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Great show in Manchester

Date: 2011-11-29

: MEN Arena

: Manchester

: England

I was privileged to witness a stellar performance by the guys in Manchester yesterday. This was my 7th Purple gig, the first being Knebworth in 1985, and this was easily the best. The whole band was on fire, rocking and grooving their way through a perfectly paced set given a new lease of life by the addition of the orchestra.

Indeed, the orchestra was fantastic, playing with gusto and adding real depth and dynamics to the band’s sound, and the “duel” between Steve and the violin player was a real highlight of the show. All five of the guys played brilliantly, they were clearly having a ball and it showed in their performances.

Stars for me were Don Airey (who looks really at home now, no longer the ‘new boy’ but a fully fledged and integral part of the band’s sound) and Big Ian – yes, he occasionally misses the high notes these days but his lower register was strong and powerful and he remains a top front man.

What made the evening really special was that I took my 14 year old lad along for his first Purple show and he loved every minute of it. I went along wondering whether this might be the last time I’d see them, but after this show I reckon they could have another 10 years in them yet!

Thanks for a wonderful night, guys.

32 Comments to “Great show in Manchester”:

  1. 1
    Roberto says:

    I’ve seen them in Verona (2011), really a great show but I would preferred to be at Knebworth 1985 for sure…

  2. 2
    Richard Walker says:

    Hi Roberto. Knebworth was an amazing experience – to see the first UK show after the reunion was awesome. But it was very wet and the sound wasnt brilliant from where I was standing! Whereas purely as a performance last night was pretty much perfect I thought.

  3. 3
    Iain Inglis says:

    I agree purple were excellent. all the band were fit and really enjoying themselves. Great set list and a funky Orchestra. I was a bit miffed that Cheap trick had the plug pulled on them. a band of that stature should have been given the respect they deserve and allowed to finish their song and say goodbye(even if they had gone over) The road crew could have worked just a bit quicker, they were finished in plenty of time. I am sure this had nothing to do with Purple, just the modern problem of Time Natzis.

  4. 4
    buttocks says:

    10 yr’s left in them……..are u serious man. And to say the band sounds better today then back in 85 is utterly abserb…….christ sake they have a violen player playing with them now, that would be outlawed back then or very much questioned.

  5. 5
    gibbsie in dundee says:

    mr buttocks……. as planet rock says… “is a crabs ar*e watertight.”…. you obviously are. Ive been a purp fan since 74 and yes we have been thro many a change and tweek. i saw the reform show in ‘a little pink’ lazy at knebworth as mr walker says above and yes chuffin wet, and then at john’s departure show at ipswitch ( i booked a flight down from scotland especially) and many a show after this… but inspect that odd hemmeroid you have, as you may sink… this is NOW and CHUFFIN goood. at this moment in time they are at the closing stages of the show at the 02 in london no doubt by the time and i’m sure the tour log will rub that annoying blip in the starfish open even more.. .sink on son….

  6. 6
    ormandy says:

    Cheap trick had the plug pulled on them? Wow, that was a cheap trick. Sorry.

  7. 7
    Tracy Heyder (Zero the Hero) says:

    Funny how the name some folks pick fits their persona…..’buttocks’.


  8. 8
    Larry R. Toering says:

    Buttocks you’re funny, in a twisted way, because you got that all wrong from what was written. It seems you have letting go issues too. It seems you were there too? It’s their account from being there, you weren’t, so why rubbish what you did not witness? And why even be here for any reason other than to do such nonesne? It’s pure bollocks, man. People parading on your rain or something? Good luck with that. 🙂

  9. 9
    Ke79 says:

    Im going to attend their concert in Oslo next month. The musicians are excellent, but I think Gillan’s voice is not as it was lets say six years ago. I saw Deep Purple in 2004 and was impressed by Gillan’s voice, then I saw them in 2009 and I was disapointed by Gillans voice. Understandably Gillan is getting older, and his singing capabilities are getting weaker.
    Im not expecting Gillan’s voice to be excellent anymore, so Im more looking forward in listening to Morse, Paice, Glover, Airey and the orchestra playing their instruments.
    I don’t think Deep Purple got 10 more years left in them, I would be surpised if they are still touring in 2021.

  10. 10
    Martin Hendriks says:

    Great review! I’m going to take my son (15 years) for the first time to see Purple in Arnhem tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to it. Cheerz!

  11. 11
    Wiz says:

    Seeing as buttocks is obviously an expert and was also at this concert, it’s a pity he didn’t write a review.

    Although judging by his spelling he wasn’t, as English appears to be his 4th or 5th language and he is talking out of his nick.

  12. 12
    Tracy Heyder (Zero the Hero) says:

    After seeing this Orchestra Tour myself in Chicago, and now watching the edited ‘2011 Montreux Jazz Fest’ video, once again this band invigorates ones appreciation and inspires. Reading these reviews confirms what I saw in Chicago last Summer. It also backs up what I just posted in the blog regarding the ‘2011 Montreux Jazz Fest. DVD’ and the Nay Sayers whom continue to peck, peck, peck at any small insignificant point they seem to love dwelling on. Most of these aforementioned Nay Sayers haven’t even gotten off their duff and witnessed this tour LIVE. At least the ‘backseat driver’ is actually in the car when he complains about the driver. These Nay Sayers aren’t even in the building……



  13. 13
    dave smith says:

    Re: Iain Inglis (post 3). The plug was not pulled on Cheap Trick by Purples crew. Cheap Tricks crew had major problems with the equipment they had hired which packed up. You should really get your facts right before you post things like that. Cheers

  14. 14
    Roberto says:

    @2 I would never compare the original MKII show (with that incredible atmosphere of “They are back, I can’t believe wath I’m seeing” which could be feeled even trough the CDs)…with the orchestra tour 2011…both wonderful shows….but I have no doubt of what I have preferred to be…(at least just for Gillan’s screams)

  15. 15
    Iain Inglis says:

    re dave smith
    funny how it worked fine all night and then packed up as they went passed 8.30
    facts are thats whatI saw and they lost all the instuments and mics at once? do me a favour. cheers

  16. 16
    dave smith says:

    Re Iain Inglis. Im telling you the facts mate. 100%. If you asked anyone in the cheap trick crew they would tell you the same. Thats why they had technicians from the rental company there at the O2. They lost everything as one of the things affected was the radio receivers for the instruments/mics. Not really on to accuse people of things when you are not privy to the facts involved.

  17. 17
    scott says:

    can’t we all just get along?….

  18. 18
    purplepriest1965 says:

    @ 12

    Like we use to say overhere :
    “Het kan verkeren.”

    I know it’s very seducing to use the “big numbers” as an argument.

    Churchill : “” Ask persons their opinion and you’ll regret that you defended democracy.

    Inbetween all the euphoria, which I can follow for some parts but concerning crucial ones(Gillan’s voice, No new album, always the same setlist(Well, sort of)people like you get sweeped away and burst out in disproportional compliments for your opinion.

    While at the same time you have given us so clearly a very critical position towards how things have become.

    I KNOW big masses are content with the given quality, I KNOW.

    Does not make people like me desperately cynical persons or something.

    I m glad that DP will be over one day because of their age.

    When the smoke is coming down, history will know…..

  19. 19
    Svante Axbacke says:

    “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” – Henry Ford, 1863-1947, who instead invented the automobile.

  20. 20
    Svante Axbacke says:

    Also sort of related; I recently attended a lecture with Bill Bruford (Yes/King Crimson etc.). Someone in the audience asked him why it seems noone is interested in being progressive these days. All songs go in 4/4, no long jams/improvs, only playing the same songs over and over and so on. Bruford said he thought the audience still wants to hear that but the musicians underestimate their audience by saying, “no one want to hear this and that, we’ll stick to the favorites instead”.

    I think the same is true for DP. I’ve heard members of DP say that no one wants to hear the noodling of past Purple these days and I think it’s the same with the Morse material. Of course Smoke will get a bigger ovation than anything from the Morse era but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t take the chance to educate the audience about the new material. But with 15 years gone since the release of Purpendicular, it’s maybe too late…

  21. 21
    purplepriest1965 says:

    It depends on how you see/experience trhings.

    I m not so sure the “health” of this world has benefitted since the Industrial Revolution.

    Maybe I m too pessimistic, but as I see it this world is going to waste because everyone wants everything leading to a major fuck up of this world.

    But hey, who cares?
    Biblical person believe God placed them in the centre of it all and gave THEM the right how to deal with things.

    Overhere it means that a so called Christian party can defend environmental shit caused by farmers with countless pigs.

    I dont believe if their ever was a Jesus(…)he would endorse entrepeneural fetisjists like this kinda people.

  22. 22
    Larry R. Toering says:

    On the Montreux Blu-ray I see a band playing better than 2006, with or without the orchestra. It’s a contender for their best live video product since 1993. It does not get any better, I rest my case. I will be seeing this in person without hesitation.

  23. 23
    Peter says:

    Its important to consider the fact, that the general public which is the largest part of audience is coming to see the shows with their awaitings. I recently had a conversation with my friends about the Purple shows that they saw in our country – Prague shows in 2009 and 2010. Find the setlists from both shows. They are just normal rock fans who likes Purple, came to see the legends live and enjoyed the both shows, but what is suprising – they enjoyed the 1st show more, than the 2nd. Why? It fullfilled their awaitings more than the 2nd. For example they did not like the opener of the 2nd show, because they did not awaited it in that way. Just to remind you – it was the world premier of Hard Lovin´ Man…. Me and other die hard fans were in awe, but not them. For them, the classic opener for Purple show should be Highway Star, because the HS is opener on Made In Japan album. It´s simple as that. From 2009 show, they knew almost every track which was done, from 2010 show, there was a lot of stuff they did not know – exactly these tracks that we (hardcore fans) praised as great suprises… They knew Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming from 2009 show, but suprise – they did not know When A Blind Man Cries (dont forget that its b-side of single), they know The Battle Rages On, but they did not know Almost Human etc. I was dissapointed when Purple gave up that HLM opening, when I told them that shortly after the Prague show, they made opening from Highway Star and Hard Loving Man was played as 2nd song of the set, they were sad, that this was not the way how it happened in Prague. They were not “stunned” by the fact that they saw live premiere of the old classic, they simply wants to see what they await to see…

  24. 24
    Iain Inglis says:

    dear mr Smith.
    How can you make claims when you dont identify your source material. If you said “I get all my information from Ian Nelson and the sound techs i would be inclined to conceed.
    However as we both love deep purple and enjoyed cheap trick we are essentially arguing about road crews and stage hands and mancher o2s time policy.
    which all in all is a bit daft.
    let me put my case…I go and enjoy live music all the time and over the last say 5 Years bans having the plug pulled on them is becoming more and more frequent.
    I hate this It even happened to richie blackmore in York. (please dont tell me that they all had technical faults)
    If you as the audience and the band are having a great time why should it stop until the band finish?
    Rock and roll is about fun and more and more we have conditions on when things stop , how you can enjoy yourself, more security than fans and that to me is everything thats wrong with modern music venues.
    I have seen Deep Purple at least twice on every tour since 1985, they were and continue to be awesome , however the environment that bands play in has taken the edge off a lot of shows…..see were ime coming from now!

  25. 25
    stephen says:

    no one pulled the plug. All their (Cheap Trick) stage equipment was running from one power source, which overloaded. It was a pity, no one wanted that to happen.
    Please remember that your opinion is yours. Others are telling you that on this occasion you are wrong. No biggy, but just remember,

  26. 26
    Tracy Heyder (Zero the Hero) says:


    Your point is spot on. The masses, not the few hard cores are who Purple caters to. That’s been the way since ’85. Whenever there is a new album, they play many songs from it at first, but after a while they reduce that amount and go back to the ‘Standards’ that as you state, are what the masses know and desire. The masses aren’t followers as we are. Most of the mass doesn’t even know Purple put out a record since Machinehead. This goes back to my long time argument about the lack of PROMOTION throughout the years. The reason it seems that Purple stick to a similar set list now more than before, is due to the lack of new albums. The only reason set lists chanced as much as they did back in the ’70s was due to the constant line-up changes and new albums. We got 10 albums and 4 line-ups from 1968 through 1975. 10 albums in 7 years. But, the MK2 era was the most stagnant only due to being the longest MK to exist outside of the current Morse era. Hell, once Machinehead came out that was it. They didn’t even change the set list to promote WDYTWA. Oh, except for a couple of performances of ‘Mary Long’. Yes, soon after the release Gillan and Glover left, but the handwriting was on the wall. There was going to be a minimal set list change. New album new set list…..for a while. 5 years between albums creates this lull. It’s that simple.

    Don’t know what happened at this show with Cheap Trick (I wasn’t there). But, one thing is for sure…restrictions are becoming a super hindrance regarding booking Rock Concerts. These days there are so many restrictions at various venues that a big part of the decisions as to where they play and don’t play is based on just that. I remember seeing Purple at the Chastain Park, just outside of Atlanta, Georgia whereby they had a ‘volume level’ restriction. Deep Purple, the once noted ‘Loudest Band’ in the world in the Guinness Book of World Records, had to adhere to a volume restriction that truly did impede the performance and enjoyment of the show. Gillan even made mention of the stupidity during his banter between songs….stating “welcome to the Tea Party”. Roger advised me after the show that if they exceeded a certain decibel level, they would be heavily fined and the plug would be pulled. These venues think nothing of pulling the plug if the band steps outside their rules in an instant. Thus the Cheap Trick scenario is not surprising at all.


  27. 27
    RobH says:


    Having been with the band since 1996 as the monitor engineer, I can state categorically that DP would never ever pull the plug, or do anything else, to hinder an opening act, in fact, we go out of our way to help.
    For the record. All microphones onstage in any gig plug into a stagebox (aka splitter rack). This then splits each signal and sends it to the front of house mixer, monitor mixer and recording mobile if there is one. CT’s rack was a powered version which was fed power from their amprack driving the sidefills….the biggest single power draw of the system. The internal breakers tripped and so they lost the signal from all microphones. The DP racks have UPS power supplies so can continue running for a short time without external power in case of a power loss.
    Regarding the amount oif time between bands. There is a set time that DP are scheduled to go onstage. We always allow 30 minutes between the end of the opening act and the start of the DP show. Most of the time, we are ready before then, but, we build in a few minutes of safety time to allow us, on the rare occasion that we have a technical issue, time to fix any problems without delaying the band’s designated showtime.
    I would suggest that, before making what could turn out to be costly libellous statements on a public forum, that in the future you consider what you are saying. We, as a crew, find this sort of comment deeply offensive as we always work as hard as possible to make the whole show as good as we can for everyone involved….bands and audience.

  28. 28
    Steve1974 says:

    I went to the MEN Arena , I really enjoyed the show, including Cheap Trick. Let me be clear what I feel about Deep Purple now that I am in my 50s. I see the guys as old friends I haven’t seen for a couple of years. I look forward to seeing them, I have an aire of anticipation when they’re about to come on stage. It’s as though I am being transported back to being that 15 year old who saw them at the King’s Hall Belle Vue in 1974, just before they pinned our ears back with the violent opening chords to Burn. It’s sounds syrupy and sentimental, but I have really enjoyed this element of my life. My life would have been a lot emptier without seeing them, so to them I’m grateful for what they have given me, and I guess they obviously are happy with the support we have given them over the years, including the ticket sales. Having said all of this, in 1974 it was raw energy, so raw, maybe due to poorer technology, my ears were whistling for a couple of days after! But they were younger maybe mid 20s, and for me it was all new. Not just Purple, but in that year also seeing Led Zep, Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Rory G etc….etc…
    Today they’re in their 60s except Steve Morse who is 57 I think. Understandably Ian cannot hit the high notes, but in the lower key he is as good as ever. The rest of the band continue to show their excellent musicianship, which has got better and better. I’d expect the same if Jon and Ritchie were still in the line up, like fine wines maturing.
    So, in all, I’m glad they are still gigging. For how long though I’m not sure. To be honest my suspicions are that will be the last time at the MEN, if only for casting an eye around the arena. Many seats unoccupied and big sections had already been covered up. I know this as we took our daughter to Bryan Adams the following evening, maybe 40% more in the arena. Every dog has it day, and the boys may think it’s time to wind down. Maybe the Apollo next time….or just very selective venues and shorter tours.

  29. 29
    Iain Inglis says:

    re rob h comments.
    1 if you work for deep purple , you have my respect, I cant prove it but your explanation seems plausible so i totally conceed you are right , that was not the way it seemed but hay ho you are right
    2 I never once stated that deep purple would be involved in cutting Cheap trick short…read the post
    As for costly and libellous, please grow up this is a public forum where i am expressing an opinion as i believe it . are you going to hunt me down an kill me ? sue me ? please get a grip and i hope you are better at sound engineering than you are at law.
    I dont post any thing negative about deep purple ever. I have supported them since I was 10 years old and they are to me also like old friends, i even thank peoople for coming.
    3. My main point was about concert venues (NOT the crew) policy on time restrictions applied to the acts booked
    4 as I am sure you are a grown man please get a grip read what i am actually saying
    instead of throwing a hissy fit, Road crews should not care about public forums and some random point you should be out loving life and enjoying working for the greatest band in the world…..How times have changed

  30. 30
    peter miller says:

    So you think its ok to write a lot of Bull**** and when get caught calling the guys who busted you over sensitive?
    I think there is plenty of truth in Rob H comment!
    Ian Ingles you are A not qualified to comment on a show like this and B also get rude when caught spreading rumours.
    You need to have a word with yourself and come back here and say sorry rather then shouting at people who clearly know better then you.

  31. 31
    RobH says:

    I have long made it a policy of mine never to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent 🙂

  32. 32
    Tracy Heyder (Zero the Hero) says:

    Yeah, never take a liver to a brain fight…..


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