Deep Purple at Montreux
When I saw this gig announced I knew I had to be there, so me and my old mate Nick booked the flight and off we went! We stayed in a hostel at Vevey (next door to Montreux) on the Friday, this following a hectic day which started in Portsmouth (home of Highway Star). We crashed out as early as 2130 after sampling local hospitality. We arose on the Saturday at 1030, breakfast was local white wines (free) in Vevey market place. We dragged ourselves away and made our way to the spiritual home. I forgot to mention our trip on the paddle steamer around the lake.
We took in the sight of the Grande Hotel (obligatory of course). [Did you find the original Grand Hotel? It is not a hotel anymore. Ed.] The Jazz fest itself is quite something, loads of market stalls, food outlets, free music at the open air stage and all on the lakeside, quite brilliant. In all our time there we didn't see a bobby or any trouble at all, different culture.
We discovered that The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the world hadn't been first choice in fact it was the fat paddy Van Morrison. However he cried off and thus the legends were invited perhaps by Funky Claude (more later).
On the day of the gig we found out that Purple were second on, perhaps due to the fact that they were due in Spain soon after? The line up was The Love Bugs (from Basel) and Henry Rollins Band (USA). The Love Bugs were an excellent five piece who played an energetic set. The bassist doing an impressive impersonation of Keith Moon on speed. The bizarre thing about them was that coming from the German speaking sector they couldn't communicate to their fellow countrymen in this French speaking district. The whole set was in English. I highly recommend a viewing.
They hit the stage at 2250 straight into "Woman From Tokyo", the hall was full and did it rock, it was obvious from the start that both band and crowd were up for this special night (bloody good job as it cost us a fortune). The floor was shaking as everyone jumped and clapped from the first bars.
The stage setup had changed from the normal, as you looked at it Little Ian was set up on the left, next to him, also at the back was Jon, the Stinking Hippy was far left, big Ian was in the middle and all over the place and Steve Morse was far right. [Which is the set up they've used for the past couple of years... Ed.] We had heard the rumour that the aforementioned banjo player had broken his hand whilst skate boarding with the kids! He was in fact plastered on his left wrist with just the digits free, what a performer, can you imagine the man in black doing that!? [Not really! Ed.]
This was roughly how it went, though this is from memory after many Heinekens!
1. "Woman From Tokyo" Really got the crowd going and showed that God was in great voice.
2. "Ted The Mechanic" IG announced that this would be introduced by the ?-something Skateboard Champion.
3. "Pictures Of Home" God mentioned that this was written down the road after the torching.
4. I'm sure that at this stage Ian got confused about the order as he started to announce a song about the hereafter, with wry chat with Lordy. Anyway I think they played "Fools". I've never heard this live before and it was good!
5."Strange Kind Of Woman" was gotten out of the way fairly quickly, though this is not my favourite track of all time it has spiritual meaning and did it work. There was a guest appearance of a young lad who IG announced as his Nephew, he played guitar alongside SM and was he good! He could only have been about 14, apologies for not remembering his name. The band showed great satisfaction in both his playing and his reception from the crowd.
6. "Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming" This really is a great track and illustrates the problems the band must have in choosing a set.
7. "Into The Fire" For somebody who cut his teeth on In Rock what a bonus, great version.
8. Now Gillan got it right and introduced a new track called "Long Time Gone". Full of his normal humour about the after life, this could be a favourite. I witnessed the first live playing of "Highway Star" at Portsmouth so I feel really privileged.
9. "Speed King" IG rattled on about this being a mix of country, jazz, classic, blues, and practically everything! It was brilliant, all the band had their moments. The peak was some fantastic dueling between Jon and Steve, probably as good as ever it has been.
10. "Watching The Sky" God said this was a laundry song, "Washing The Sky!" Great stuff.
11. "When A Blind Man Cries" One of my favorite tracks, this time SM was obviously keen to mark his influence on some of the old back catalogue, a far different version than before, some great guitar and top drawer blues vocals, brilliant.
12. "Perfect Street Rangers" This really is a great and classic track, the crowd were really behind it and the band were obviously playing off the buzz. In fact Gillan mentioned this saying that something special linked them to this place and they the band were getting the vibes from the throng.
13. "'69" Rocked along as ever, again showing what a phenomenal list they have to draw on.
I'm not sure if the list above is in order but certainly the encores went thus:
14. "Highway Star" This hit the spot and the locals really responded to anything from Machine Head. Glover and Morse really enjoy this track and no Purple set should be without it, but I'm biased! [LOL! Ed.]
15. "Lazy" Jon really worked his socks off here and rounded off a great personal performance, this bloke really is a star and not lazy at all.
Purple left the stage, but the crowd weren't having that and led by the legendary Funky Claude Nobs (Chef De Jardiner) we persuaded them to return. My guess is that this didn't take much. It seems that the boys really enjoy themselves nowadays, especially SM who never seems to want to leave the stage.
16. "Black Night" The band were again joined by the youth project and this time he dueled quite brilliantly with Steve Morse.
I have been watching Purple since 1970. I have to say that since SM joined all of them seem to really enjoy being on stage. Big Ian's voice is getting better and better, probably because the band play stuff he can sing to. All in all each time I see them they really are better than the last. Although this cost us more than we could afford it was 100% worth it. Fair enough!
Sorry if this isn't very technical, I can't play music, I don't read it, but I know what I like.