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Ian Paice drum clinic + concert in Györ

Is it crazy to drive 750 km to Györ, Hungary, to see a Concerto and a clinic? Some people may say so, but I say it is totally rational, sensible and normal behaviour – for any Deep Purple fan ;-)!

So there we were, and after the magnificent concert with Jon Lord the night before, now it was time for the Györ Drum Festival, whose main event was to be a drum clinic and a guest appearance of Ian Paice with Cry Free, a Hungarian DP cover-band.

The performances of the other musicians that day went from highly amusing (Mr. Glass) to slightly amazing. Especially three gentlemen with huge percussion-kits, who played extremely precisely and with astonishing stamina on various instruments, and who had even written their music down on enormously big sheets made me stand (or sit, as it were) in bewilderment. To my question ‘Who on earth could actually WRITE something like this down?’ my companion only replied ‘Someone with a splitting headache who wants to give the same to anybody else’. Ok, I admit, I am a philistine…

After some other acts, some more and some less fun, it was finally time for the main thing.

Ian Paice entered the stage, and with his first few sentences he made clear what this night would be about. Not a clinic in the traditional meaning, but more some demonstrations of his playing plus – and that was the really interesting part – a lengthy time for all kinds of questions from his fans. In fact he explicitly asked for questions about drumming, people and anything else, and he promised to give “truthful or at least humorous answers”.

But before that he disappeared behind his (borrowed) drum kit and showed us why… It is almost unbelievable what a real master of his art can do with a comparatively small drum kit (I counted six drums plus four cymbals) – means not only hit the things, but make some real music on them.

Actually that very topic got touched at one later moment, when he explained that the really important thing for a drummer is not so much technique (which he called a very useful tool in your toolbox), but the knowledge how to make music with one’s drums. He even went so far as to say that you could have two drummers on one stage, with the identical kit, playing the identical thing. One could make you go with the music while the other could leave you stone cold. He defined it as the way to communicate your feelings. To this point I will get back sometime later, so please keep it a little in mind.

Slightly out of breath after his solo-tour de force, Ian Paice took the microphone for his question-and-answer-game.
It was a little tricky, as all the questions were asked in Hungarian and needed to be translated into English by a translator, and with the answers it was of course the other way round. In addition to that, the translator told the English question to Ian in a very low voice, so for me it was neigh impossible to get them (sadly my Hungarian is non-existent). Mostly I had to hear the answers before I could even guess what the question was.

It is impossible for me to remember all the questions, so I will mention just a few who stuck in my mind.
One was about his choice of brand – in his earlier days he had used a Ludwig kit, because he had seen Ringo Starr with one. But then the family Ludwig sold their company to another company, and the quality decreased considerably. After some research, Ian settled with Pearle, and remained happy with them to this day.

To the question why PAL hadn’t worked he told us that the whole thing had been built around what Tony Ashton could do as an improvising Blues/Jazz/Rock musician– but only in small venues, where there was a rapport with the audience. As soon as the venues got bigger, that magic of Ashton’s was gone, and so they noticed that it wouldn’t work and left it at that.

Of course there was the inevitable question about Ritchie Blackmore. Ian Paice’s comment: “Now this is gonna be good”, and then he explained that Ritchie saw the world in a pretty narrow frame, and that he hadn’t wanted to do the same things the rest of the band wanted to do. So the best solution for all was Ritchie to leave the band.

So now Deep Purple were a happy band with smiles all over, and he hoped that Ritchie was happy with what he is doing now too. As a very personal statement he did regret that Ritchie wouldn’t leave out that great rock ‘n’ roll musician that must be still within him, to create great wonderful and exciting rock.

A very funny moment was, when a guy asked for permission to hit a note on Paicey’s drum kit. Of course he got his wish granted and left the stage a very happy guy.

A more personal question was about Ian’s kinship with Jon Lord (they are married to identical twin-sisters), and he told a hilarious story about the times when Jon and his wife were living for a short time in Ian Paice’s house, and how embarrassing it can be to mistake your wife with someone else’s.

More coincidentally there was another story to be told, when a fan presented Ian with a drumstick for signing he (the fan) had caught personally on a show in Budapest in 1993 (I think). Ian showed it to the audience and held up one of these he is using nowadays to compare them. The difference was striking – the one from 1993 was almost twice as thick, and the explanation was that in those days, Ritchie Blackmore used to play so loud that Ian HAD to use ‘half of a tree’ for being able to compete with that volume and even be heard.

Oh yes, and he doesn’t like to go to the supermarket or to bring the garbage down – but both of them he has to do now and then, as he lives a pretty normal life when he is at home.

To me it is a never ending source of amazement, what a totally different side of Ian Paice you get to see on one of these drum clinics. With Deep Purple he is normally more of the quiet kind, someone who doesn’t say a lot; but here you experience a witty, charming, humorous and truly entertaining guy. In fact I admire him very much for doing this, as you never can know what kinds of questions you get. There were some tricky ones, but he never failed with giving a truthful, jokey and very often deeply personal reply.

After quite some time, he returned to his drums and gave us another taste of his drumming. Again, he left not the slightest doubt why he is known as one of the best rock drummers in the world, and that he truly deserves being called so.

Then another question or two (plus their answers, of course), and Cry Free joined Ian Paice on stage.

Cry Free are a Hungarian DP cover band, with Olivér Lee on guitar, Csaba Kecskeméti on bass, Tamás Tatai on drums, Attila Nagy on keyboards and Attila Scholtz on vocals.

The setlist with Ian Paice was:

Burn
Stormbringer
You keep on moving
Perfect Strangers
Highway Star
Smoke on the Water

I won’t list the rest of the songs, as this is supposed to be a review about Ian Paice and not about Cry Free. In fact, this brings me back to the statement further above about the two drummers with identical kits playing the same song. One of them makes you ‘go with the music’ while the other leaves you stone cold. Something similar was what we experienced that night. WITH Ian Paice on the drums, it was pure magic, WITHOUT him, not all of the magic was gone, but a considerable amount of it.

Sorry to say that, and it is certainly not Cry Free’s fault, who gave a very enthusiastic and energetic performance throughout both of the nights. I think it is remarkable, how they succeed in playing the songs very well, but not sticking slavishly to the originals.

Every single of them is a highly talented and skilled musician, and even though their drummer had a difficult task in ‘taking over‘ from one of the best in their profession, he had proved his (remarkable) skills the night before with Jon Lord, and did the same again after Ian Paice had left the stage.

It was huge fun hearing the first three songs live, but NO, I wouldn’t even WANT the actual Deep Purple play them! There are many reasons, and not the least of them is the fact that these songs were written for two singers. ‘Burn’ was not much of a problem, but with the latter two you couldn’t forbear noticing a certain ‘emptiness’ in the vocals.

Please, don’t get me wrong, Attila Scholtz did a great job, and his vocal power and range are truly astonishing (actually I got the impression that he is capable of covering the lowest range from David Coverdale right up to Glenn Hughes’ top notes), but one man just can’t sing harmonies, can he?

So, if I want to hear songs from Mark III or IV live, that’s what we have cover bands for, and when there is a member of the Original playing with them – well, the better for me!

All in all we had an evening with some excellent music, interesting informations, and quite some good laughs. Ian Paice was all smiles, and he certainly gave the impression of enjoying himself; so much so that Ian Gillan’s analogy he drew for ‘One Eye To Morocco’ came to mind. When Deep Purple is their day job, it is evenings like this that are their ‘naughty weekend away’.

If it hadn’t been for a very clear statement he (Ian Paice, that is) had made at one point during that night to the effect that – as much as he enjoyed working with other musicians – Deep Purple would always remain his life, there might even have been some twinges of worry about the future of my favourite band…

Good to know that nights like this are but some kind of musical sexcapades ;-).

Monika Schwarz



12 Comments to “Ian Paice drum clinic + concert in Györ”:

  1. 1
    Ralph says:

    Great review Monika. As I was there with you I have to agree with every word you have written. The trip to Gyor was even a bit longer for me but worth every Mile/Km. Paice’s stories are as always great and hughly humurous. Laught to tears about his Mrs Lord story. Ofcourse Ian Paice behind the drums is listening to the master himself. He makes you move your body from the first hit he does on his kit. It’s heaven on earth to listen to that. Also enjoyed listening to the songs you never hear anymore because thay are not of the recent MK. Burn, Stormbringer and You keep on moving were excellent, nice to have heard them once(again).
    Will certainly visit Paice in Holland when he comes.

    Ralph

  2. 2
    The Aviator says:

    Uow! Thanks for the nice and extensive report. Paice is one of my heroes.

  3. 3
    purpletemple says:

    Great review. Any comments from Ian about an hypothetical new dP album????????????????????

  4. 4
    Juraj says:

    ..yes Monika,it is a nice report,thank you for that.Sometimes is 750 km distance close,if you enjoing it and like to travel.But always hard if you have to drive.(I drove to Gyor too,makes about 330 km for me)
    Have you been thinkig about taking a train to Kiev to see Mr.Lord again?I am doing it.Because to travel in russians railways is very comfortable,not expensive and you start count distance in days,couple hundert km is nothing and the destination with Mr.Lord!Does not it sounds good?

  5. 5
    purplepriest1965 says:

    @ 1

    Hi Ralph

    I sure hope you did visit his solo visits at the Music and Harmony Beurs in Utrecht in the 90 s and his playing with Demons Eye in Zoetermeer, 3 years ago?

    Cheers, Mark, Rotterdam

  6. 6
    Ralph says:

    @ Purplepriest1965

    Sadly I didn’t. Jon was once suppost to give a concert in Tilburg but then I already had tickets for Status Quo. Then that concert was posponed and the date that was fixed afterwads was in the middle of my vacation. With Paice, 3 years ago, I didn’t feel like going. What a mistake that was. But thats afterwards talk. I will not make that mistake again.

    Cheers

    Ralph
    Amsterdam

  7. 7
    Monika says:

    @ purpletemple

    Nope, neither was it asked, nor did Ian mention anything about a new album.

    So it’s still waiting…

  8. 8
    Crimson Ghost says:

    A good review always makes you wish you were there, now I’m going to go back to bed and relive the dream. Excellent work Monika! Larry

  9. 9
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Hi Ralph

    Will you be seeing OTR live next week?

    I ll be seeing them in Belgium, in Biebob in Vosselaer this time.

    Wish I could see them too in Zwolle but I dont see it happen due to limited public transportschedules.

    In 1996 I was very happy with RAINBOW in Vosselaer.
    It was a very hot night but enjoyable nevertheless.
    I ll always remember they started with LONG LIVE ROCK AND ROLL instead of NO MORE TEARS.
    And MISTREATED was the first, and unfortunately the last,outing of that song I witnessed from Ritchie.

    Memories.

  10. 10
    tamadam2 says:

    Great review Monika.
    I am sure that you will have worried about putting a review up,
    language, punctuation etc. etc.

    We had faith in you, and here are the results.

    A great review makes you feel as though you were almost there,
    so job done….congratulations.

  11. 11
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Visited the PURPENDICULAR site.

    Enjoyable.

    Surprised myself with 10 out of 10!!!

  12. 12
    Claus says:

    Video from the event here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nlfxh52-j80

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