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Blind man cries in Kraków

Our contributor Tobias Janaschke writes:

Hello from the Baltic ocean,

I would like to take this opportunity to say a few open and appreciative words to/about Ian Gillan:

This man (like the others) gives everything for this band and is the only one who cannot change his instrument — his voice.

And he has no reason to!

The whiners always point out that he can’t scream like he used to… Funnily wise, the same don’t say how wonderfully Ian can SING. Expression, dedication, and skill on a level never seen before.

Check out his latest rendition of When a Blind Man Cries

It doesn’t get any better than that.

Ian, I raise my glass to you,
Tobias Janaschke

We raise our glasses too.

Thanks to Tobias for the passionate words, and to Steel of Silesia for the video. It was taken on June 12, 2023 in Kraków, Poland.

27 Comments to “Blind man cries in Kraków”:

  1. 1
    Gregster says:

    qt. from header “The whiners always point out that he can’t scream like he used to… Funnily wise, the same don’t say how wonderfully Ian can SING. Expression, dedication, and skill on a level never seen before”.

    +1 here. The whole band gets better & better all the time too.

    Peace !

  2. 2
    Dr. Bob says:

    Ian Gillan seems to be the only 77 year old singer who sounds better now than 10 years ago.

  3. 3
    Adel Faragalla says:

    Superb Gillan 👍
    Sorry to be negative but I think Don can do better with his organ solo.
    Jon Lord always used to send shives down the spin with his solo on this one.
    I can only hope it’s time constraint issue.
    Peace ✌️

  4. 4
    Daniel says:

    Gillan still sounds great when singing songs that are within his range, WABMC being one of them, HS not one of them. The challenge right now for Mk McBride is to get that new studio album out asap, and to start playing a lot of it live, in order to forge their own path ahead. Take the opportunity to revamp the setlist for the next tour and avoid the nostalgia trap and songs from 68-72 that they have been playing for so long now. If the new material is strong enough, the audience will accept and enjoy it.

  5. 5
    DeepOz says:

    I’d prefer two guitar solos rather than guitar and organ, or switch the order from to time.

  6. 6
    Scott Mcnay says:

    Wow. He has clearly taken care of his voice. Still the best singer in rock. I realize that time marches on and he’s lost some of top end, but in some ways, his voice is better than it ever was in the lower registers.

    This band keeps getting better and better.

  7. 7
    Frank says:

    That was fantastic.

    Over the last 25 years, or so…. The Morse years essentially, I have never been disappointed with Gillan’s vocals. Sure, he cannot scream like when he was younger (I don’t have that expectation), but the tone, feel and expression…. He has still got it in spades. This is superb…. Well done!

  8. 8
    Peter J says:


    We are witnessing Gillan performing at such a high level those days, it’s hard to believe…

    This version of Into the Fire is very impressive too, the rage, the power, the intensity…people are even giving him cheers and applauses in the middle of the song…


  9. 9
    al says:

    @ 4

    Fans come to listen to that nostalgia trip, especially the North American fans who probably don’t even know who the current line-up is. I’m not talking for hardcore fans but casual fans. What is there to drop?

  10. 10
    Gareth Taylor says:

    Ian Gillan is one of the greatest vocalists in metal / rock along with Bruce from Iron Maiden and Freddie Mercury

  11. 11
    James Steven Gemmell says:

    @9 I’ll take the nostalgia any day over the current crap that calls itself “music” on today’s international scene.

  12. 12
    Kidpurple says:

    The Voice of Rock !!

  13. 13
    Frater Amorifer says:

    #9, who is really paying the band’s bills these days? The lightweights who just want to hear Smoke and Highway Star? Or the hardcore fans who love all of their music, have bought all of their albums (some several times over), and go to the shows every chance they get?

  14. 14
    Frater Amorifer says:

    #11 – I’m sure DP’s upcoming album will be great. They always seem to do their best right after lineup changes. But you’re right on about most other current “music”.

  15. 15
    Gregster says:


    qt. “Ian Gillan is one of the greatest vocalists in metal / rock along with Bruce from Iron Maiden and Freddie Mercury”…

    Well said ! There’s probably quite-a-few others that could be added to that list, & my first thoughts go to Roger Daltry, & Lowell George also, at least as far as “Rock” goes. And (love or hate his voice) Geddy Lee delivered in the metal realm.

    Peace !

  16. 16
    Adel Faragalla says:

    Machine Head is an integral part of any DP show so everything revolve around it.
    HS is the most complete DP song ever written and in my opinion is the best ever MK2 song and dropping it means a big vacuum in the setlist.
    I don’t think IG is struggling with HS I think he more struggling with Space Trucking.
    But as IG always says that DP is primarily an instrumental band so both can be played with minimum vocals.
    Peace ✌️

  17. 17
    Peter J says:

    #13 : well, the lightweights (as you say) pay the band’s bills… Not the fans…

    So DP, if the miracle continues next year, will play 3 new songs, maybe 4…out of 13 with a couple of less heard songs like Anya… And then the hits because 90% of the audience pay for that. And it’s still better than most bands of their generation… well of all of them maybe.

    At that point I’m just happy they are here and able to perform at such a fantastic level… Gillan especially.

  18. 18
    Marcus says:

    Where is Uwe’s wise, in-depth comment?
    Your analysis ist missing here, and I’m being serious!

  19. 19
    Attila says:

    Where is the drumming these days?

  20. 20
    Dr. Bob says:

    I like a mix of the old and the new. Machine Head is my favorite album, so I would be dissappointed if they dropped it entirely from their set list.

  21. 21
    MacGregor says:

    @ 18 – not sure that Uwe could elaborate any more, but then again he might do just that. For only one song though & a ballad at that. No doubt Gillan enjoys the song, he always has & these days it would give him a vocal rest of sorts, between the harder rock songs. And also the band no doubt, a chance for a cup of tea perhaps. There is an analysis of sorts, well my take on it at least. Cheers.

  22. 22
    Daniel says:

    Since modern day DP doesn’t improvise per se within songs, they offer versions of Mk 2’s biggest songs with very little variation from night to night. When you do that for years on end, there is very little growth. You almost become a jukebox with Blackmore as the common thread. We all know there is artistic growth on their studio albums, so it’s a shame they’ve held it a secret on the live stage. Hopefully they will shake things up when they tour the upcoming album, with a setlist reflective of Airey’s and McBride’s positions in the band, not Blackmore’s.

  23. 23
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I was in Berlin at a Sparks gig, hence no comment from me so far. Great fan of the Mael Brothers’ quirky, eclectic, yet always immediately recognizable music.

    That’s an excellent rendition of WABMC, no two ways about it. Big Ian’s voice has tons of character and Simon is much closer to Blackmore in feel and attitude than Steve (who had other strengths) ever could be. And it is nice to hear Don emulate Jon Lord’s organ style circa Lalena.

    No, Gillan’s voice is no longer as flexible and elastic as it was when he was a twenty-something, how could it be? And as regards him leaving out the screams: I never minded his screams (but I knew a lot of people who did, they thought them gimmicky), but they weren’t the reason why I liked him as a singer. I love(d) the tone of his voice and his lyrics, the screaming was with GILLAN (the band), especially, sometimes even a bit much for me (it’s also harder to understand his lyrics when he sings real high). Most of you will know that I’m a Priest fan too: When it comes to falsetto screaming in tune, Halford in his heyday beat Gillan both in power and tonal accuracy. When I want to hear screaming, I listen to the Great Dame Rob aka The Metal God.

    Alas!, the set list, a never-ending issue. For me, already the reunion set list of 1985 was way too nostalgic (understandable in a way as a lot of people wanted to hear the Made In Japan glory they had missed the first time around). Purple’s freshest set lists were the Mk V and the early Mk VII ones, I really liked those.

    There are bands that are even more conservative than Purple, but also bands who are a lot more daring in their set lists. Sparks are a case in point, Sunday night’s set included only three songs from the 70ies (and remember: Sparks are as much a 70ies band as Purple and they are also the same age as people), one was, of course, ‘This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us’ (1974), and the other one ‘The Number One Song In Heaven’ (1979), plus a totally obscure ditty from their second album (1973, before they broke big in the UK after leaving their home state of California where they couldn’t even get properly arrested) which was mainly bought by their charitable relatives at the time and has hardly ever been played before.

    (not the Berlin gig, but a very similar set list, though the one in Berlin featured many more songs)

    Instead they played eight songs off their last three albums released in 2020, 2021 and 2023, not even going for the obvious ones mostly!

    I can understand that Purple have to play a handful of their classics at every gig, but Hush, Black Night, Highway Star, SOTW and Perfect Strangers would be sufficient for me, all other songs should be drawn from whatever new album they are touring plus randomly chosen from their vast past body of work. I think that would strike a balance between the converted and the more casual fans.

    But then a band like Sparks operates differently (and is allowed to operate differently because Sparks fans are a tolerant cult), they’ve done things in the past like playing 20 gigs at the same place, each night devoted to a different album (whether it sold at the time of its release or not) which they would play front to back and then follow with a second set after an intermission with their more standard hits and classics. They thus covered their complete recording career (up to then) and do I need to tell you that every night was sold out?

    The tour following the release of the next album featuring Simon might very well be Purple’s last, I would love it if they played a lot of the then new stuff.

  24. 24
    Finn says:

    Still world class performance, and by far the best since the Mrk II days. I only wish there were just a few smiles from Gillan. He does not look to happy.

  25. 25
    Graham says:

    Fantastic! No other word for it, so he can’t scream anymore but listen to Whoosh, he doesn’t need to. If you need a screaming fix play child in time, still one of the best tracks of all time – period

  26. 26
    Orhun says:

    Just came across this “doom version” of Into the Fire by The Skull. Recorded last night in Maryland doom festival and I think it sounds pretty good…


  27. 27
    Ole Simonsen says:


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