Hallam FM Arena, Sheffield, United Kingdom
November 9, 2004
I took my wife to Sheffield. We got to the front of the stage
where we were very impressed by Thunder and Peter Frampton, these
acts were nothing short of fantastic!
Deep Purple didn't disappoint us either, the energy was there, the humour,
the unparalleled musicianship but most of all for me the scream, full mode top
gear ass kicking true Gillan style glass-shattering vocals. Anyone who criticises
Gillan or Purple for not having spirit are simply wrong! I have seen Gillan/Purple
in concert dozens of times and had the pleasure of drinking with IG and talking
music into the wee small pissed hours and I can tell when the sparks are flying
and they truly were last night.
During Don's solo we were nearly knocked off our feet when he jumped on the
It was nice to look around and see everyone smiling and enjoying the show, everyone
apart from a couple who were boozing and shouting to each other at the top of
their voices during Steve's solo, someone did tell them to "shut the ****
up!" I may be dreaming but I seem to remember the same couple at other
shows, why do they always end up near me?
The night was topped for us by meeting the band backstage and getting hugs and
best wishes from Mr Gillan and the other guys. IG wrote us a lovely letter which
was read out at our wedding four weeks ago "Congratulations on your wedding
etc... Love from us all in DP." These guys have time for this kind of thing,
try getting some modern pop stars to do the same!
Deep Purple are still cutting it, untouchable and pure class.
There are times in your short life that you just know are gonna
be fantastic: that first kiss, your first house, your first born child and seeing
Deep Purple. What a fantastic night. I was right at the front in the middle,
big chubby guy who couldn't catch for toffee (thanks for the second chance Ian).
What really impressed me was the standard of acts before the main event. Dean
Howard were very good and I enjoyed the short set they played. Worth a listen.
I hadn't heard much Thunder before but the whole scene was really good. The
light show was good and the band were fantastic. Well worth the £30.00
just to see them. We will renew our acquaintance at the first opportunity and
I look forward to it.
Peter Frampton, boy can he pluck a banjo! How impressed was I with him,
never been a fan but I really enjoyed the set, but I have to say I would rather
Thunder and him changed places in the pecking order, but hey, it was really
Deep Purple just happened, what a fantastic band. You just know they
are having a great time. Mr. Gillan has all the charm and smiles and chats (you
really must get those bunions sorted, fella) even the carpet deserves a mention.
Ian Paice just has to be the most charismatic drummer in the world. There is
a confidence you only see in the very best in the world and he just has it,
it all looks so easy, my friend you are the best. Steve Morse just loves it,
he plays like he was born to it. He smiles so much he must ache. Roger Glover
is a legend and plays so well all the time (I suspect this is his band!). Ian
Gillan wears white and fronts a band,and oh how he fronts it.
We loved it. Thank you for letting us come to your party - you made me feel
so very welcome.
It seems like a dream. Here I am mid 40s and 35 years after
my first vinyl encounter with arguably the greatest band in the world - and
I'm on the verge of another live encounter, but does that mean that the adrenaline
rush of seeing the band that I have grown up with has been lost? No Way! I'm
on the edge of my seat.
Sheffield Arena is reasonably full, the audience sensibly compacted by the forward
position of the stage making for a really good atmosphere. Support was provided
first by the excellent Thunder who played a great set of classic rock
followed by the somewhat laid back quality of Peter Frampton who looked
nothing like he did on the famous Comes Alive album of the 70s. Personally I
don't know who makes the decisions but I think they should have been switched,
as all Thunders hard work on the crowd seemed to have been lost by the time
Framptons set had finished.
Anyway, what about Purple?
Around 9.20pm the lights dimmed and without fuss Purple ambled on stage and
into the high powered chuga chuga rhythm that is Silver Tongue, musically tight
and with a sense of enjoyment characterised by a broad grin which never deserted
Mr. Morse all night.
This is what we fans wanted. As I looked on from the side tiers it was noticable
that much of the crowd down below were stood silent and bemused by new Purple
material. Maybe they should not play anything post 1972? I don't think so! The
new material came across admirably including I got your number, Bananas and
the moving Contact Lost, all introduced in Gillan's unique style whilst wearing
his favourite white pyjamas!
Of course there were old numbers aplenty which seemed to stimulate the grey
matter of the 40- and 50-somethings. Strange Kind of Woman now without the extended
vocal interplay of Made in Japan was magnificent. Woman from Tokyo stirred life
into the crowd, whilst Demon's Eye not the best track from Gillans favourite
album was awesome, I just hope that they can put No No No into the live set
Other numbers included a welcome return of Knocking At Your Back Door, each
played with that amazing dynamic precision that could only be Deep Purple: Ian,
Ian , Roger, Steve and new man Don.
I should like to thank you for tonight - but why why why did you drop Ted?