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DEEP PURPLE through the years in my eyes and ears

Jon Lord - still keeper of the keys

Well, where to begin? I guess it has taken me a long time to reach the point where I review the band that got me into this music - Deep Purple. Then again, this being a gig review website and they having not played in the UK since I began the site it may not be that strange. Anyway, they've recently been around the UK and I've seen four of the shows - including my 50th - so I guess now is as good a time to add them as any.

Melody Maker reports Deep Purple reformingI discovered them care of a friend who added a couple of tracks to the end of a tape copy of Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds. I think Black Night and Strange Kind of Woman were the tracks (it has been a long time since I played the tape) and they were recorded from 'The Deep Purple Singles A's and B's'. I guess slightly before this I'd heard both Purple and Ian Gillan on the radio - this was back in 1980 when the Gillan Band were riding high in the singles chart and a common (well, compared to now) sound on the radio. The Gillan track I particularly remember was the speeding version of Lucille, a crazy reworking of an old rock'n'roll number that nicely showed the dexterity and humour of the band and the band. These two bands also provided my entry into the expensive world of record (yup, 12" vinyl in those days) buying with 'Glory Road' and 'In Rock'. I've never really looked back since then. It has to be said that most of my initial twenty purchases were Purple related, Whitesnake, Rainbow etc. but especially Gillan.

Little Ian Paice still keeping up his end in the New MilenniumMr. Gillan and his band were my first live experience - Aberdeen Capitol 4 Nov 1982, the last tour the Gillan band did. When they split (due to vocal problems apparently!) Ian joined Black Sabbath and I expanded my music buying safe in the knowledge that I'd seen the band before they split. What I didn't expect was that I would ever have the chance to see Purple live. In around 1983 I joined the DPAS (Deep Purple Appreciation Society) though I had known about it for a couple of years and caught up on a lot of history of the band. The Illustrated Biography (now long since out of print but due an update in a forthcoming box set I believe) filled in a lot of the missing details and then, in early April 1984, the Tommy Vance had some good news on Radio 1's The Friday Rock Show - Deep Purple had reformed! What sort of news was that? A couple of months previously I'd seen Whitesnake with Jon Lord and here was the news he had left Mr. Coverdale for the original screamer in the band that made all their names. Boy was I a happy bunny that night.

Roger 'stinking hippy' Glover and 'the new boy', aviator Steve MorseI was even happier when they released 'Perfect Strangers' late that year and began a World tour in Australia. Care of a couple of Record Fairs I managed to buy a couple of vinyl (that olde worlde format again) bootlegs from the first few dates and was impressed and excited when it was eventually announced the tour was to reach England. Not the UK you note (I was still in Aberdeen) but the South East of England - Stevenage and Knebworth Park. The venue was a known festival venue and Led Zeppelin had played their two final shows there half a dozen years earlier but it was just one show in their homeland when Australia had almost a dozen, Canada half a dozen. Worse than that - the day was a washout though I think it is safe to say that most there enjoyed themselves despite the weather.

From this point on I guess I should split my memories into sections by event or tour. I already have worked on a section on the Knebworth Festival but it, and most of the rest of my Purple gigs, are far from near the web. I'll settle for the recent dates at first and see how I progress from there.

Part of the tour was rescheduled for September due to Gillan suffering a bad cold. In the interim it became public knowledge that Jon Lord would be leaving the band and that these rescheduled dates would be the last chance to see him live with Deep Purple.

Below is a list of the dates I've been lucky enough to get along to. I've missed out all the split band shows to keep the page to a manageable length but they too may eventually make it to this site.

<01> 22 Jun 1985 Knebworth Park (the background and the show itself) "The Return Of The Knebworth Fayre" bootleg LP and the official "In The Absence Of Pink" CD are from this show.
<02> 03 Mar 1987 London Wembley Arena "Antiques Roadshow " bootleg LP is from this show.
<03> 04 Mar 1987 London Wembley Arena
<04> 06 Mar 1987 Edinburgh Playhouse
Big Ian Gillan still cutting it in 2002 with a screaming conclusion to Child In Time<05> 07 Mar 1987 Birmingham National Exhibition Centre
<06> 08 Mar 1987 Birmingham National Exhibition Centre
<07> 14 Mar 1991 London Hammersmith Odeon
<08> 15 Mar 1991 London Hammersmith Odeon
<09> 16 Mar 1991 London Hammersmith Odeon "A Whiter Shade of Purple" boot is from this show.
<10> 17 Mar 1991 London Hammersmith Odeon (no Richie on Smoke)
<11> 05 Nov 1993 Manchester Apollo
<12> 07 Nov 1993 London Brixton Academy
<13> 08 Nov 1993 London Brixton Academy
<14> 09 Nov 1993 Birmingham N.E.C. "Come Hell Or High Water" video/DVD (and part of CD - the rest is from Schleyerhalle & Stuttgart) recorded at this show.
<15> 15 Feb 1996 Plymouth Pavillions
<16> 16 Feb 1996 Reading Rivermead
<17> 17 Feb 1996 Portsmouth Guildhall
<18> 19 Feb 1996 Cardiff St Davids Hall
<19> 20 Feb 1996 Bristol Colston Hall
<20> 21 Feb 1996 Brighton Centre
<21> 22 Feb 1996 Bournemouth International Centre
<22> 24 Feb 1996 Cambridge Corn Exchange
<23> 25 Feb 1996 Leicester De Montford Hall
<24> 26 Feb 1996 Birmingham Aston Villa Leisure Centre
<25> 28 Feb 1996 Bradford St Georges Hall
<26> 29 Feb 1996 Newcastle City Hall
<27> 01 Mar 1996 Aberdeen Capitol
<28> 02 Mar 1996 Glasgow Barrowlands
<29> 04 Mar 1996 Manchester Apollo
<30> 05 Mar 1996 Liverpool Empire
<31> 06 Mar 1996 Sheffield City Hall
<32> 08 Mar 1996 London Brixton Academy "Strange Kind Of Purple Day 1" boot CD is from this show.
<33> 09 Mar 1996 London Brixton Academy "Strange Kind Of Purple Day 2" boot CD is from this show.
<34> 06 Jul 1997 Lahr Daytona Festival, Germany (with STEPPENWOLF, THUNDER, Bruce DICKINSON, ELP).
<35> 28 Jan 1998 Los Angeles House of Blues.
<36> 29 Jan 1998 Los Angeles House of Blues.
<37> 30 Jan 1998 Los Angeles House of Blues.
<38> 31 Jan 1998 Los Angeles House of Blues.
<39> 27 Jun 1998 Halle Eissporthalle .
<40> 28 Jun 1998 Munich Olympiahalle .
<41> 30 Jun 1998 Stuttgart Schleyerhalle .
<42> 14 Oct 1998 London Wembley Arena .
<43> 15 Oct 1998 Birmingham NEC .
<44> 17 Oct 1998 Glasgow SCC Clyde Auditorium .
<45> 18 Oct 1998 Manchester Nynex Arena .
<46> 25 Sep 1999 London Royal Albert Hall "In Concert with The London Symphony Orchestra" CD is from these shows.
<xx> 26 Sep 1999 (DPAS Convention @ London Imperial College ) .
<47> 26 Sep 1999 London Royal Albert Hall "In Concert with The London Symphony Orchestra" CD is from these shows..
2002 tour overview
06 Feb 2002 Grimsby Auditorium .
<49> 07 Feb 2002 Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
<50> 10 Feb 2002 Oxford Apollo.
<51> 22 Feb 2002 London Hammersmith Apollo
<52> 06 Sep 2002 London Hammersmith Apollo
<53> 07 Sep 2002
London Hammersmith Apollo (joined by 3 of Iron Maiden)
<54> 08 Sep 2002 York Barbican
<55> 09 Sep 2002 Bradford St. Georges Hall
<56> 14 Sep 2002 Birmingham N.E.C.
<57> 15 Sep 2002 Portsmouth Guildhall
<--> 17 Sep 2002 Plymouth - I had a ticket but work prevented me from going so breaking my 'addiction' to Purple.
<58> 18 Sep 2002 Bristol Colston Hall (joined by Bernie Marsden for Smoke on the Water)
... which had I gone to Plymouth and managed to buy a ticket on the night would have made Jon Lord's final DP show on the 19th at Ipswich Regent my 60th show.
<59> 21 Jun 2003 London Wembley Arena (little know band The Darkness opened and were pretty poor but went on to sell a million copies of their debut album within a year)
<60> 22 Jun 2003 Birmingham N.E.C. (my review on The Highway Star site or repeated with photos on this site) - 18 years to the day I first saw Deep Purple here I am for my 60th show. The experience is really quite different in oh so many ways.
<61> 13 Nov 2004 London Wembley Arena

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