Deep Purple

LG Arena, Birmingham
November 27th 2011

"OMG!!! That was the most amazing concert I have seen in years, thank you!! I saw Deep Purple ‘Farewell Tour’ in Bristol in the seventies (can’t remember when) and was bowled over then, but this was sheer class.

The orchestra were fantastic, the conductor so cool and so talented and what a backdrop to sensational musicians. I took my husband along who had no pre-conceived ideas but just thought it was a heavy rock band, he was stunned at the brilliance of all the band, and that Ian Gillan can still sing those notes. Truly amazing!!"

review: Lindsey Nutbeen

"A fantastic show at the NEC, the band sounded utterly awesome and the orchestra only adds heaviness and fire to a blinding set of tunes....rapture, perfect strangers, hush and no one came all sounded incredible. If you go dont miss the worlds best opening act cheap trick, there are few bands who could follow them, but purple were on the money, especially don and big Ian who gave 100%, now somebody book 'em to headline the high voltage festival next year! ."

review: Alex Taylor

"What a gig! Any doubts about the validity of bringing an orchestra on tour were dispelled the moment the band tore into their second song, “Hard Lovin’ Man”. I have always seen that track as the marker post for where Mark II wanted to go; unbelievably heavy and uncompromising, it could hardly have been more different from anything produced by Mark I. Not an obvious candidate for orchestration, then? Yet, it sounded fabulous: the strings rounded out the thrashy riff and the brass fills added a whole new dimension. Other numbers that benefitted from the addition of the orchestra included “Rapture of the Deep”, “Woman From Tokyo” and the evening’s stand-out, “Perfect Strangers”. I have felt in recent years that that particular one was sounding a bit tired, there being some wisdom to the decision to leave it out of the last tour. The orchestra breathed new life into it. The song was, simply, stunning.

As for the band, they gave an immaculate performance. The 2009 NEC gig was notable for a tendency to keep Ian Gillan’s contribution to a bare minimum, presumably to preserve his aging voice. The two years since seem to have been kind to him and it because he was in fine fettle, belting out the songs as though it was still 1972. The Steve Morse-led medley of “Contact Lost”, “When a Blindman Cries” and “Well Dressed Guitar” was a highlight, showcasing once again his virtuosity (Gillan going over to congratulate Morse afterwards was a touching cameo). However, man-of-the-match award goes to Don Airey. His playing was faultless and his solo – leavened with some impish interplay with the orchestra – would have been moment-of-the-evening had it not led immediately into the aforementioned "Perfect Strangers".

I always go to see Purple when they tour because, well, you never know whether you'll get the opportunity again. If this is the last waltz, what a high to bow out on! "

review: Adrian Jarvis

"I was blown away by the quality of the show last night, from the amazing Cheap Trick (loved the drums!) to Purple's awesome entry with Speed King. The orchestral wall of sound had a depth that transformed Purple's already well-loved numbers into something spectacular. Truly wonderful. It just shored up my conviction that they have to be the best rock band around, definitely musicians' musicians. I especially loved Don Airey's keyboard solo that brought the orchestra in - really cleverly worked - and Steve Morse's Aviator fabulous guitar work that segued into When a Blind Man Cries. Gillan's voice was sheer perfection in that: really moving. A big thank you to the band for another superb evening."

review: Sally Cook, Lutterworth, Leics.

"Well what can I say!!! I have seen this band in the UK ever since they re-formed in 1985 and have had the privilege to speak to them back stage several times.

Tonight,they were amazing,I think they keep getting better and better and the band are so tight musically its an honour to watch them. New artists should watch this band as they can learn a lot about how good a band can be,with experience. Okay,so Ian's vocals go halfway through the concert,but he is 66 and bloody good still. I cant single out anyone's performance as they all excelled. One thing though,I have never seen Ian do a drum solo and to do the one hand drum roll....wowwwww, it doesn't get any better.

Hats off to the Orchestra aswell,they were really into it jigging to the beat,they enjoyed themselves and gave a fresh dimension to the music. Well done guys and girls for a thoroughly memorable evening."r

review: Ashley Cobb - Gloucester

"Went to the LG last night (27th) to witness the best Deep Purple gig since I saw them at Leicester Demontfort Hall in 97.

The whole night was spot on from start to finish, the sound the band and the orchestra it was near on perfect. Gillan superb 10 out of 10, as was Morse, Paice, Glover and Airey. The connection and link with the orchestra was absloutely fantastic, this gig worked and worked well. Thanks guys for a wonderful evening. Top songs of the night for me were Knocking and Perfect. I was blown away by the whole night I cannot praise the night high enough. Thanks guys and please bring it on again soon."

review: David Rana, Leicester

Deep Purple live reviews, UK 2011