. My thanks to Pericle for the scan. Can’t he tell me the tracks? No, he’s kept it mint ‘n sealed!  Does it not list them on the back? No!

deep-purple-hall-of-fame-cd

Advertisements

More Rainbow

April 26, 2017

Rainbow Birmingham 2CD

I don’t think we needed a tarot woman to predict that the audio of Rainbow‘s 2016 NEC show (or whatever they’re called the arena this week!) would appear as a stand alone 2CD release after a suitable window for the set which first turned up as a bonus on the Japanese edition of the 2016 tour set last year. Live In Birmingham 2016 also includes two songs not performed at the German shows, Burn and Soldier Of Fortune.  According to people who did all three gigs (and Ritchie!) the NEC was the best of the lot.
1 Highway Star / Spotlight Kid / Mistreated / Since You Been Gone / Man On The Silver Mountain / Soldier Of Fortune / Difficult To Cure / Catch The Rainbow.  
2 Perfect Strangers / Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll / Child In Time / Stargazer / Medley: Black Night / Woman From Tokyo / Black Night / Burn / Smoke On The Water
This is by way of the build up to this years concerts and is out the second week of June. I’m not sure if this is the finished cover, but it is the image sent out with the press release.

Slupsk

August 1, 2016

Deep Purple Poland July 26th 2016

I’ve been pointed at a nice gallery of Deep Purple concert images from the recent (July 26th) outdoor amphitheatre style arena show in Slupsk, Poland, hosted on a local news website, GP24. In addition they have slammed up seven minutes or so of reasonably well hand-held footage from the opening few songs (none are complete), including a particularly filthy opening verse to Hard Lovin’ Woman courtesy potty mouth Ian Gillan! They played the final show of the European tour in Germany last night (31st).

Deep Purple Poland July 26th 2016

If you follow the link please be aware it is very advert heavy.  Each new photo brings forth a different commercial.  Thanks to Tim ‘O’Tei’ Summers.

Purple plays Zappa

July 17, 2016

Ian Gillan montreux

Chatting – in broken French and English – with the owner of a small Italian restaurant, who was asking if we were in town for Santana, we had to reply that it was Deep Purple which had brought us here. He suddenly and unexpectedly went all misty eyed, and quietly proclaimed that Montreux was their spiritual home.
He might just have a point.  And last night there was something more than a little special about Smoke On The Water roaring off the stage of the Stravinsky auditorium, literally a stone’s throw from the small roller skating rink it was first laid down in 45 years ago.
And with Frank Zappa’s lad on guitar as well.
We haven’t travelled abroad for a Deep Purple show in almost twenty years, but a combination of circumstances made us push the boat out to do this one. I’d missed the last two UK visits, so it had been a while in any case, and as another fan (hello Sue) said backstage “it’s something you just feel you should do once.”
The set is more or less as the rest of this European tour, and the first third really steamed along for me, with a particularly down and dirty version of Hard Lovin’ Man which I properly enjoyed, and an edgy Bloodsucker too. After this blitz of opening songs, Ian apologised to the sold out crowd. “I’m sorry, that’s all the jazz we know!”
The show lost focus and pace for me a little around Uncommon Man, not a track I felt worked properly live (I’d much rather have the album opener myself), and Hell To Pay still sounds somewhat forced as a song. Which just left Vincent Price as the third of the current album cuts to save the day, which it did.
Ian Gillan coped well and was back to his rambling and often lengthy song introductions which always amaze and amuse in equal measure, while the band overall were a lot looser than when I last saw them, with plenty of little moments of them having fun musically and doodling around which always mark the group out and make life interesting. Perhaps they were not worrying about curfews for once (they didn’t come on until around 10pm) so could please themselves.
Nice version of Lazy and after Don’s keyboard break the group took the set to a conclusion starting with Perfect Strangers, which was good to hear after the rather under-rehearsed version we got from Blackmore just a few weeks back, a tight and powerful Space Truckin’ and – a Frank Zappa instrumental, which took them a little while to get started (Dweezil and Steve sort of taught each other the riff for a couple of minutes, while a roadie wheeled the music on a stand for Don to follow). “A poignant moment for us” was all Ian Gillan had to say, and it was.  In my head was the recollection too that it was the fourth anniversary of Jon Lord’s death.
The encores of Hush and Black Night seemed to go on forever, with Ian Paice and Roger Glover slogging it out for ages, and while some of the trendier members of the audience had long since called it a day, the rest of the Montreux faithful would have been happy for it to go on even longer.
I think this is the first time I’ve been to a rock show with the whole thing relayed via two screens at the side of the stage, a slightly unsettling experience, and I assume the gig will be issued on DVD at some stage as part of what seems to be a full blwon industry which has grown up around the Jazz Festival judging from the large shop in the venue.
But overall it was just great to be back in front of that unique and mostly wonderful racket which is Deep Purple on stage, and we’re glad we made the effort. What our bank manager will say next week is less clear!
It’s 7.00am in the morning as I type this, and I’m not the only one who couldn’t sleep much – a bunch of lads are strolling down the lake front yelling the Smoke lyrics out at the top of their voices…  Looks like that restaurant owner was absolutely right, so we’re off up to the Grand Hote-e-el after breakfast.

Montreux Deep Purple early doors

July 16, 2016

Deep-Purple-door-notice

Tonight…

Montreux 50th anniversary

July 16, 2016

Deep Purple Montreux 2016

On the road again

July 1, 2016

Amongst all the chatter and excitement about Rainbow, we must mention that Deep Purple are playing live again tonight and tomorrow, with Ian Paice. They are doing the two Scandinavian shows they had to pull when Ian was taken ill last month.  Great news that he is well enough to be back behind the kit. They will then play the 14 scheduled shows across Europe (dates on the site).

sun still shining

June 24, 2016

….as someone said on the radio this morning. Well yes, but we’re all still downright miserable at DTB HQ, so here’s a photo of a rainbow to cheer us up. A little less costly to set up and run than the one in 76 perhaps but quite effective.  Don’t forget to send us your thoughts after the show on the special review page.  Taken by Tonny Steenhagen.

Rainbow Blackmore live 2016

Rainbow’s end?

June 19, 2016

So, was this just a Happy Shopper version of Rainbow, or something more substantial?  Well there’s only one man who knows the answer, and he was keeping very quiet on Saturday night, saying just two words* to the 10,000+ sold out NEC crowd, and that was merely to announce the name of his singer. Which was fitting really, as without him this version of Rainbow would certainly have been an awful lot less entertaining.
And from what I could see the audience took to him fairly quickly and were really up for it from the reworked version of Highway Star onwards; how much of this fervour was a determination to enjoy it or simply relief to have the man back playing rock again is hard to say, but there was something very comforting being in a crowd who knew all the words to all the songs (Spotlight Kid aside possibly!).  You forget how much shared experience there is in following a guy like this, and it’s nice to be reminded of it sometimes.
I deliberately steered clear of online video and audio clips so not to pre-judge the show (or lower my expectations any further!),  and from what people were saying, the vibe was far from positive so I’m glad I did.  An inside gig is a very different beast to outdoor festival slots, and I’m glad we opted for this – and that Rainbow decided to do it instead of a UK festival (look what was happening down the road at Glastonbury).
We had quite a relaxing drive down, neither of us wanted to discuss the show much I guess. We took the A roads as the rain was so heavy up our end, gave our lunch money to the nice people at Cromford Mill’s café and were getting lost in the poorly signed NEC road maze before we knew it. A couple of hours passed quietly at the hotel where our friend Dave Browne was booked in so he could nervously watch his home team in the Euros (sorry David) and this kept us occupied until it was time to saunter over to the Arena, having a quick word on the way with Jerry Bloom who was worryingly walking away from the venue, perhaps having been turned back for wearing a Tommy Bolin t-shirt (!), before meeting up with more old-timers in the foyer to natter until show time.
Rereading these thoughts now before posting on Monday morning, the whole event seems almost like something from a dream. Even as the lights dimmed, and into the concert itself, at times it just did not seem real at all. Twenty years wiped out as if they’d never happened, Rainbow back for another tour (feelings were running especially high at the time of Stranger In Us All, so I gave that one a miss. I’d followed him live every tour since 1971 up to that point…)
As the reality broke through, it was time to try and take stock. Certainly this was a Ritchie Blackmore in his seventies rather than in The Seventies. There is no getting away from the fact that some of the fluidity and speed isn’t there, and the occasional mis-fire could be heard, but he was still very much recognisable as our Ritchie Blackmore, one out on his own. He didn’t disgrace his legacy and worked with the restrictions time and age have imposed upon him rather than attempting anything too tricksy. And it was just so good to see and hear him with a Strat again.
If I did wonder during the odd moment why he’s been noodling away on a flipping hurdy gurdy for twenty years, then he must have his reasons.  Whatever they were it was good to have the rock Ritchie Blackmore back, if only for a couple of hours.
There too is little hiding the fact that this was primarily a pension fund operation. By excluding any big names, the outlay could be minimised and the revenue maximised.  With tickets and merchandise, he should have done well out of it and good luck to him on that level. It is a perfectly valid exercise; he has something a lot of fans wanted to see again and as it sold out in minutes then clearly there were more than enough of us ready to shell out our £55 squids plus expenses (£16.75 for a beefburger at the hotel if you were wondering. An extra quid if we’d wanted it in a bun!). But in turning up with scratch band and putting it on at the NEC you are in effect saying ‘this is a big deal’, and as such the audience deserved to be treated with some respect.  And whatever the long and protracted backstory to these shows, I didn’t feel patronised from the stage at any point.
Given the apparent eventual lack of ambition for the return of Rainbow, I’d fought against getting caught up in it all right until two weeks ago, but I suppose curiosity got the better of me.  That and perhaps the idea that by going I could close the circle on following Rainbow – sometimes avidly (I did around half the UK shows on the first couple of tours) – across 40 often turbulent years.  I did try one Blackmore’s Night show a decade or so ago to see if I was missing something, but if anything it was even worse than the records, so I hadn’t ever planned or expected to see Blackmore live on stage again, content to live with the memories of those often glorious early concerts.
But then I had also vowed never to bother paying to attend a stadium rock show again, so come Saturday evening I was already eating my words before we even got inside!
I’ll leave set lists to others, it certainly didn’t deviate much from those in Germany, but Rainbow did more than enough to please just about everyone. Sure the band are not top flight, and are hardly a proper band, but the singer coped with most of the material, arguably best on the Ronnie Dio era tracks. He isn’t Ronnie, nobody could be, but there was a lot of power there and he didn’t hold back. His was always going to be an interpretation, Ronnie helped bring those tracks to life so they were personal, but this new guy delivered and I doubt he had any voice left to order breakfast on Sunday morning.
The vocals were also high in the mix to cut through a sometimes turgid NEC and stage sound, and were balanced against the guitar, which also got pushed up so we could all hear of what was going on.  Blackmore then certainly wasn’t hiding or holding back, and while the playing wasn’t as spine tingling as it could be twenty years ago, it was mostly interesting and enjoyable. Overall his performance was very much a greatest hits sort of approach, little of the voyages off piste we used to enjoy so much perhaps, but more laying down a marker as if to decide whether this was something worth taking further in future or not.
He has said he wouldn’t want to do an album, but then he he has changed his mind in the past, and to give this much longevity it would need more commitment.  I’m sure there are other markets to take the Rainbow experience to should he feel the need, enough to keep this version of the band rolling as a comfortable retirement project for a few years at least, if his arthritis doesn’t prevent it. Rarely has the line “I feel I’m getting older…” seemed more poignant than it did here, Ritchie doing the track perched on a barstool with an acoustic.
And then, two thirds of the way through a show I’d been enjoying for what it was, out of nowhere came a sledgehammer version of Stargazer which showed what could be achieved. It slammed into the crowd with an intensity and drive which I really hadn’t seen coming and was as blissful a few minutes at a rock show as I’ve had for ages.  It reminded me of full-on Killing Joke or Ministry at their peak, and all at once you think, if they wanted to come back another time and do the full Rising album for us like this then you might just tap us for another couple of tickets. For me this alone was worth the price of admission and made me glad I’d bothered. If not, and he decides this is it, then it closed the Rainbow story for me on a good note.  A few questions remain.
Will I bother to buy the inevitable CD / DVD (I didn’t see any cameras at the NEC show but the German gigs were apparently filmed as well as taped – though I doubt they were better)?  Probably not.  Like that dull Gillan’s Inn CD from a few years back, why would I not want to put on the best versions to listen to?
Would I go again if they do more greatest hits shows next year (as has been mooted)?  I honestly doubt that with this band and the level of ability on show they would get much better, so I’ll be happy to leave it there.
Will the person operating the electric rainbow be able to get it right? It was funny to see even 40 years on that technology can still go wrong, with the timing and sequencing leaving gaps in the effects (which were pretty good) from time to time.  Unless it was a subtle tribute to all those thousands of 1970s lightbulbs!
Joking aside, Stargazer and other moments during the evening (a very hard edged and riffy Burn springs to mind as I write) reminded me why we all put up with his antics over those years, and for all the sublime guitar work he has delivered across his career, a heartfelt thanks. In the hard rock arena no one has ever really come close. My life wouldn’t have been the same without it, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that…

We would like to thank Rob and Martin for giving us first refusal on spare tickets. It was also great to meet up with them and a number of the old crew. Mike, Dave, Andy, Russ and others helped relieve the inevitable pre-concert tension many of us felt as we tried try to work out just why we were there!

*Apparently Ritchie did sing along in Long Live Rock & Roll according to bassist Bob Curiano who posted a photo to prove it! As the band were too mean to pay for screens most of us missed it…

I have added a separate page for all the reviews and everything Rainbow show related. This has early comments on the first show, etc. There is a set spoiler too BUT I have buried this at the end of the page, so you will not stumble on it by accident!

rainbow loreley 2016 copy

June / July

December 18, 2015

… seems a long way off right now but the talk of a Scandinavia tour we mentioned a while back has now firmed up into a wider European visit to follow, taking in a number of regular festivals through June and July, across in Italy, Germany, Poland and Austria.  It’s taken me a while to collate the info people have kindly sent in but we’ve now added 17 shows to the date list pageBig thank you to Richard Borg, Bengt Johnasson, Lutz Reinhert, Svante Axbacke and all at http://www.deep-purple.it/  for their help.  If you spot any more do let us know.