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Rock: Ripe Bananas

by Erik Jensen, Politiken August 29, 2003

A snaredrum snaps the truck in gear, from left field the guitar cuts into the crowd, the bass hits the diaphram and finally the organ flows in and comes to rest like a hammock under the band. Classic Deep Purple has arrived! Exactly like 35 years ago, when the band played its very first - now locally legendary - concert at Brøndby Popclub. The road between then and now is paved with a selection of classics stretching further and more awe-inspiring than Ivanhoe's lance!

Thus these ageing knights of heavy rock could comfortably have reclined into their soft armchairs in the castle and let younger forces fight the dragon. New albums from Deep Purple have become as rare as sex between average gold wedding couples - and memorable records - after Perfect Strangers from 1984 - have been but a wet dream. At least until Deep Purple decided to go 'Bananas' and show that just because you play and practically invented heavy rock, it is still possible to age with dignity, have a sense of humour, write outstanding songs and boast a sublimely tight performance.

It is wonderful to witness Ian Gillan letting himself go in the beautiful ballad Haunted and encouraging to experience this old band make inroads into new territory in songs like the slow blues Walk On, Picture Of Innocence, which worms its way under your skin with an excellent and rebellious lyric about conformity, and the delightful Never A Word, whose harmonies and guitars sounds - so-help-me-Lennon - like The Beatles!

Beautiful and wonderful to experience these gentlemen grow old with such grace.

Deep Purple are playing the KB Hall with veteran colleagues Uriah Heep on November 30. Partying guaranteed.

Thanks to Claus Lilholt and Politiken

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