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“Something spiritual has taken place…”

The set started with Prokofiev’s ‘Montague and Capulet’ from ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and it really built the atmosphere, and then Purple burst into a really fiery version of Highway Star with Glover and Paice driving it along much faster than I can remember from Wembley in 2007.

After Gillan’s altercations with Wembley stewards during “Things I’ve never said” in 2007, it was good to see him stay on stage throughout this time. Some have criticised the inclusion of this track but is does come from the “most recent” album and it certainly rocks.

A rousing “Not responsible”, which Gillan introduced by saying “We’ve only ever played this live twice … and that was this week” they belted into Strange Kind of Woman. This was the second major test, for me, of the state of the band. It’s a regular number so could they bring something new to it … and they did – verve and enthusiasm and, most of all, fun. The interplay between Gillan, Glover and Morse was a joy.

“Wasted sunsets”, beautifully lit, came next. His voice may strain but the passion was there throughout. At last a time to pause. Gillan announced that the new song would be the title track from their “recent album” and then said that it was time they got into a studio to record a new album and mentioned that February 2010 looked likely.

I love “Rapture” (although I’d love to see “Clearly quite absurd” sometime) – it growled and flowed with Don coming to the fore more than before.

The “quiet medieval ballad” that Gillan introduced morphed into a burning version of Fireball, Paice thundering out the drum line and Glover pushing the rhythm before the pace was slowed down for the exquisite Steve Morse section. “Contact lost” was moving and very sensitive before the stunningly wonderful “Sometimes I feel like screaming.” The interplay between guitar and vocals and then the layering of sound was stunning. A rousing version of “Well dressed guitar” had us all clapping and whooping – at time I got the impression that Airey and Paice were upping the speed but Steve managed to cope and the whole place bounced.

“Wring that neck” was introduced as being written by “Dick Turpin” and it was good to hear it live after so many years. The structure remains the same but the solos were quite different from the old Lord / Blackmore days. I felt that perhaps Don and Steve weren’t in their comfort zones for this but it will develop and deserves its place if only to show off the jazzy side of Purple.

“No one came” was delivered with lashings of humour by an obviously happy Ian Gillan. The lyrics lend themselves to humour and he milked them for all they were worth.

Don’s solo was a tour de force – Lord like in its interplay between classical and rock, a little like a game set for the audience – what piece am I playing now and where will it go.

“The battle rages on” was delivered with a driving intensity – this was classic rock music, Gillan growling out the lyrics while the band thundered behind him.

“Space Truckin'” was a shortened version but Glover’s bass playing was just stunning and, with Paice, together they lay down a mighty statement – find a better drum and bass combination anywhere!

And then to the inevitable “Smoke”. We didn’t get the endless audience participation of old but everyone was singing. Morse’s solo was quicksilver while Don wove layer upon layer of sound over his.

I had hoped for “Speed king” as an encore but it was not to be. After an interesting little intro based on an old Booker T number (I think) the band launched into “Hush”. It’s a good sing along number and they seemed happy enough with it. Roger’s soloing was brilliant – inventive and technical. A rousing rendition of “Black Night” brought the evening to a close.

Three days on and how do I feel? Still up there in the clouds.

Two very minor gripes in an otherwise outstanding evening: I do like to see a drum set on a podium of some sort, if only to bring the drummer up to the level of the standing musicians – Paicey was on the level stage and seemed a little out of it at times. Also, if you’ve got one of the best drummers in the world, a 30 second solo would have been nice.

But hey, I’ve just seen the best group in the world play the best concert I’ve ever seen (or am likely to see). Don now feels a really integral part of the band (at Wembley in 2007 it seemed as if he knew where he could involve himself) – here he was right in it.

Steve Morse commanded centre and the right of the stage from where we sat, (on the front row of the balcony directly over the sound mixer’s table), Ian Paice was mighty throughout and Ian Gillan was … well Ian Gillan – funny, enthusiastic and with boundless energy. His voice is showing signs of strain but he manages really well.

But, if I have to pick out one for special mention, it must be my favourite … Roger Glover. His bass playing is more inventive and powerful than ever and he is a man apparently completely at peace with himself – a broad smile across his face, enjoying the interplay with the other band members and the audience.

Deep Purple are back. The look of stunned amazement on my 15 year old son’s face at the end of the concert said it all. He’s seen a few bands and saw Purple with me at Wembley in 07. This left him speechless. We drove back listening to Live at Olympia with wide smiles across our faces.

Oh, and the support at, The Crave, were good as well. A 4 piece band, they played six numbers competently and look good for the future.

Thank God for Deep Purple. “Something spiritual …” Indeed!



17 Comments to ““Something spiritual has taken place…””:

  1. 1
    Steve says:

    Well said-I wish i could of saw them in england. I like the comments about your son- be impressed. I saw Purple in Orlando 2007 and remember a rousing version of Space truckin. the look of a young teen near by me that night said it all. I hope they can make it ot the US next year.

  2. 2
    Neet San Francisco says:

    Thanks for sharing. DP was as amazing as you described when I saw the band on Sunday Nov 15th. I came to London from San Francisco for DP show and I was absolutely energized. Glad to see lots of families came! DP fans are simply intergenerational.

  3. 3
    Neet San Francisco says:

    I forgot to add how amazing DP was when they delivered “Fireball.” It was fast, full with fire and …out of this world!!

  4. 4
    Jim SHeridan says:

    Are you saying they played a new unrecorded song, the title track of the new CD? How was it?

  5. 5
    PaulH says:

    Great review Graham. Makes me wish I was there! I hope to take my 16 year old son next time the boys make their way to Oz.

  6. 6
    Roberto says:

    I do like to see a drum set on a podium of some sort, if only to bring the drummer up to the level of the standing musicians…..I TOTALLY AGREE…AND WHERE IS SPEED KING??????????

  7. 7
    james jay says:

    i agree that mr. glover seems to really enjoy himself on stage. looks at peace with himself,the band, and admired fans. cool piece of reading mr. cooke, thanks.

  8. 8
    Crimson Ghost says:

    I’ve already read this, and I’ve already forgotten exactly where.

    Good one Jim!

  9. 9
    Chris says:

    I’ve been racking my brains since Sunday to think of a better show I’ve been to in the past 40 odd years……can’t think of one. DP were simply sensational, all 5 of them played together like they were somehow destined to.

    Graham has it spot on with his review, I agree about the drummer – should be a bit elevated and even a 1 minute solo would have been nice – but from our seats in the balcony, 2nd row, dead centre, we had a damn good view of all of them. And what a great venue the Hammersmith Apollo is, forget about all those soulless places like
    Wembley.

    Here’s the only gripe I have, why only 5 shows in the UK? I don’t blame DP for that a bit, I mean if the promoters don’t book them………

    Overall marks out of 10….11

  10. 10
    daviep79 says:

    Great story!! Thats what it’s all about! This band has a tendancy to do that. This band has met more to me in my life than I can explain here.Being here in the US’ I hope when they tour here next year,they do just as well!! Long Live DP!!!!!!

  11. 11
    dave smith says:

    They havent been using risers for over a year now. Both Ian and Don feel more ‘part of the band’ being off the risers. Also a much better sound for them too being on the ground. Although im sure if they knew that Chris Roberto and Graham, werent too keen on them being on the floor they will start using risers again!

  12. 12
    james jay says:

    First heard DP in 1974 Baumholder Germany while my dad was in the military. My friend Larry and I went to a Community Center to buy some promme-frits (french fries) and noticed some GI’s around a juke box playing “Soul Makoosa” a soul Afrikan song that was quite lengthy. Larry who was on the H.S. football team and looked like a biker gang member at 15 yrs. old bumped the juke box to re-set it and played SOTW. Been a fan ever since. Wish I could see them more here in NJ. thanks.

  13. 13
    Crimson Ghost says:

    @5

    PaulH, please get in touch.

    Larry
    purplexed@msn.com

  14. 14
    T says:

    “Deep Purple are back.”

    They never left.

  15. 15
    Morten Overgaard says:

    Great review, Graham. Thanks!
    To me this is the essence of DP: “Glover’s bass playing was just stunning and, with Paice, together they lay down a mighty statement – find a better drum and bass combination anywhere!” Right on, GC.
    NOBODY keeps it this tight! Well, I’m off to the Aarhus show!

  16. 16
    Darryl says:

    Flew over from South Africa to see them. I went to both shows. I thought Saturday was brilliant, but Sunday was much better. Not Responsible replaced Maybe I’m a Leo which suited me and the band was on form. Now for Motorhead on Saturday. Bummed that Dio got sick or I would have been there now.

  17. 17
    joe says:

    Yes, great review.And I know the “wide smiles across our faces” 🙂

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