Deep Purple Tour Reviews Logo

Deep Purple

European winter 2011 tour noticeboard

.... Glasgow ..... Birmingham ..... Manchester .... London .... Arnhem .... Oslo ....

Send your reviews, pics and memorabilia to the dpas mailbox!
(Can you please use both upper and lower case text in your reviews, and include your full name. Thanks!)

26 November 2011.   SECC, Glasgow   

"OK the set list was the same as the dvd but full marks to Deep Purple who performed extremely well and hard to believe considering the amount of touring and the hits your body must take on these adventures.

The downside for me was the apathy shown by some of the audience……….mean to say this is Glasgow! In the words of the Big Ian, two important things in life, to have a sense of purpose and a sense of belonging.

Well, when my heroes come on stage and belt out highway star, then the least you should do is show a sense of belonging and welcoming to them and show a sense of purpose by getting up off your a**e and give them your all. Instead I get grumpysaurus blokes behind me telling me to sit down and then get the security involved………all this before the final bars of HS. Never mind, held my composure and with some choice words vented my displeasure. Thankfully the crowd got up and stayed up by Smoke.

Pity about the sitting/standing apathy as the band were in good shape and the sound was superb…… interesting to see how the rest of the UK leg pans out. At the end of the day, it’s a rock concert………if you want to be a killjoy then perhaps they could sit at home with your headphones on instead of fiddling with their camera phones, Gillan and Co deserve more.

Power to the Purps…….see you next year but maybe not in Scotland."

review: Fin Souter

"I had nearly forgotten this concert was on and hadn't anticipated it as much as any in the past, since you buy the tickets 3 years in advance for the gig!

It was stunning! I saw Sting with an Orchestra and that had very different song arrangements, Purple rocked as hard as ever, not changing too much , but perhaps with slightly more precision than usual, not that they are ever shoddy. The set was fairly standard from reading the other reviews, with Don Airey's solo a real stand out. His overall Hammond playing is great and made us think of Jon (best wishes to him of course). The guys were actually all on form, as if they maybe had to prove to these orchestra punters that bands can play pretty well too. The Ians, Rog and Steve were also very enthusiastic and played with gusto.

Downside for me, was no Paicey solo, but the drumming was lively all the way through, so no complaints with Ian. As the other Glasgow review said, the sit down/stand up issue was a bit confusing, but I'd say Purple went down a storm, the hall was fairly full, similar to Rush, so some folk didn't stand up, tricky if you want to, as regardless how good the back of your new tour T Shirt looks, I'd rather watch the band!

Purple come back soon! With or without seats!!"

review: Bruce Levick

27 November 2011.   LG Arena, Birmingham  

"Perfection! If I never hear another concert again... Last night the Orchestra tour arrived at the NEC in Birmingham and left me almost speechless. From that first listening to the Concerto back in the depths of time I have always dreamed of a concert featuring my two favourite musical forms, rock and classical, working together ... and last night it truly happened. That's not to denigrate Lord's wonderful work - it was truly ground breaking - but last night saw a near seamless integration between the two forms and the result was memorable. In fact, the result was greater than the sum of the two by some way in my estimation.

After a brief introduction from the excellent and wildly enthusiastic orchestra the band thundered into Highway Star before a blistering "Hard Lovin' Man" with the orchestra driving the music. "Maybe I'm a Leo" dropped the tempt a bit, and it needed it otherwise a good number of the sell out crowd would never have made it to the end of the concert. The hits kept coming - "Rapture" beautifully enhanced by the orchestra - before Steve's solo in "Contact Lost". "When a blind man" was just beautiful, Gillan in form and the band showing their versatility.

But if the first half had been breathtaking the second half was beyond belief. "The Well Dressed Guitar" was delivered at speed with, once again, great interplay between Steve and the orchestra before the dark menace of the opening chords of "Knocking." The power of Purple and the orchestra, the sound beautifully balanced between the two (well done to the sound crew for such a good mix), was terrific. Don's brilliant keyboard playing, so much more to the front than even last time at Birmingham (2009) shone through in Lazy and his solo, delivered with panache and humour, ably assisted by the orchestra and conductor Stephen Bentley-Klein's orchestration.

However, if I never hear another live track again ... "Perfect Strangers" pinned me back in my seat. It was stunning in its power, menace and artistry. Throughout the concert there were moments when it was difficult to separate band and orchestra but this number combined the full force of both. Wow.

The evening ended with a livelier "Space Truckin'" than I've heard for some time, probably down to the orchestral support, a sublime "Smoke" and then an encore of "Hush" and "Black Night".

Mr Gillan was smack on form - no doubts about the voice nor the stage presence. Steve Morse was, well, Steve Morse, devastating at speed but with wonderfully deft and delicate touches when required. Don's presence was more pronounced throughout, and what fun he seems to have as he weaves the melodies and sounds around the concert hall.

But while all hell is breaking out left, right and centre Messrs Paice and Glover hold it all together. Roger leaped around the stage like a man half his age and his bass solo was more pronounced than I've ever seen before while Mr Paice drove the band throughout, his solo much more developed than the brief glimpses we've had over the last two tours.

The stories of the disinterest of the orchestra during the original Malcolm Arnold conducted "Concerto" are legion. No such disinterest from this bright young entourage; the orchestra sparkled throughout.

If I never hear another concert again ...

Thank you Deep Purple. "I thank you!"

review: Graham Cooke

More (uniformaly glowing) reviews from the LG Arena, Birmingham....

"Having just read the reviews on the site, I would like to add my comments as some of the reviewers seem to have been at a different show! The night didn't start or even include Speed King, and as for the "sell out crowd"' what about the half of the arena that was curtained off un-sold? The guy next to me was very happy as his original seat was in the un-used area and he ended up being re-seated 5 rows from the front. It would have been better to plan for the shortened Arena with the stage brought forward rather than just chop off the back with a curtain. This gives a better layout and atmosphere.

As with the Glasgow show the only downside of the night was the seated audience, which stayed that way until SOTW. Gillan comented about the "neat rows of heads", saying "we'll have to fix that"' but no-one took the hint. I haven't sat for DP since the Concerto in 1999. Somehow it just stifles the atmosphere for me.

The show followed the Montreaux DVD almost exactly apart from a much extended Paice solo in Hush. There seems to be a lot of comment about Don's performance, but my family commented that it was almost like Steve Morse plus backing band show ( as a positive comment ). Funny how different people have different perspectives, but then we were seated right in front of Steve's pedal setup!

Ian Gillan was in good form and good humour, including pretending to take a baton in the eye from the conductor. One feature was the way the orchestra really seemed to be enjoying themselves, with headbanging and smiles all round."

review: Carl Miller

"The kind of magical sound produced by these musicians could only be performed by the greatest band ever to walk the planet. I wasn't around to see Purple in their 1970s pomp, but I've seen them many times since the reunion and this was the best. In fact, it gives me hope for another few good years!

I agree with the Glasgow reviewer about the sitting / standing dilemma. This is rock music and many fans want to stand and 'rock out' not sit there arms folded. I appreciate some people want to sit (we're all getting older), but why can't we have a standing area, surrounded by seats so that people can do what they want?"

review: Ian Janes

"Terrific show. One of the best of the many I’ve seen. (And I’ve seen a few since 1976). I’ll only add that it was really appreciated that the merchandise was a bit more affordable and interesting as befits a band of Purples stature. Love the SOTW Tee shirt at £20"

review: Mick Wilkinson, The Highway Tsar.

29 November 2011.   MEN Arena, Manchester 

"I was privileged to witness a stellar performance by the guys in Manchester yesterday. This was my 7th Purple gig, the first being Knebworth in 1985, and this was easily the best.

The whole band was on fire, rocking and grooving their way through a perfectly paced set given a new lease of life by the addition of the orchestra. Indeed, the orchestra was fantastic, playing with gusto and adding real depth and dynamics to the band's sound, and the "dual" between Steve and the violin player was a real highlight of the show. All five of the guys played brilliantly, they were clearly having a ball and it showed in their performances.

Stars for me were Don Airey (who looks really at home now, no longer the 'new boy' but a fully fledged and integral part of the band's sound) and Big Ian - yes, he occasionally misses the high notes these days but his lower register was strong and powerful and he remains a top front man. What made the evening really special was that I took my 14 year old lad along for his first Purple show and he loved every minute of it. I went along wondering whether this might be the last time I'd see them, but after this show I reckon they could have another 10 years in them yet! Thanks for a wonderful night, guys."

review: Richard Walker, Wakefield, West Yorks.

"I was only half looking forwards to the gig at the dreaded MEN Arena and the initial omens were not good. The venue was only half full (if that) and having found our seats we appeared to be surrounded by the Cheap Trick fan-club. They are not a band whose music I knew – after sitting through their set I could see why. In my opinion they are a poor-man’s AC/DC playing poppy rock songs – the best part of the set was when the PA was unplugged when they attempted a second encore. Then on came the Orchestra and my heart sank.

But I was wrong – the “orchestra” actually added to the occasion – they appeared throughout to be enjoying rocking out & enjoyment is infectious. The other benefits of the orchestra were that the band had to be more focussed and disciplined, and the arrangements actually added a new dimension to some of the songs. The band themselves were playing tighter – which was great to hear for, although technically excellent, Morse and Airey are not (in my opinion) in the same league for memorable improvisation as their predecessors. The band is a different band because of this; not better, not worse – just different. All in all ... I enjoyed the concert in the end .... the orchestral twist was vindicated .... I had never really appreciated before how melodic a lot of the Purp’s early material was. Next time though (if there is a next time) I expect the band to be unaccompanied and I hope they will play a lot more tracks from the Morse era – otherwise they are just a glorified tribute band. I also hope Ian’s voice does not deteriorate any further – his throat is increasingly showing signs of wear."

review: Michael Ball

30 November 2011.   O2 Arena, London

"Just about as close to perfection as a gig could be.

First words for the support band Cheap Trick. I thought they did a stellar show and provided good entertainment. They also reminded you of some songs from the past that you’d forgotten that you knew and a great cover of The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour. I might even be persuaded to get a greatest hits album. Of course, you don’t really want the support to blow the main act off the stage – that would be a bit of an anti-climax – but good as they were they couldn’t do that to the mighty Purps.

First thing to say was that from where I was sitting the quality of the sound fantastic – clear and undistorted. A lot of Rush fans were quite negative about the O2 acoustics so credit to the DP sound mixers/band.

I’ve only seen Deep Purple once before (LG Arena November 2009) and I have to say that the orchestra did make for a markedly different experience, regardless of criticisms of that are made of the ‘same-old’ set list in some quarters. The orchestra were a superb compliment to the band making a fuller and heavier sound and adding a spine tingling quality to songs such as Knocking at Your Back Door and Perfect Strangers. Occasionally I’ve seen reviews suggesting that the orchestra was drowned out by the ‘sonic boom’ of the band, but that wasn’t my experience at the O2. The violin solo by the conductor on Lazy was another stand-out original component.

Deep Purple were also at the top of their game I thought – although that’s the norm. Ian Gillan’s voice seemed in better shape than in Birmingham 2 years ago and in my opinion gave lie to the view that he needs to retire Space Truckin and Highway Star – which were both highlights for me. I loved Steve and Don’s playing/solos and Roger’s and Ian’s short solo pieces were also excellent.

As I expected the top tier was not open (but it’s very tastefully covered with a curtain so you almost don’t realise it’s there) – I expected that because I didn’t see any original Level 4 tickets for sale from any agents prior to the show, which doesn’t of course explain the mystery of the handful of Level 4 tickets that were supposedly available on reseller sites. Using TicketMaster’s interactive map, I counted a capacity of 10,331 in the used area of the arena and I’d estimate that there were 10,000 present – so the floor and lower tier was as close to full as makes no difference. Of course, it rankles a little bit that lesser acts can shift more tickets but Deep Purple’s longevity and frequent tours maybe contributes to this. Anyway, the atmosphere was excellent and in other contexts 10,000 is a good crowd.

I went with six other people to the Gig (ages 20-50) none who had seen Deep Purple live before. I don’t know how representative these ‘virgins’ are at a Deep Purple concert but it does perhaps explain why so many truly classic songs stay in the set list for so long and most of us I suspect have our favourite classics we’d be disappointed not to hear. Just for the record on the set list though, since I saw them 2 years ago time out went – Not responsible, Wasted Sunsets, Fireball, Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming, Wring that Neck, The Battle Rages on. In came – Hard Lovin Man, Maybe I’m a Leo, When a Blind Man Cries, Knocking at Your Back Door, Perfect Strangers and Green Onions. So
the set list was in fact quite different even ignoring the presence of the orchestra which gave an original flavour to all the songs that were in the set list on both occasions.

Everybody in my party loved the show – more than they expected to be honest. It was a great great night. The only sad part is after all that expectation/excitement waiting for the show has now gone and after 43 years you can never be sure that you’re not seeing the maestros for the last time. I truly hope not (and I also would like a new album) but if was the last time, well what a great memory, not only the soundtrack to my life but a highlight of it.

As the O2 wasn’t filmed (I don’t think) I’ll have to get that Christmas order in for the Montreux 2011 DVD!

review: Paul Jacklin

"First review since Wembley '87 because I saw an unfavourable one another website ...

Great stuff, re-affirmed by youtube. I deliberately avoided Montreux DVD & internet tour reviews so that it would be first impressions and they were all good.

I went to the Sunflower Jam & their set was ok (hard acts to follow) & seemed compromised by Joe B's & you know who's SOTW presence, &, at the time, disappointment over the the absence of JL in the DP bit.

The orchestral arrangements were spot-on - not too obtrusive but accentuating the melodic and rhythmic virtues of the songs - wonder who did the work here - Don Airey ? IG's interview referencing of big band jazz wasn't just press speak - at times it was DP live at the Sands. First live experience of Hard Lovin' Man.. a superb No-One Came with Gillan totally on the beat for the first & best rock/rap/Dylan "crossover" written before crossover was only something to do with train sets...enough to send me home happy.

Never mind repetition in the set-list, most of us only get to witness it every couple of years & a 2011 Purple with a few bits "fallen off", individually and collectively, selling-out (?) the biggest indoor venue in (giddy) London is still something to behold.

review: Stuart Barrett

2 December 2011.   Gelredome Arnhem XS , Arnhem, Holland    

This one contains the first full live version of 'The Mule' (incl. drum solo) since late '72. Ian Gillan sounded as though he's been listening to the 'Made in Japan' version. Nice dedication to Shergar at the end too. Shame that 'Knockin' at Your Back Door' had to go to make way for it though (and that Ian Gillan didn't say "Ian Paice on the drums, YES!" at the end..).It was still in the set the following night too...who'd have thunk it?


"Having read the UK reviews from the orchestra tour, I was a little concerned that this was a nostalgia tour. "The Songs That Built Rock' tour really didn't excite me a great deal, especially when I saw the set list. However, I really needn't have worried. It was a fantastic show.

The Gelredome is a great venue. Its a football stadium with a retractable roof. Fortunately the roof was close, as it was a cold evening.
Purple hit the stage following the intro from the orchestra and from the first note the band were powerful. They all seemed really up for this one, smiling and really enjoying themselves. It was fantastic to see the orchestra having genuine fun all evening. Musically they made the night more enjoyable, the violin duel in Lazy was fantastic. The sound was excellent throughout although the guitar was a little low, but the keyboard sound was fantastic! Don was amazing and so relaxed, a real joy to watch and hear. Gillan's vocals were up there with the best I have heard them in the last 10 years (2006 being the best) Ian Paice was great, playing more than he has on recent tours. Roger was very tight also. I am a huge Steve Morse fan, but I feel his soloing is now too repetitive and not as melodic as it once was with Purple.
With regard to the setlist, this was a little safe in my opinion and with only 3 Morse era songs, its time for a set list update!

All in all the band were fantastic, and the orchestra was a great addition, however I do feel that the set list could have been far more radical. Highlight of the show?.....Hard Loving Man and Perfect Strangers!"

review: Ian Dunbar, Breda, The Netherlands

"The Neue Philharmonie opened with the overture. During this the five members walked on stage and kicked of with Highway star, followed by Hard lovin’ man and Maybe I’m a Leo.

Strange kind of woman had a horn solo included which fiitted in nicely. Rapture of the deep is a classic for me already and can anybody tell me why Woman from Tokyo is a song about a horse? (Horse, or something which sounds similar..) I guess Ian Gillan wanted us to be puzzled what song is next....

After I received the Live at Montreux 2011 CD and DVD I knew what to expect. I read the UK tour reviews from Glasgow and Birmingham before I went to see the show in Arnhem and they confirmed my expectation. To a certain degree that is nice. On the other hand, if you do not know the setlist in advance, you are able get the thrill of recognising the opening bars and that I missed.... until they played the Mule. After the well dressed guitar I thought that Knocking at your backdoor was about to begin but no they played the Mule with an extended drum solo from Ian Paice instead.

When I compare it to the latest official releases from Deep Purple live shows this was by far the longest drum solo he performed in a long time. I mean the drum solo in Black Night on the Montreux 2011 concert lasted for about half a minute. But now he streched it for about 4 minutes long. Lazy was performed with a nice intro from Don and contained an entertaining solo battle between the conductor (Stephen “BK” Bentley-Klein) on the solo violin and Steve Morse. I prefer by far the live versions of No one came compared to the original studio version and this night it once again proved why.

Since Ian Paice allready performed the drum solo in the Mule the guitar / organ duel in Hush was streched instead and they closed with Black Night. Those encores work pretty nicely together. Also as sing alongs for the audience with nananana nananananana in Hush and ohohohohohohohoh ohoh in Black night.

Although the sound was not too good (I blame in on the venue because I saw the band perform two years ago in Antwerp and there the sound was close to perfect) it was a great gig, nearly two hours long and I enjoyed it. Deep Purple thank you!"

Setlist: Deep Purple overture / Highway star / Hard lovin’ man / Maybe I’m a leo / Strange kind of woman / Rapture of the deep / Woman from Tokyo / Contact lost / Steve’s solo / When a blind man cries / the well dressed guitar / the mule / lazy / no one came / Don’s solo / Perfect strangers / Space truckin’ / Smoke on the water / into: Going down / Hush / Rogers solo / Black night

Review and set list by Peter Bouman

13 December 2011.   Spektrum , Osolo, Norway    new 16 December 2011

"First time seeing Deep Purple at an overseas venue and it didn't disappoint. The venue was the Spektrum Oslo and tickets were waiting at the book office for us. Amazing when you consider they were purchased by phone months ago from the other side of the planet (Sydney, Australia). You see this overseas trip is to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary and Oslo just "happened" to fit in the Itinerary between the museums of Berlin and Blue Lagoon in Iceland.

The Spektrum is a nice venue, large stage area, comfortable seating with sufficient room for other patrons to pass relatively easily along the row (more on that later). Security patting down the patrons as they entered the venue!!

The set-list was pretty much as I expected - Orchestra intro, Highway Star, Hard Lovin' Man, Maybe I'm a Leo, Strange Kind of Woman, Rapture of the Deep, Woman from Tokyo, Contact Lost, When a Blind Man Cries, Well-Dresses Guitar, The Mule, Airey solo into Lazy, No One Came, Airey solo into Perfect Strangers, Space Trucking, Smoke on the Water, Hush and Black Night.

There were TV cameras projecting to screens left and right of the stage, a large backdrop with columns and a Deep Purple in the Mark 3 font/style. A number of fixed cameras were located on stage - one for Ian Paice, two for Don Airey, a couple of others plus a cameraman at the front (Roger's side of stage). The footage looked pretty good but was in slight delay. You see we get none of this fancy technology when the band tours downunder.

Highlights was the overall sound - sounded really good. Hard Lovin' Man - this is one of the songs that made Deep Purple as hearing this song really made me realise the importance of Jon Lord's keyboard was to the "sound" of Deep Purple. First time that I have heard Hard Lovin' Man live. Contact Lost was excellent, probably the best that I have heard, complete with a couple of excerpts from christmas carols. No One Came was great - this song is great live, never thought much of the song in the Fireball days, okay apart from the lines "Well I could write a million songs about the things I've done But I could never sing them so they'd never get sung". The Mule was great to hear live for the very first time - complete with drum solo including Ian's famous one handed drum solo and big Ian saying "Ian Paice on the drums". In fact, Ian's drum kit in silver pearl (Pearl) looked fantastic with the light show. Din Airey's solo into Perfect Strangers included the orchestra as well and was also very good.

The downsides were a rather subdued audience, no standing until the encore. I tried to venture down the front for Space Trucking but was ushered away by security. And I'm sure Oslo must be aboriginal/Norwegian /Viking for "disturb others by going to the bar, toilet, food vendors during the concert". People this is Deep Purple. Oh, and why do we always sit in front of people who want to talk during the concert and especially when Steve was playing Contact Lost, written to commemorate the Columbia astronauts, have you people got no respect.

Overall 9/10. If this is the last Deep Purple concert I get to see I will remain happy."

review: Graeme Milton

live reviews

© 2011 DPAS / Darker Than Blue.
Not to be replicated, reproduced, stored and / or distributed in any way without prior written permission