Asia 2002 reviews
Late night jamming in Singapore
The band's flight from Bangkok arrives at Singapore Changi Airport shortly after 4pm on the day before the show. Having checked in at the hotel, they all come out of their rooms after a little while for a little drink at the lobby bar, and they move on to the press conference at around 6:30pm.
The press conference starts off with a photo session, followed by an introduction about the band by the compere, and then Q&A. None of the journalists present comes up with a question for a while, which prompts Paicey to say "no question? OK, good-bye then."
Most questions are answered by Gillan or Glover, but one journalist asks Airey how it feels to be in Deep Purple. Airey: "Considering the band's position in the world of rock music, it is a great pressure for me, but it's also a wonderful experience," he answers.
Glover: "We often get asked, don't we get bored playing old hits again and again, but the arrangement is different each time, so although they are old songs, they are fresh and almost like a new song every night." Deep Purple has had a huge influence on all kinds of bands everywhere, but "we also have our idols, and we've been influenced by them. So there is no such thing as "the" original."
Very good news comes from Gillan: "We're going to work on a new album with Don towards the end of this year and the beginning of next year. We have a title, but it's still a secret. We have lots of good ideas, so I think it'll be a great album."
The press conference is over just after 7pm. Airey shows interest in the organ which was in the room. The promoter tells him "please go on and play it" but Airey declines the offer. As the band leave the conference room, fans waiting outside catch them for autographs and snapshots.
The band members then get to rest for a couple of hours. After a while they all come out, one by one, to the hotel bar for a drink. They then move on to a restaurant for a dinner with the promoters, after which some move on yet again to the bar, to relax and enjoy the night before the show.
On the day of the concert, Airey turns up at the venue alone at just after 4:30pm. He goes through the soundcheck briefly and then practices for a while as usual. Apparently he wants to practice for at least 20 minutes before each show, and today he stands there alone onstage for about an hour, playing the keyboards. [What did he play? Rasmus]
Fort Canning Park is a big park in the centre of town, and tonight's venue is a closed off area inside this park, with a capacity of approximately 7000. Outside the gate there are blue and white banners with DP logos and photos of the band members, announcing the concert. Inside, there is a white colonial building right at back of the open area, which, as the dusk falls, is illuminated beautifully - a very romantic sight! The show was scheduled to start at 8pm, but it doesn't start till 8:30. During the extra 30 minutes of waiting, fans seem all impatient, they keep staring at the stage for any sign of the band, and every time a piece of music playing on the PA is over, they all cheer - and then sigh in disappointment when nothing happens.
And finally the show begins. I'll itemise things that have come to my attention.
*Airey's solo - Lazy:
*No Child In Time today.
*Keyboard Solo - Perfect Strangers:
*When A Blind Man Cries:
*Smoke On The Water:
As soon as the band come offstage after the encore, they jump straight into the cars waiting for them and leave the venue. After a brief stop at the hotel, they are taken to another dinner with the promoter. They then move on to a club, which is crowded enough to start with, and as Deep Purple turn up there, the place gets so totally filled that there are people spilling outside. The members give fans autographs and chat with them for a while. And then Gillan, Paice and Airey decide to jam with the local band who's been playing there. Gillan joins in during one song only, Paice and Airey play two songs. An unexpected guest appearance to please the fans.
I'd like to add that the Singapore audience is very civil and courteous - they happily give up their places to ladies, for example - and the atmosphere was a very warm one, even the security staff exchanging friendly chats with the fans. (After the show, the whole venue was littered with all sorts of rubbish that people left behind, which was a bit of a surprise for Singapore...) The show itself was a wonderful one, a great concert to conclude this short Asian tour with, and I was very happy to see each individual member of the band looking good and enjoying the experience.
Many thanks again to all of Deep Purple, as well as everyone who contributed to the success of this show.
Translated by Akiko Hada
Unauthorized copying, while sometimes necessary, is never as good as
the real thing (with apologies to Ani)
(c) 2005, The Highway Star