I guess sometimes you have to be there to know. However here’s a couple more reviews from the UK tour, covering both sides of the coin….
Purple returned to Glasgow on the back of the great new album and we were intrigued to see how much they would change their set to accommodate it. We need not have worried as they surprisingly started with Après Vous and it was immediately clear that the new material had reinvigorated the band. Steve Morse and Don Airey traded licks throughout the show and the band were really enjoying themselves.
Ian Gillan was in the best form I’ve seen for years and his voice soared into the stratosphere at the end of Vincent Price. More surprises were to follow, not least when the Mule was resurrected complete with a classic Ian Paice drum solo.
Well worn favourites such as Highway Star were cast aside in favour of Hard Lovin’ Man and Into the Fire but this was not an issue as the ecstatic crowd lapped up the virtuosity of the frequent jams. Don Airey and Steve Morse excelled and did their predecessors proud. The band played Above and Beyond in tribute to Jon Lord and Ian Gillan put his heart and soul into the vocals.
The encores of Green Onions, a Roger Glover Bass solo and Black Night rounded the night off with a bang and the abiding memory is of Ian Gillan sitting on a monitor enjoying watching Morse and Airey blazing away in another guitar/organ duel.
A fantastic concert and we can only hope the success of this tour will tempt them into the recording studio again soon.
Stilton is a Mature Cheese that can go Off
Having been a fan for the last 45 years and seen the band many times over the years ( see earlier reviews) I was looking forward to the bands return to thr UK since I last saw them on their orchestra gig at the O2.
I had great tickets centre stage 15 rows back and was right in the middle of a great mix. We had been entertained by the unusual Rockbox who did a very good covers set with an unusual instrument line up.
After the anticipated warm up of the orchestral “Mars Bringer of War” they opened with Apres Vous. Now before I go any further I have mixed feelings about the new material and whilst the songs are well produced I dont feel the energy or exitement with any of the tracks that I could honestly say are classic purple and feel the album to be quite average and uninspiring.
Not a classic opener therefore but I appreciate they are promoting the album after all. Now Ian has always been my favourite rock vocalist but it would seem age is taking its toll and attempting numbers such as Into the Fire and Hard Lovin Man were painful for him judging by his grimacing and the resultant sound was sad for me to watch.
The band were in essence superb with a good mix and the usual solid tight sound. However, even the classics have become a little jaded and predictable. The new songs didn’t really do the band justice and Vincent Price sounded like a pet shop boys cover.
They finished with SMOTW and BN but why Ian was wearing a lurex jacket as if in some vegas tribute pastiche was embarrassing. I have adored this band for many many years and have all of their material and it was disappointing for me to leave the show without the warmth and satisfied excitement I have always felt from the band having watched their shows all around the world. The musicianship is still great and the classics are what they always will be but like a good cheese such as Stilton it can go stale after too much maturity.