2009 UK Tour Noticeboard
.... Manchester .... Glasgow .... Birmingham .... Hammersmith (I) .... Hammersmith (II) ....
* Thank you for all of the reviews, pics and memorabilia.
Any material not used on this page has been forwarded
for possible use in Darker Than Blue magazine no.60, which is being put together now.
|November 10th 2009. Manchester Apollo
"Wooh - hoo" yelled Mr Gillan toward the end of the Manchester set as
the encores shuffled between a sort of what comes next nervousness and
sheer adrenaline generating energy. Wooh - hoo indeed.
True it's not actual rocket science but there is an art to getting it
right, and tonight they not only ticked an awful lot of our boxes, but
went on to draw a few of their own ... and ticked them as well!
It was very much a sort of start of tour revamp, and this generated an
atmos quite like The Astoria back in '06, but with a hard, determined
and expert crowd (which a venue like the Apollo draws - normally this
crowd would be diluted by the arena regulars a whooping and a
hollerin') to experiment on, it all went swimmingly. And even when one
or two of the band floundered in the shallow end on a couple of
occasions, it was fun to see how they pulled themselves back out.
Yes they kick off with Highway Star and end the main set with Smoke On the Water,
but in-between the group dragged Rapture Of The Deep back in from the
cold for three numbers (albeit they insist on still doing that flimsy
Jap b-side), restored The Battle Rages On to the fray (with Gillan almost biting on
the title line), and taunted the crowd with "Here's one we've never
done before, ever. No, I've changed me mind..." This drew an audible
groan from the hall, but he was only teasing as they went into a never
played Perfect Strangers cut (I'm trying not to spoil it too much!).
It's amazing what three hours of rehearsal in a rainy Manchester
suburb can do, coupled with a receptive crowd rather than the arena
casuals. By the time they hit London it should be really cooking.
Dave our webmaster told me he didn't fancy dragging himself all the
way up from Brighton for more of the same. I think you'll find it
worth the effort, we certainly did. Indeed if they'd had a couple more
proper halls in this neck of the woods we'd have been up for another
blast. In many ways the most interesting show I've seen since Airey
joined full-time. Sure a few gripes, but they'll keep for the mag and,
as Roger apparently didn't even know they were playing Manchester
until they arrived, suggestions like merging Well Dressed Guitar into Wring
That Neck for a full old-style instro romp probably won't make much
|November 11th 2009. Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow
"Very satisfying gig at the Clyde Auditorium last night. We were leaning on the stage just at Roger's feet, and had a great view of the band. Whatever he did on the neck seconds prior to the start of 'Space Truckin' caused a few winces from those of us in front of the bass cabs - painfully loud!
'Not Responsible' made an appearance and went over well as did 'Wasted Sunsets.'
Something strange happened when a guy on someone's shoulders went to shake Gillan's hand and didn't seem to be letting go. This went on for about 30 seconds with Gillan trying to pull away and saying something over the mike I couldn't quite catch. He then resignedly pulled the guy onto the stage for a quick photo, just as a bouncer came flying towards the guy and missing him.
Gig time was around 100 mins although it flew by, and to top it all off, we caught one of Roger's plectrums about four songs in and a drumstick right at the end too - job done!
All the best and please do keep up the good work."
More Glasgow reviews...
DPAS photo gallery • Glasgow, 11 November 2009
|November 13th 2009. LG Arena, Birmingham
"Finally my faith has been restored, after the last couple of arena, formulaic, hits tours, we got something different(ish).
Exactly the same set as Glasgow, shame we both missed out on a Speed King encore. LG Arena was cut down by half and made a much better venue. The crowd were buoyant after Highway Star. Things I Never Said is not very well known ( I downloaded it last week as it's not on my CD). Neither my mate or I had ever heard Not Responsible (my Perfect Strangers is vinyl ! ) and although I enjoyed it, the mood of the crowd had completely fallen flat by the end. Things got going again with Strange Kind Of Woman and then a great version of Wasted Sunsets. I enjoyed the rest of the set, there did seem to be alot of instrumental passages, I guess Ian is pacing himself ( he did have a major coughing fit and kept disappearing behind a stack) Overall definitely one of the better ones of the last few years."
More Birmingham reviews...
DPAS photo gallery • Birmingham, 13 November 2009
|November 14th 2009. Hammersmith Apollo, London
"Great to see the band back in a "real" venue (Ian Gillan made a comment about this). Generally looser than in previous gigs, which to me gave the proceedings a highly desirable extra edge and at differing times, heaviness, funkiness (people do forget that Deep Purple Mks 3 and 4 were not the first Deep Purple marks to go down the funk route - check out Emmaretta and much of the Fireball & Machine Head albums for confirmation) and even jazziness.
Set list varied a tad from Glasgow and Brum. "Not Responsible" was dropped, and effectively replaced by a storming, funky version of "Maybe I'm A Leo". Other highlights for me were a heavy, raucous "No One Came", a jazz / shuffle tinged "Wring That Neck" (still Purple's high water prog rock high water mark when done live in 1969 - 71 for me), a really nice take on "Wasted Sunsets" and a canter through 'Strange Kind Of Woman'. Player of the night for me was Roger Glover; his mini solos have definitely been given priority, and he played an absolute blinder, with the sound he was getting from his set-up absolutely amazing.
Minor gripes - seemed a relatively short set to me (did anyone out there time the thing?), and (unusually for Hammersmith) the sound, particularly in overall balance terms, wasn't at its best. I do also fear for Ian Gillan as I thought his vocals were quite weak much of the time. It was obviousl that he'd been taken down in the mix, and he was clearly struggling with the higher register / screech bits (much of which he didn't attempt by the way). All said though a great show. The band seems to have listened to the fan base and changed the set around whilst also playing a "proper" gig (not a ridiculous package) in a "proper" venue.
Lastly, even I was struck by the amazing cross section of people attending, from the obvious 30+ year old bloke merchants like me, through to kids and loads of women......!" (No not swimmin'... !)
"Having followed Deep Purple (as a band from 1979 and live since Knebworth 1985) the group rarely fails to come up with the goods. Last night was no exception - a more varied setlist and musical style, and a band having fun (although little Ian was a wee bit quiet). Funk, jazz, rock, rock n roll, metal, rap (?! - see later) infused all the songs from start to finish.
Highlights? The intro to Highway Star always sends shivers down my spine but that aside Maybe I'm a Leo was a surprise and a revelation. On vinyl it sounds tinny and weak, in concert funky and metallic. Other highlights - No One Came with Ian almost rapping his lines, Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming, Hush.
Only gripes? I could have done with more from Steve Morse era Deep Purple, something from Bananas and even something from the House of Blue Light. What would I drop in order to accomodate? The Battle Rages On (historically a sad period in Purple's reformed history), Wring That Neck (only cos it would release space for two more tracks).........who says I am fussy?!"
"Just a note for Mark Brandon.
The Hammersmith show on Saturday lasted 1hour 40 mins (9-10.40pm). This was the first time I had seen them since they opened the refurbished Rainbow Theatre in 1972. Ritchie Blackmore was rubbish that night and screwed up the Child In Time solo- I preferred Steve Morse. Love to all, "
|November 15th 2009. Hammersmith Apollo, London
updated 12th December 2009
"Having done more than thirty Deep Purple gigs over the years, post gig emotions have ranged from ‘not convinced’ to ‘unbelievable’. Last night's gig was firmly in the latter area.
The band seemed really up for it, and were clearly having fun . The performance level reflected it. Gillan's voice was in much better shape than others would have us believe. The sound from the front row of the stalls was first rate, with Don’s keyboard work cutting through particularly well. We got ‘Wasted Sunsets’, a blistering ‘No One Came’ and ‘Not Responsible’, but no 'Speed King'. Set list experimentation is long overdue, more please! The only one that puzzles me is, ‘Things I Never Said’. The band obviously like it, but I cant help feeling there must something a bit more interesting they could stick in here. Great night chaps, many thanks."
"Fantastic gig ! Stevie and Roger grinning from ear to ear all night. Nice to see them enjoying themselves. Gillan’s voice a little tired after all the touring but what do you expect ! Still a brilliant front-man.
I loved the fact that they included ‘No One Came’ as in all the years of seeing the boys I don’t think I have seen them do it live. Great set but it felt short, maybe time does go faster when you enjoy yourself ! Why oh why does this venue put the seats in for such bands as Deep Purple! I heard loads of people complaining and asking who on earth decided on that one ! All the security going mad if anyone stood up, telling them to sit down! By the time the boys played ‘Smoke on the Water’ there was nothing they could do and everyone stood at last !
Thanks guys as always, see you soon again."
"Blimey, what a weekend of two marvellous Deep Purple gigs! First of all the Saturday, where I placed myself a row or so back directly in front of Roger. A very nice set revamp, putting in "Wasted Sunsets", and bringing back a few numbers that have been missing for a while, like "No One Came". Everyone in the band on great form, and I still count my blessings that Deep Purple hired Steve Morse for the job. What a player.
On to the Sunday, this time with seats in downstairs instead of standing (anyone know why they did this??) after visiting the Gents (which had no urinals in them - do they think we are acrobats??!!) For this gig I was on the opposite side of the stage, directly in front of Steve. It seemed to me the sound was clearer and more balanced than on Saturday from where I was sitting, though this can vary simply from where you are in the hall. Nearly the same set as Saturday, other than "Not Responsible" replacing "Maybe I'm A Leo". The band seem so relaxed and happy now, and on top form. Ian Gillan's voice still sounds beautifully rich, still being able to turn on variety of skills. Nice to hear him mention on both nights that Deep Purple are ready to record a new album. Their recent studio output is still of the highest standard, so can't wait!!
Overall, two fantastic shows. I'll be honest and say that if anyone has moans about these shows then they are simply being too picky or anal. Or both (what a thought!!) Thanks so much again Deep Purple, we are so lucky to have you. "