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Paice & York reviews  


On December 9th 2001 Ian Paice and Pete York came to Salzburg's small venue Rockhouse for a thunderous drum extravaganza. Watched by not more than 150 spectators the band gave us an evening full of surprises. First surprise was that Paicey started the show in the front man's position very relaxed talking to the crowd. Ian's outfit: "Paiste" muscle shirt and a pigtail thus making him appear like a cross between Schubert and Mozart. Ian who - to me - in officially videoed interviews always appeared a bit stiff and reserved impressed us by his relaxed, easy going and very professional appearance. There was not an inch of superstardom and not a single question got refused or shortcut. As I am no specific drum expert I can only give you a general remark that the drum performance and sound was just as excellent as you would have expected it to be. The elder statesmen of rock/R&B performed in a stage line up from left to right: Pete York, Ian, (no drum risers) Colin Hodgkinson (bass, vocals) and Miller Anderson (guitar, harmonica, vocals).

After initial chat from Ian and Pete (employing his famous "Deutshlish" language) the band embarked on a setlist (interrupted by several Q&A sessions) which was more suitable for a clinic rather than a regular gig. So for some of the fans this came as a surprise and disappointment. To my shame I have to admit that I did not know all the songs, but the band started with "I'm A Man", then came "Sunshine Of Your Love" (feat. Colin) before Miller proved that "Black Night" was not exactly written for his vocal style. Miller hazzled with technical problems both with his amp and the vocals sound, especially during the hard parts (live to the mixer: "Cut that delay! I'm not that bad a singer!")

Then the first Q&A session happened. Actually I was surprised how many questions were posed by the audience. When reading some of Ian's answers to fan's questions please bear in mind that most of them featured his British humor and were meant "tongue in cheek". First one about a certain banjo player Ian crossed his musical paths with earlier in his career. "How can you describe him as musician and person?" Ian: "As a musician he is brilliant - if he wants to be brilliant... As a person he likes to have a problem, if he does not find a problem we (the band) were a problem....during the last tour with him we felt like a car that you keep starting up all the time - until finally the batteries run out..." Later in the evening Ian declined a possible "reunion" -"He (Ricardo) is happy with his project - and WE are happy - so let's leave it like that." (I will add some more statements at the end of my report.)

The next music session featured two songs from Superdrumming ("Homeboy", "Tear 'Em Up Solid") After another chat and joking session Pete and Ian showed their talents in two drum solos. Another jam followed before the regular set closed with "Smoke On The Water" - I'm sorry to say that also here Miller's talents were a bit abused (to put it mildly). Actually I would have preferred a more subtle choice (why not "You Fool No One"?) For the one and only encore, a song from Ian's upcoming solo DVD was played (featuring Colin's great bass playing). For those who were disappointed (short set, song choice) the band more than compensated this by signing autographs and being available for questions and photos for more than an hour! My brother and I got the chance for a short query on Ian (content will be disclosed on some other occasion) so in general we were quite pleased about the evening.

Let me finally summarise interesting statements by Ian and Pete: Pete about Miller A.: "He enjoyed the good times with Deep Purple, then all of a sudden it made BANG and it was all over and he found himself in the Spencer Davies group"; Ian reported about his clinics in Italy where he also played with a DP cover band - he is open to all suggestions, so he would not rule out to play with other DP cover bands. In a moving moment Ian paid his dues to Tony Ashton and George Harrison. He told that Jon Lord is in good health again and that the band started writing sessions in Florida (where his original drum kit is). In a humorous note Ian said that he would not mind if he never had to play with a classical orchestra again ("they do whatever THEY want - regardless of what the conductor does"). He also shortly covered the Macca period and reported the working habits of "the bass player". (Same studio set-up as with the Beatles, same 9 to 5 schedule including lunch break.) Actually he had not known Paul McCartney before and got the job upon Jeff Lynne's suggestion. Asked about his drum philosophy Ian said: "Have fun", the quality of solos largely depends on how he feels, how the sound is, what he ate... Ian showed his professionalism when explaining why he switched from Ludwig drums to Pearl (without letting Ludwig down).

Andreas Eder

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