......The Tour Programme.....Sydney Interview + Rehearsals......
.......Sydney Opera House.....Melbourne......The Basement Club,Sydney....
..... Brisbane.....Perth......

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The Tour Programme
We've seen the tour programme produced for Jon Lord's Australian shows, and all we can say is "wow!" It's without doubt one of the classiest tour programmes ever associated with any of the Deep Purple family. It's 44 pages long, done in a subtle monochrome throughout, with essays (many from existing sources) on various albums and different aspects of Jon's career, all interspersed with nice photographs - some familiar, some not seen before. Congrats to all concerned.

A preview of some of the pages inside....

January 2003. Concerto Rehearsals
Jon Lord & george rehearsing
the Concerto at Sydney Opera House.

photos by
Drew Thompson.
Click to enlarge.

January 21st , 2003. Sydney Opera House.  On Stage Interview

Jon was gracious, personable and witty in the Q and A session In the Drama Theatre of the Big White Building with the Sails last night. There were about 100 or so people there. Jon was interviewed by some guy on stage, then questions from the audience were invited. It lasted an hour to ninety minutes. I think there were a lot of music students there judging by some of the questions (such as "What techniques do you use for notation"?), but also a good group of diehard Deep Purple fans.

Among other things, he said he has been writing prolifically since leaving Purple, and is planning on going into the studio in March / April. He also said he's been very impressed with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the band George, and their interpretation of his Concerto. He says it's very different to, and 'less pompous' than Deep Purple's version, which brings a whole new perspective to the piece which he really likes. He said George's approach, especially in the first movement, is more complementary to the orchestra; Purple's approach was more combative. But he spoke with great fondness of his time with Deep Purple, though he'd been thinking about leaving for the last 12 years! Just couldn't quite bring himself to do it! Says he's learned a lot about himself in the last few years and now has more of a 'spiritual perspective to life', which he hopes is being reflected in his music. In terms of the contradictions of being in a loud rock band and writing symphonic music, he said he loves both and quoted Steve Morse: "Aren't people allowed to be good at more than one thing?"

Afterwards he came out to the foyer, chatted, signed autographs and posed for photos. There was some guy with a Big Mother of a Video Camera taking footage. Apparently a whole lot of stuff is being shot for future DVD release.

Tomorrow night 'The Making of Machine Head is on TV. Bring it on!

Review: Paul Hogan. (photo: Drew Thompson. Click to enlarge)

Jan 23rd, 2003. Sydney Opera House.  Concerto For Group & Orchestra
"george and Special Guest Jon Lord with the Sydney Symphony 23, 25 and 26 January at 8pm.
Presenter: Sydney Festival in association with Sydney Opera House Venue: Concert Hall
Sorry, all concerts now sold out" (Sydney Opera House)

"The Concerto last night was very impressive - "george" are a very good band who complimented the orchestra well, rather than "attack" it. It was the first time I have ever listened to the Concerto in full."
Tom Bradbury

Today's Sydney Morning Herald contained a short review of last night's Concerto with george and Jon Lord. Headed 'Straight from the heart of symphonic rock', the review by Harriet Cunningham says in part: "it is a work that has the best elements of this decadent era (1969) - opulent scoring, virtuoso solos and an ever-present tongue-in-cheek as the musicians bolt together the 'best of' both genres. Lord is well qualified to do this - his classical knowledge comes through loud and clear. And it is hard to imagine a group more ideally suited to take on this work than george, who have defied categorisation with their rock-pop-jazz-funk-soul combo." In Lord's work they sparkled in two soaring ballads and a drum solo which was a breathtaking display of random invention. And the orchestra are a great backing band."
A longer version of the review has now appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald online edition.

Another article in The Daily Telegraph stated that the george & Jon shows were the fastest-selling events in the Sydney Festival.

Paul Hogan

For more information on george (with a small 'g'),
check out this recent feature in the Sydney Morning Herald.
(Thanks to the SMH Online)

Jan 25th, 2003. Sydney Opera House.  Concerto For Group & Orchestra II

Jon speaking of his decision to leave Deep Purple:
"When I'm awake in the dark at 3am I still have doubts, but in the morning I know I've made
the right decision. I'm a little lonely out here at the moment, they were among my best friends.
When I stop and count those genuine friends, the ones who you can trust with your stuff, well,
a good number of them are in Deep Purple."
(The Brisbane Courier Mail)

"The thing that surprised me the most about the Concerto was how Jon played a relatively 'minor' (if that's possible with Jon!) role. The gig was promoted as 'george and the SSO, with special guest Jon Lord', and that's really how it was. Unquestionably, this was george's night, and Jon clearly respected that. I think he chose to contribute to the production as an arranger rather than to dominate it as a musician. So the parts that Jon played in the original Concerto were taken by george, with Jon adding depth and colour, only soloing at opportune moments."   Paul Hogan

Paul's full review

For anyone in the British Isles interested by Paul's description of george, the band are due to play shows in Glasgow, Dublin and London this April. Their debut album Polyserena (a huge Australian hit)
will be released across Europe in late March.

Jon Lord 'classical gas' interview,

February, 2003. Tour News.   Rockin' Down Under

"After bruising his hand at the last Concerto show in Australia, Jon's solo dates were threatened with cancellation as he hadn't the flexibility needed for playing the piano. Instead, the shows have been revamped and will go ahead. Jon will be now be going out with (ex-Rainbow bassist) Bob Daisley's band The Hoochie Coochie Men doing an r'n'b set, using a Hammond Organ. Jon is lined up for 3 shows in Melbourne, Sydney and The Sunshine Coast (Hyatt Regency, Coolum) starting on February 6th.

On Feb.7th Jon and The Hoochie Coochie Men are due to play live on ABC TV's 'The Fat', Jon will then be interviewed along with (though not by) Michael Parkinson before being whisked off for his Sydney Basement performance." dpas news item

February 6th, 2003. The Athenaeum, Melbourne.   Hoochie Coochie Set List

Here's the set for the Jon Lord & The Hoochie Coochie Men show, as it appears written on a sheet of paper liberated from the stage. Titles are reproduced as written, and come complete with key!:

Hide Away (E) - Lonesome Trav (G) - Blus W/A Feeling (A) - Get Good Business (E) - Green Onions (D) - 24/7 Blues (C) - Baby Please Don't Go (E) - Strange Brew (E) - Dallas (G) - Riverside (A) - I just Wanna Make (A) - You Need Love (E) - Aint No Justice (A) - New Old Lady (E) - Who's Been Talkin (E) - 6 Strings Down (G) - Dust My Broom (D) - encores: Little Red Rooster (A) - Chicken Shack (C) - Money Doesn't (C)

Thanks to Kane

February 7th, 2003. The Basement, Sydney.   R'n'B Webcast

"Jon Lord & Friends....9.30pm AEDST (10.3O am GMT). Friday, February 7th...who knows what surprises are in store for this Basement gig. Don't miss this opportunity to see a true musical visionary in action." For information on repeat broadcasts of the webcast, check out The Basement.Com.

Jon & The Hoochie Coochie Men performed two sets at the Basement: 45 minutes for the first 8 numbers, a half hour interval then back for a further 90 minutes. The track listing was mainly made up of old blues & r'n'b standards, such as 'Green Onions', '24/7 Blues' , 'Baby Please Don't Go', 'Money Doesn't Matter', 'Strange Brew', 'I Just Want To Make Love To You', 'You Need Love', and 'Dust My Broom'. Jimmy Barnes joined them to sing 'Hoochie Coochie Man', and was back for the encores, which included 'When A Blind Man Cries'. The only other Deep Purple connection was the Lazy intro, which lead into 'Back At The Chicken Shack'. All good fun. Nigel Young

"Seeing Jon play with Deep Purple was always a pleasure, but seeing him as the band leader, as the driver of the music, the showcase, is another experience altogether. And especially so in a small, intimate venue like The Basement. The sense of closeness, the personal contact one feels with the band and the music, is something that just can't be captured in a big hall."

reviews & photos   updated Feb 24th   right: Jimmy Barnes with the band   

Feb.15th, 2003. Queensland Perf. Arts Centre, Brisbane.   Boom Of The Tingling Strings

"The Brisbane show is due to feature the premiere performance of Jon's new piano & orchestral piece 'Boom Of The Tingling Strings'. Conductor Paul Mann has sent us more details." dpas news item

"The four continuous movements of Jon Lord’s concerto, Boom of the Tingling Strings, last over 35 minutes. They spring from Lord’s identification with the narrator in D.H.Lawrence’s 1918 poem Piano, its nostalgia for the simple pleasures of English provincial life, fast disappearing.

To some degree, Jon Lord’s own post-WW2 childhood in working-class Leicester echoes this Lawrence world. Re-imagining hymn tunes, brass band music, pubescent love-songs and piano-bar doodlings, Lord provides glimpses into his memory and soul, without resorting to quotations or anecdotes.

Ultimately, though, in this ‘flood of remembrance’, Lord doesn’t emulate Lawrence and ‘weep like a child for the past’. Rather, he asserts a positive hope in an uncertain future. In the ‘perpetuum mobile’ of the dazzling 12-minute finale, soloist Michael Kieran Harvey unleashed torrents of octaves and mini-cadenzas which dispelled any whiff of self-indulgent nostalgia."   new, March 4th

Vincent Plush. Read the full review at Gramophone, the classical music website

Australian Tour Report    DVD/CD Release Being Considered

"With Jon's solo shows coming to a close, it has been quite a month. The shows were a triumph and the band were sensational. Guesting in Sydney and Coolum on 4 tracks, Jimmy Barnes complemented the shows perfectly with inspirational performances. The tapes from The Basement are being reviewed and a decision on a live DVD/CD release will be made very soon." Drew Thompson

Australian Tour Photos

See a page of photos from Jon's Australian tour in the photo gallery.

left, Jon on stage in Coolum,
with The Hoochie Coochie Men
© Drew Thompson

March 1st & 2nd, 2003. King's Park, Perth  The Moat & The Mosh Pit    updated March 4th

On Saturday and Sunday nights in Perth, Western Australia, sell-out crowds of 5,000 people on each occasion spread their blankets on the grass of a natural amphitheatre to hear Mr Mann and Mr Lord recreate the Concerto for Group & Orchestra with the West Australian Symphony. Instead of Deep Purple, Queensland group "george" did the honours.

I wanted to remind Jon to revive the Gemini Suite; but there was a moat between the mosh pit, the organist and the conductor. If any of you guys can let him know how much I appreciated his performance last night, tell him that the music is like a fine vintage that has matured with age!

Paul Jacobson

Saw the few words by Paul Jacobson on your pages today. Jon and I were discussing only last week reviving Gemini and Sarabande. It will require another full-scale reconstruction job, since it seems quite a lot of the material is missing, but it's on the radar.

Paul Mann

Australian Tour DVDs

According to the official Deep Purple website in Australia two DVDs of material from Jon Lord's 2003 Australian tour are in preparation. Mixing of the r'n'b set from the Sydey Basement club began on March 10th. An 'on the road' overview of the tour is also under way, featuring footage from the Concerto performances in Sydney & Perth, 'as well as some up close and personal vision of Jon's new piece', and interviews with Paul Mann and Jon.

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