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Excellent performance

Deep Purple live at Patinoire Mériadeck (Bordeaux, France 2015-11-03)

A very short review of my 20th Deep Purple show:

I was very, very pleased with this year’s only concert (as far as I’m concerned, of course) — Gillan absolutely back in the game after some good, but not outstanding performances in 2014. Reminds me of the 2010 tour ! And when Gillan rolls, Purple rocks. Everything just perfect — and a lot of smiles, joking and british nonsense on stage, as usual (and even more this time) !
Venue well filled, but not full (on a tuesday night), excellent sound as always with Deep Purple (but rather an exception worth mentioning in the Patinoire Meriadeck, which has poor acoustics).

No setlist revolution (rather conservative, in fact, compared to some polish setlists, see below), but I was happy enough with Demon’s eye, the totally revamped Contact Lost (it’s not a completely new instrumental to my ears, it’s something like “Contact Lost Number 2”), and a big surprise with the return of “Mary Long” (I love that song so much, and they played it brilliantly). Another highlight for me was Uncommon Man, one of the greatest songs they did since, well, 1984 if you ask me.

If I may criticise something (and there is really not much to criticise, it’s complaining on a very very very high level), it’s the ever same 5-song routine (6 if you include the keyboard solo ) at the end of the show — all of those five are wonderful songs, don’t get me wrong, but why don’t they just change the running order, for instance … But that’s the typical criticism of someone who saw too many shows, I guess …

So, to put it short, they were absolutely great. Period.

Here’s the setlist for those interested:

Highway Star
Demon’s Eye
Hard Lovin’ Man
Strange Kind of Woman
Vincent Price
Contact Lost II
Uncommon Man
The well-dressed Guitar
The Mule
Mary Long
Hell to pay
Keyboard solo
Perfect Strangers
Space Truckin’
Smoke on the Water

Black Night

review by Stéphane

31 Comments to “Excellent performance”:

  1. 1
    Rajaseudun Rampe says:

    Thank you for the review. After seeing the band, uh, several times I do understand your criticism. The setlist needs some shaking. It’s time to drop Highway Star, Strange Kind of Woman, Space Truckin’, and Black Night, and bring some new blood, and maybe some older rarities, into the set. I know some songs, e.g. SOTW, HS and BN, are hard to drop. Anyways, I am glad that they’re still touring, whatever they’ll play!

  2. 2
    Bennie says:

    Looking at the setlist something occurred to me. Smoke On The Water has probably never left the band’s setlist since they first started performing the song in 1972. Can anybody think of a song that has been played live by the original artist more often than SOTW has? Of course there are older classics like Satisfaction, but considering Purple is still a highly active touring band, Smoke might very well hold some kind of record. I’m curious what you think of this. Cheers…

  3. 3
    Zlatan Hadzic says:

    Good performance in DP community is measured by number of smiles lately..

  4. 4
    D says:

    Good review. Scary to think they played Paris on the 11th…

  5. 5
    KB says:

    I was there in Paris on the 11th and hesitated with Bordeaux… The Zénith is a better place, and not so big 😉
    it was impressing, Gillian still has got some voice, he yelled very well 😉

    Thinking of what happened 2 days later in a place not so far…

  6. 6
    MacGregor says:

    Bennie @ 2- There are a few probabilities as to your query in regards to SOTW. Jethro Tull playing Aqualung & Locomotive Breath. Yes & sadly these days pseudo ‘Yes’ with Roundabout. Considering DP didn’t exist for 8 years or so, i would think Tull & Yes probably. Although Sabbath in it’s different incarnations, playing Paranoid & Iron Man perhaps! Just a couple of other ‘classic’ bands from the ‘golden’ era worth mentioning. Cheers.

  7. 7
    ilm19 says:

    “No setlist revolution”

    Maybe the current setlist is not revolutionary, but it changes. In Poland they didn’t even played “Lazy” and “Perfect Strangers”. Replacing classics by some less common songs always makes setlist fresh. Some may complain, but I’m happy to hear “Demon’s Eye” and “BTRO”. But absolute killer is “Bloodsucker”, which was played a few days later and still stays in setlist! And what’s awesome, Gillan sounds really good in that one, even doing the “screaming part”!

  8. 8
    J says:

    Lets just be honest…Why are we all giving Gillan such a break?…”Oh he sang pretty good tonight” Gillan’s going back stage to drink over & over during a show is just not respectful to the paying audience. The band should be more mindful of it. This will probably be edited out because it’s too truthful.

  9. 9
    ilm19 says:


    How do you know what Gillan does backstage? 😉 Besides, it’s just a man. If he likes, he can drink. As long as he’s not drunk on stage it’s allright. And AFAIK he’s not, watching DP shows.

    And yes – let’s just be honest. We talk about music here, it’s not AA forum. So, honestly, I just wrote my opinion. That’s all.

  10. 10
    nupsi59 says:

    Hi everyone,

    german tv has a 2+ minute video from their show in Oberhausen.

    You can watch it here:


    Sad news from Paris, our thoughts are with you…

  11. 11
    LRT says:

    @8 that is a 100% false accusation. He doesn’t drink, smoke or go barefoot anymore while on tour anymore, that is a fact! Off tour I cannot say. Meet with him before or after any show now and see.

  12. 12
    Purpoz says:

    Mac @6

    I hear what you are saying but, given the amount of touring DP has done since Nov 1984 compared to those other bands, I very much doubt the other songs you mentioned have been performed as often.

    No doubt this could be established as a matter of fact – sounds like a job for… somebody else (i.e. not me).

  13. 13
    MacGregor says:

    Purpoz@12- i would say Tull never really stopped gigging, so to speak, they are or were known for their incessant touring, did they ever stop up until a couple of years ago. One of the hardest working rock bands from that era! Yes have had a few smaller breaks over the years, most notably from 2004- 2008. a couple of years in the late 80’s perhaps also! Who’s counting though, but it is an interesting thought in a way! Cheers.

  14. 14
    MacGregor says:

    In regards to Gillan ‘drinking’ backstage during a performance, it could or would I imagine to be a throat soothing ritual. A herbal tea or three, honey & lemon juice in warm water is a natural remedy for a sore throat or just for a good moisture lubrication of the whistle. Sure, maybe back in the ‘old’ days it may have been different, but these days. I don’t recall J@ 8, mentioning alcohol at all! May have just been referring to him being off stage at frequent intervals. Cheers.

  15. 15
    Per says:

    Looks like they also play Wring that Neck and Pictures of Home occasionally for a little variety.

  16. 16
    Marc says:

    Hi every body,
    We all know that ian likes to sing those songs, it would be nice to hear more songs from the period morse and airey and off course older songs as great as those played that day. The band was really great, a Big locomotive in motion, not stoppeble, Big ian has sang better and higher than lasts years
    A concert that stays in your mind


  17. 17
    NWO says:

    I have seen Deep Purple numerous times since they first reunited in the early 80’s. I do not know why Mr Gillan goes backstage so often now, but I doubt it is to have a adult beverage. Why would he hide it? It is rock & roll. You would get more out of the audience by bragging and openly drinking during the show!! I have met him 3 times before and after shows and he did not appear to be drinking to me, the rest of the band well, that’s another story as many have had a few pops with them after a show (myself included!). The problem with Deep Purple’s setlist is not the songs themselves on it, but the length of the show… After 40+ years of making music, it is impossible to satisfy audiences with a 90 to 100 minute show, play new songs and classics. To me a DP show needs to be 2 and a half hours to get their music in, new and old. Bands like Rush, Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam and a few others play 2.5 hour plus shows a night to get to all their songs. They are more like Aerosmith or Van Halen in this department where a 2 hour show is a rarity. The last 3 shows in the Toronto area where 90 minutes on the button with little or no audience interaction. I am not complaining, just stating the facts. I would watch a 30 minute DP show!!

  18. 18
    Alan says:

    How about some more songs from the Morse era? There are some wonderful songs on Purpendicular. Purple seem to have gone back to the set of standards the masses want to hear. It would be great to see a small tour where a few of these tracks are played. Like a lot of people say on here, I am, of course, happy that they are still at it… whatever the set list.

  19. 19
    mitch5501 says:

    Would love to hear them do “I’m Alone” live.Wonder if they’ve ever done it?

  20. 20
    Matti says:

    There is a wonderful site with all sort of statistics called setlist.fm. Of course it does not have every gig of every band ever included, but it’s fun anyway. Here’s what I found:
    Locomotive Breath, played 1678 times
    Smoke On The Water, 1729
    Oye Como Va, 1818
    Roundabout, 1955
    All Along The Watchtower, 2203
    … and the grand prize goes to…
    … drum roll…
    Status Quo: Caroline, 2466 times!!
    At least that’s what I found in 5 minutes.

  21. 21
    LRT says:

    Bloodsucker in the set? Way to kill the voice again. Hhmm…

  22. 22
    Mayor from Hell says:

    hasn’t it been explained before that Ian G ventures backstage during shows for massage treatment, needed due to an injury sustained a while ago?? Many singers leave the stage when not needed, so why the big deal so long as he delivers professionally when on the stage? In the old days he would spend solos etc banging on the (rarely audible) congas. Not a lot of difference….

  23. 23
    josh says:

    Marc and NWO #16 and 17 : Don’t think about it, you have to do just one thing: ENJOY IT 🙂
    Like I do.

  24. 24
    sue b says:

    I would like to see all the people criticising Ian for going off stage a lot do a gig , putting in so much effort when they are 70! Not to forget the travelling, press interviews etc.

  25. 25
    j says:

    Ok, to be fair. I really like Ian Gillan. I thought his “GILLAN” band and his “IAN GILLAN BAND” periods were fantastic. (Of course Purple up to 1985 as well) His singing during the “Glory Road” era was epic. Anyway I saw him in 1999 “in the round” and because the stage revolved there was no way to hide it. in fact, he didn’t even try to hide it. The fact that some people here are still seeing “the ritual” going backstage it should tell you something. How about Occum’s Razor? If you want to believe it was “herbal tea” then go ahead 🙂 Heavy drinkers also have heavy tolerance and many folks may not notice I suppose. I saw him many years later- on the “Rapture” tour and it was the red- face again before the first song started. Blackmore was right. This is not some secret here. His partying and night activities compromise his performances so much that it seems wrong to pretend it isn’t or wasn’t even ever there. Much of the time he sounds horrible. Now, if in the last few years he is a new man and has quit the heavy drinking then I stand corrected. I have not seen him since the Rapture Tour. I think it is a valid point to make because people act like it’s a favor when he has a good night now.

  26. 26
    Kidd Purple says:

    Honestly, saw them at the Ryman and thought they were great . However , Gillan was off the stage a lot. Some songs should be retired
    or they should take a rest .We saw them after 10 shows in 15 days . he does pretty good considering . Sorry to say my wife {who loves Gillan } was very disappointed .I still consider this band the best. I BLEED PURPLE!

  27. 27
    RobH says:

    Thanks for the very well balanced review Stephane, glad you enjoyed the show.
    There is some wildly speculative nonsense posted here though!
    For the record, Ian doesn’t drink alcohol or smoke on tour. When he goes offstage he’s generally having a rest…..he is, after all, 70 now and has to pace himself. Most 70 year olds couldn’t remotely do what he does.
    This brings me to the length of the set…..the set is almost 2 hours…..quite enough for a band with an average age of 67 I would have thought.
    As for removing virtually all of the well known songs from the set…..well, people here may have seen the band a zillion times, but most in the audience haven’t, and, quite rightly, want to hear the classics. Give them a good selection of classics and they will be only too happy to give new or less well known material a listen, but without certain key material, you would very rapidly find the band losing most of their audience, and I’m sure no-one wants that!
    As for Ian’s voice….well, I’ve heard virtually every show since the Plymouth pavilions show in 1996, and he is at least as good, if not better, than I’ve ever heard him.

  28. 28
    MacGregor says:

    Mayor from Hell @ 22- love the name, classic! Of course, I completely forgot about Gillan’s backstage massages! Thinking back to that clip a while ago with those buxom beauties & all! Sheesh, forget the herbal teas, throat lozenges & the peace pipe! Now it is resolved! Cheers.

  29. 29
    Rob says:

    Response to #2. Great question. Fairport Convention playing Matty Groves?

  30. 30
    LRT says:

    @25 “1999” was LONG time ago and so was Rapture. Might want read a little better and write a lot less.

  31. 31
    j says:

    Rapture was recent enough to know his voice is cooked. It’s just a matter of “to what degree” at this point. You may want to learn to type a bit better too 🙂 You said it in your own entry @21. It’s no revelation. Even Jon Lord said it before he died man.

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