[% 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.