Posts Tagged ‘Ear’

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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Sunglasses after dark

July 16, 2018

For those with long memories, The Javelins release their long awaited (almost twenty five years!) follow-up / difficult second album in late August through Ear Music. This is another 16 track romp through the music of the Fifties and early Sixties. Once again it has been overseen by Steve Morris and features Don Airey guesting on piano. The band remain as they were in 1963: Ian Gillan; Gordon Fairminer (Lead Guitar); Tony Tacon (Rhythm Guitar); Tony Whitfield (Bass Guitar); Keith Roach (Drums).
It was cut in Germany at Chameleon Studios in Hamburg during March. CD and vinyl editions are due.
There is an official audio stream of the lead track Do You Live Me on YouTube:

The first album recorded in Liverpool was issued by RPM back in 1994…