Posts Tagged ‘ian gillan’

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!

Vox : IG

August 2, 2019

gillan at the microphone.jpg

It looks as if Deep Purple’s new studio album (which rather neatly will be their 21st, it just seems more!) is being planned for 2020. As we reported earlier (Back In The USA) the recording work from the group was completed in Nashville and it looks as if IG (above doing his thing for Rock Aid) laid down his vocals in early June. The next stage will be the the mixing.  I guess they could have got it sorted for release later this year but that would then clash with their touring for the latter part of 2019 which is already booked and could confuse promotion. Keeping it under wraps until 2020 gives plenty of time to prepare everything for a proper launch, teaser videos and all the usual gubbins that seem to go with a major album these days, and hopefully some shows with new material, etc.  And of course flying the band out to exotic frozen locations and planning those ice-breaker type shots takes time!

By the way, I read the other day that to earn an average UK wage a musician needs to get 32 million downloads in a year.  So all us old gits who stick to buying physical media can at least know we’re doing our bit to lower that lousy average.  Also we should have said happy anniversary to Steve Morse, who passed his 25th anniversary of being a member of Deep Purple recently.  I was hammering through Abandon the other day to privately mark Jon’s passing (the neighbours might disagree about privately) and marvelling at Steve’s contributions at the same time.  That’s a hell of a stint.

Malcolm John Rebennack Jr.

June 28, 2019

Bath Festival 1970

Or Doctor John to most of us!  His recent death at the age of 78 has been widely reported but it is perhaps worth noting amongst his more illustrious career highlights (he made his live debut as The Night Tripper in the UK at one of the legendary Bath Festivals, check out the flyer above – what an amazing bill), and some two thousand sessions and guest appearance (!), there are connections with the Deep Purple scene.

Some will know that Tommy Bolin worked with Dr. John at one point, although details are a bit sketchy. Three tracks are known to exist, and also feature Alphonse Mouzon on drums. They have not been issued officially but do circulate on whatever the modern version of a cassette is these days (Tommy Taylor where are you now!?). The songs were cut in 1975 after the Mind Transplant sessions in Los Angeles and while the tapes are lousy and are regarded as demos, they do suggest the tracks were pretty much finished up wherever the quarter inch masters are.

I must admit I had forgotten that when Ian Gillan and Roger Glover wanted some funky piano on their Accidentally On Purpose album, they also turned to Dr. John.  He plays his fingers off on two of the covers,  Can’t Believe You Wanna Leave and Purple People Eater. This album was cut in 1988 and came close to cracking the American charts at one point. Well worth checking out (there have been umpteen reissues) if you don’t know it, there are some great songs on there. I wasn’t alone in feeling there was a career choice to be made there instead of slogging it out with the increasingly fraught reunion!

Thanks to Matthew Kean, Tim Summers, Timothy Campbell, Mark Maddock.

Rock, meet Classic

March 4, 2019

Here’s the flyer for the Rock Meets Classic event in Switzerland this week, sent by Denis Zuercher. The concept is celebrating a tenth anniversary this year, and while I’ve not checked back IG must have done a fair few of them!

Rock Meets Classic March 2019.jpg

Ted the McKenna

January 19, 2019

Very sorry to learn of the death of drummer Ted McKenna today.  Ted was the drummer on Ian Gillan’s Naked Thunder solo outings during the “between Purple years” in 1990. He also played with Michael Schenker, Rory Gallagher and many others but for me and other older fans, Ted will probably be most fondly remembered as a pivotal player in The Sensational Alex Harvey Band during the 1970s.  So it was great to see Chris and Ted back together on that Gillan tour (indeed they did say it was one of the main reasons they took the job!), and I well remember the show at Doncaster Dome… Neil Murray says he was with Ted only a couple of weeks go as they all met up to remember Cozy Powell.

alex harvey band live

Scum on the water!

October 12, 2018

Warning. This post contains a link to the Daily Mail. Look away now if this upsets you.

Yes the scourge of, well, everything came up trumps with a detailed investigation/ rehash of a syndicated news item / cure for cancer (delete which is applicable) about the sad saga of Ian Gillan’s one time hotel which I raised here a couple of days ago, and Peter Cross sent me the full details.  It seems the place has been empty for some time and has been left unloved and unheated for four years now.  Nothing a good renovation cannot sort but if this was anywhere round here it would have been trashed by vandals by now. Sic transit gloria mundi as people once said while popping a silly hat on someone.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6227487/Old-home-Deep-Purple-lead-singer-Ian-Gillan-Wallingford-Oxfordshire-left-rot.html

4669788-6227487-image-a-100_1538402839337.jpg

4669786-6227487-A_vast_Tudor_hotel_in_Wallingford_Oxfordshire_that_was_once_the_-a-126_1538403752630.jpg

Hope springs…

October 10, 2018

I was trying to find Ian Gillan‘s old hotel complex the other day as someone wanted to visit, and looking at the web map sites the guitar shaped swimming pool appears to be still in situ; not quite viewable from space but almost!  But it seems the hotel itself might be struggling. It closed a couple of years ago, was reopened to offer deals for golfers using the near-by course, but has not been able to compete with online booking site discounting. There seems to be no operating website. Mike Galway says he saw some film of it on the BBC recently shot by someone who had sneaked inside (one of those empty building explorer types; I’m saying nothing). Not sure if he took his trunks or if there is water in the famous pool – it looks a bit green here.  If anyone lives around that way let us know.

The Springs from air

 

 

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…

Unveiling

July 9, 2018

Montreux 4th July 2018 – Plaque Unveiling Ceremony at the Former Grand Hotel.

 

Ian Gillan by the plaque

Tim Summers has managed to pen us a few words about the event itself, for more see the two posts below…

With the proceedings due to kick off at 11 am, we hopped off the train at Territet with about 25 minutes to go and strolled across the street to the building itself. We struggled to recognise it at first due to it being covered in scaffolding; one reason for having the plaque located round at the unobstructed rear entrance – actually this made sense as this was where the mobile studio was parked – and it meant that we could hear the speeches (and not get run over!) shielded from the relatively busy road to the front.
As we arrived tables of food and drinks were being set up opposite the rear entrance, and a copy of Machine Head stood on a podium to the side, with a picture of the mobile studio parked there some 40-odd years previously on the wall at the other side. The good folk of Montreux made us feel very welcome, and we chatted with just the occasional craning of the neck to peer down the road to see if there was any sign of any Purple people arriving. Roger had promised to attend together with “whoever else he could drag along”. As 11 am approached, a sleek looking people carrier was sighted at the bottom of the slope; it drove up to the car park barrier and the doors opened – Roger was first out, followed by Ian Gillan and Paicey. They ambled up the road in the style of a royal walkabout, stopping to shake hands and chat with people in the assembled throng (of probably around 100 people).
Once at the top they went inside the foyer (which was open) and we followed them in – it was kind of awe-inspiring to be in such an historically significant building. They were happy to chat, pose for photos and sign anything thrust in front of them, and after a little while we ventured back out into the sunshine for the unveiling. There were speeches, including one from Paicey, who said that this was the first time he’d been back to the building since he finished work on the Machine Head album. He actually explained in terms I could understand the necessity of all that climbing out of windows/across balconies business too.
The plaque is a nice thing – not the sort of blue metal affair I was imagining, but rather a laser-etched glass creation, with a (surprisingly effective) button to back-illuminate it on command. As well as including a contemporary picture of the band from the time of recording the album, the plaque details the significance of the album and building too. I spoke to its Italian creator, and he said that he wanted to make something special for a band as important as Deep Purple.
Montreux itself is quite an amazing place, and it really comes alive for the annual music festival. Later in the day Roger did a sort of Q&A about the significance of it all, the fire and the recording of the album, and we spotted him again later just walking down the street (probably returning from the soundcheck for that night’s gig). Paicey summed up the sort of intertwined nature of the band and place in his closing remarks about the recording of Machine Head here: “Looking back on our career, probably one of the the most important 3 weeks of our lives”. –Tim Summers (thanks to Keith Sharp and Ian Edwards for the photographs).

Below, Keith’s picture of the plaque in situ. The text is a bit clunky but you should have seen it before we re-wrote it! It was supposed to have the album title and name off the sleeve too, not sure where those went…  But a very swish item which does the band proud.

Montreux Plaque 2018

From your local newsagent

December 19, 2017

Planet Rock Deep Purple

Spotted the new issue of Planet Rock magazine lurking behind a newsagent’s counter in Chesterfield at the weekend with a familiar cover image; the In Rock sleeve (foldout and embossed no less!)  They only had one copy and it was reserved, but a nose about suggests a 15 page “epic” interview with the Messers Gillan, Glover and Paice amongst other things. The magazine is newish (I think this is issue 6), so not as well distributed as more established titles, but looks like it’s worth hunting down.  And it hasn’t taken them anything near as long as Classic Rock did to get them on the cover either!

Glenn has also blagged himself another cover story, the American magazine Bass Player dated jan 2018 but on shelves now. “The toughest man in rock” apparently! BCC also made the front of Interactive Guitar Number 53, but this is an online only magazine. Can you collect those? Will anyone want to look at real things in the future? Thanks to Stephen Clare for the info.

Bass Player Hughes