[% META title = 'Ian Gillan, Interviews' %]
Ipswich Evening Star Monday October 22nd 1980
Gillan a long lost friend back in Town?
THE WAY the Ipswich Gaumont Theatre audience greeted Gillan last night, it was as though two long lost friends - the band and the fans - had met up again after a long break.
Perhaps that is really the case with Ian Gillan, Deep Purple's singer, the same now as he was then, resplendent in flowing locks and with a gargantuan voice that shakes the walls of the auditorium.
But the rest of the band -- a fascinating crew in themselves - ensure that the Gillan show is not Purple nostalgia. Of course the performance of Smoke on the Water" was almost obligatory, but I found it superfluous to requirements with Gillan numbers like "On the Rocks" and "Unchain your Brain" in the set.
The band present a really spectacular show. It may be a little old hat to give every member a solo spot, but in a hard rock concert such as this, they do serve to break up the numbers.
It's not every day that you see an oversize bass guitarist destroying £250 worth of Fender Precision.
And guitar player Bernie Torme was really a treat to watch. He plays his Strat like a formula one racer drives his car - one hand on the gearstick! Towards tile end of the set his solo spots became a little too frequent, but he did provide some of the most constructive guitar histrionics I have ever experienced.
Elsewhere, the sound was generally dominated by Colin Towns' keyboards, providing a good, thick noise for people to shake their heads to.
But headbanging aside. Gillan is more than just riff after riff. It is real music, true showmanship and pure enjoyment.