Posts Tagged ‘Don Airey’

Contracturally Obliged

September 4, 2019

contractual_obligation_ian gillan.jpg

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!

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Don’s solo

March 23, 2018

Don Airey is releasing a new solo CD out soon, a bit more of a rock themed offering apparently. It will also come with a live CD from his recent support shows. He was quite poorly with pneumonia for a time causing him to pull out of some of the concerts but is on the mend. Thanks to Tom Dixon. Photo courtesy Mascot Records.

Don_Airey.jpg

 

 

More shows

December 22, 2017

Every time we get the diary up to date, new shows keep being added!  There are now two more in Finland and an open air gig in Sweden added to the very end of the list, so the band are pretty much busy for all of July, with selected dates in May and June.  But they’re not all taking it easy prior to the Purple shows. Don Airey has a lengthy European tour set up, and is even appearing on a special show in Russia by the Tony Carey Rainbow Project, with Doogie White as well. Vince Chong has been in touch with Tony to elicit some details about the show: “this it is sort of a Rainbow fest, I guess, if only because we were all in the same band at one point or another. I’ll be playing nearly every song. Don is doing a couple of Rainbow songs, and Doogie’s doing three (later ones) and songs from Michael Schenker and Tank, as well as his solo stuff.”

Steve Morse has an even longer tour and Ian Paice is also on the road with Purpendicular.  Anyway, here’s the flyer for Tony’s Russian gig from Tim Summers (I can sense him checking the rouble / sterling exchange rate right now!) and the Deep Purple & Co. Concert Diary page is moved further up our side menu to make it easier to find.

Thanks to everyone who has been supplying snippets for the diary, credited on the page, and indeed to everybody who has contributed to the site over 2017, whether it be news, comments or emails.  And all the best to Darker Than Blue readers here and on the Facebook page for the Solstice and New Year breaks!  We’re off to the David Mellor Museum cafe in Hathersage for an ogle at the vintage Porsche on display for Xmas, a quiet cup of tea, a mince pie, a crack at the Times puzzle page and a wind down.

Coda : Purple never cease to provide us with something of interest. Earlier this week I was searching for tracks to play at the local music group. The theme was “clothes” and I was struggling after Rock My Plimsole by Jeff Beck Group (and avoiding the obvious Kinks and Bowie tracks.)  The next clear choice was No One Came but I hate playing Fireball for anyone but myself.  Then I figured they’d done it live, and spotted Live At Olympia 1996 on the shelf. So I took that version. I haven’t  played it for years as I had it in my head that the recording is a bit rough. And it is, but still sounded absolutely brilliant and the performance was astonishing. Everything you want from rock wrapped up in six exciting minutes. And one more to add to the regular playlist!

AireyCareyWhite

 

Surprising

November 19, 2017

Roger Glover, Manchester Arena, November 2017. Photo Vince Chong

Some early DTB jottings on the shows so far [warning – UK set list spoiler at the end.]
Well Manchester for us certainly served to make the fast fading BBC show [incidentally the red button version has now been re-edited to around 15 minutes with an Ian Gillan interview between songs… but better audio] seem even more subdued and muted, and it was a treat to properly experience the group again. Those people who were able to resist watching the TV slot so as not to spoil the actual shows probably made the right call. Every tour we worry it’ll disappoint, but so far they’ve managed to largely over-ride those concerns. There is no doubt Paice’s illness brought the group down for a time and, back on European soil after the disappointment of the later US shows, with a revamped set, they do seem to have bounced back, and as Ian Gillan reportedly said at the first show in Birmingham (that’s IN Birmingham, for all the lost souls who ended up at the Little Mix show by mistake) they’re hoping to eek this Farewell Tour out a little longer.
And on the form they showed at Manchester it would be hard to begrudge them. The opening triple blast is designed to set the scene and by the fourth number in they were really beginning to motor. Curiously it was the double reunion blast of Perfect Strangers and Knocking At Your Back Door which really seemed to hit the nail for me; expected highlight Birds Of prey appeared to falter a touch, though the hard core suggest it was more epic at Birmingham.
In short we thoroughly enjoyed the show even from our eerie up in the gods, and from what people say it was even more in your face on the arena floor. And while it wasn’t a total sell out, it was pretty packed – this mob would have filled the old Ardwick Apollo twice over. So while I used to merrily moan about them not doing the smaller venues, these days we all need a bit more give and take. And the show was also clear proof that doing new tracks isn’t necessarily the kiss of death here; most of the audience knew what was what and just confirms that there is life after 1972 (and it doesn’t have to be Contact Lost!).

Deep Purple

My only real disappointment was the band could not find a moment to thank the staff; after Birds of Prey perhaps? I’m no fan of arenas and avoid them as much as possible, often skipping bands rather than use them. But it takes organisation to run a place like this smoothly, and as we wandered around outside and inside before the show, we couldn’t help think many of the staff here would have been on duty back in May and have to cope with that memory every time they go to work. We had a number of issues finding the right entrance to collect our tickets, and at the security where our friend Vince, who’d just flow in from Canada, kept setting off the alarm, which we eventually realised was steel in his yomping boots! Every member of staff we approached was polite and helpful. Credit where it’s due.
And another star docked for not doing Hip Boots. It’s a bee. And it’s in my bonnet. I’ll just have to crank up the album again, and isn’t that the best response to a show?
Hello to everyone who said hello and good to catch up with so many people (and a big thanks for the photos from Manchester supplied by Vince Chong.) Special thanks to Roger Glover who gave up two hours of his afternoon to be pushed hard on Machine Head (John Humphrey style) for the upcoming book; some things we couldn’t get to the bottom of, other stories emerged which more than made up!
Simon Robinson

Steve Morse 5527

Excellent show (at Birmingham), though they did footle about a bit too much during the encore. Gillan sounded fine when pushed through a massive PA – he gets by on studio recordings, and live in the flesh. Live recordings with him sound… not so good (BBC In concert the night before).
It was all a bit of an adventure for us, we booked hotels at the NEC, and had a look around the complex during the afternoon of the show. Not many Purple fans in evidence though, oddly, quite a few girls with glittery make-up and pink hair extensions. And crowds of people in costume arriving for Comic Con the next day (middle-aged Wonder Woman is not a sight I’ll easily forget…)
At around 5.30 I wandered into the Genting Arena box-office to ask about timings for the evening. A very helpful girl said: “Little Mix will be on stage at 8.30.” Can’t remember my exact reply, after a shocked silence it was something stupid like “Oh… what about Deep Purple?”
Turns out they were at Birmingham Arena, 45 minutes away, somewhere in the city centre. I’d never heard of the venue before. The Arena is NOT well signposted, even when you’re standing outside it on the steps. Apparently it was the Barclaycard Arena until recently, until some clever tit decided it would be less confusing to call it “Arena Birmingham.”
Dave Browne

If it’s any consolation David, we would have done just the same (gone to the NEC Arena that is, not ogled aged female superhero lookalikes!) Seriously, we just go round Birmingham these days, the signage and over complex road system is so inept it’s not worth arguing with them any more.

Ian Gillan, Manchester Arena, November 2017. Photo Vince Chong

Set my expectations (at Manchester) sensibly beforehand (caught a bit of the red button show on TV that morning, so that helped set the dial).
But what a surprise! I thought they were pretty good all-in-all, rather enjoyed it from our vantage point and, much to my surprise, really good sound.
Both me and Mrs. Judd thought the new stuff sounded pretty good live and a big thumbs up to the band for sticking so much into this show from the last two CDs. IG came across more animated and sounding a bit better (to my old ears) than on the beeb, with plenty of between-songs ramblings.
I thought Steve M. took a little while to properly warm up but was playing well later in the set. Where does Rog. get his stamina from? He had to be the most energetic of the lot of them with two or three bass solo type spots, and it is hard to believe Ian P. ever had his health scare of a wee while back, yes his playing isn’t quite as exuberant as yesteryear (and no solo spot), but very sharp.
Don is still all blizzard of notes at the keys (do wish he’d try a bit of less-is-more sometimes) but I thought the organ tone he used was a tad better than at times in the past (not so overly bright but maybe that was just the feed we were getting stage-left).
The massive stage-wide screen behind the band and two side screens where used pretty well (unlike the beeb who seemed to be pointing cameras at the wrong band member quite a lot, here you could see the important detail up there, if you wanted to).
Always enjoy a bit of keyboard/guitar lick trading, we had to wait until Hush for that but still quite fun.
So if that’s my lot for live DP (who knows when/if they’ll be around this neck of the woods again) then, for me, that wasn’t a bad gig to end with. My post-gig smile even survived the seemingly endless wait to get out of the car park.
Peter Judd

Travel tip; never use the M/c Arena car park for a gig. We put ours in the Lowry car park five mins walk away; a tenner for the whole day; security so tight, cars so posh nobody would give our crate a second glance, and no queues out!

Time for Bedlam / Fireball / Bloodsucker / All I Got Is You / Uncommon Man / The Surprising / Lazy / Birds of Prey / Knocking at Your Back Door / Keyboard Solo / Perfect Strangers / Space Truckin’ / Smoke on the Water – Hush / Black Night

Ian Paice, Manchester Arena, November 2017. Photo Vince Chong

2CD vs 1CD

May 26, 2016

I wasn’t overly impressed by the recent version of the Rainbow Donington material – the audio was still incomplete and the video we’d been sold before. Even so I was surprised to learn that they’d hacked out TEN MINUTES of surviving material to get it onto a single CD for the European edition, but left it intact for the Japanese edition which is a 2CD set.  It’s quite depressing that labels are still taking the piss like this.  Anyhow, Tim Summers bided his time and splashed out on a Japanese import, so can clue us in on what we might expect when Universal decide to do an even more super remastered edition for us to cough up for next year….
The Difficult To Cure to Lost In Hollywood section lasts a good four minutes longer thanks mainly to Don Airey’s solo; Ritchie’s blues is over half a minute longer, Lazy gains a few seconds, but most crucially they’ve included the Kill the King instrumental and LLRnR reprise which is another five minutes plus. And for those who like to recall the opening of the show, the Pomp & Circumstance intro is there as well.
Rainbow Donington 1980 Japan CDPackaging wise the Japanese edition just repeats the lack-lustre European art and booklet, adding only the obligatory Japanese translation to this.I’m not sure if we mentioned this before but when I met Steve Wright, the writer of the Bonnet biography, a while back he says Graham recalls going to a screening of the full Donington show with others from the band and having a two disc vinyl acetate of the full show, a copy of which was given to all the band (Graham has lost his!).  The woman who used to manage him was quite close to sourcing the full footage a few years ago, but when she moved on the thread lapsed.  There is a well founded story which says the bass was not properly hooked up for the recording of the show and Roger had to add this later in the studio.

Glenn, Gillan, Gigs

May 5, 2016

Following the August dates in America (details posted below) Glenn Hughes has announced European 2016 shows (vote stay!) including the UK in November, with nine shows right around the country. We quite fancy The Ritz in Manchester, which we’ve not been to since Ian Gillan’s Garth Rockett days. Support is Living Colour (who we also went to see back in the day) and the tour runs through into Spain in the middle of December.  Check the flyer (thanks to Tim Summers) for more info. This tour will probably support Glenn’s new solo album which he is working on right now.
There is also a promised return for Black Country Communion next year, despite the public spat which surfaced after the split!

Glenn Hughes UK tour 2016 Living Colour support

Meanwhile Ian Gillan is doing a couple more of those shows which have him fronting an orchestra belting out Deep Purple classics. Two dates are already announced, Bulgaria on November 4th and Hungary on the 7th. Thanks to Lutz Reinert for the flyer and info. He will also have the Don Airey Band on stage to provide the rock input.

A third show in Ukraine, at Kiev, has been added on the 11th.

Ian Gillan sings Deep Purple

Reverse tributes

April 24, 2015

Hot on the heels of Coverdale’s Purple Album, and Blackmore’s rumoured Purple Rainbows, comes news of a sort of reverse tribute offering, from the Deep Purple covers band Purpendicular.
They’ve gone in the other direction, and ditched their covers in favour of an album of all new material BUT with contributions from Roger Glover, Ian Paice, Don Airey, Steve Morse and Neil Murray!
It’s a concept album entitled This Is The Thing #1 and available through through their own website.
Nick Simper has also gone the same way and cut a new album with Nasty Habits, the band he did the successful Mk 1 tribute shows with for some time. This time he’s doing all new material, contemporary rock.  The CD is titled De La Frog Conspiracy (don’t ask us why!) and it’s available through the band. Email them at nasty.habits@chello.at

Nick Simper Nasty Habits CD
Thanks also to Tom Dixon for the info.

Airey Rising

February 17, 2014

Don Airey Keyed UpDon Airey has followed up his last solo album (is it really three years since All Out?), and his new one Keyed Up is due any day now.  The title can be ordered from DTB Online shop, and features one of the last sessions done by Gary Moore which Don has been wanting to use for a while. The current Deep Purple keyboard man is also doing promo, and spent time chatting on Planet Rock over the last weekend. You can catch up with this on their play it again option on the link below. Tim Summers listened in and says there were some interesting stories, while Don played the Mk 2 version of Fireball and a new solo track as well.

http://radioplayer.planetrock.com/la955764/my-planet-rocks/

DTBOnline still have his previous solo albums available, A Light In The Sky, All Out and K2.

Nick and Don

October 2, 2012

Two generations of Deep Purple musicians met after the double header concert the other weekend. Nick Simper and Don Airey posed for photographs backstage. Our thanks to Christian Schön for the photo.

Don Airey and Nick Simper meet 2012

The show was mentioned here.