Friday, October 18, 2013

Deep Purple, Manchester Apollo, 12/10/2013

If you visit this blog and don't know how much I love Deep Purple, then you've obviously missed something. 2013 is the 45th anniversary of the band's formation and its great that there's not too much sign of them slowing down.
I've seen them in many different places, but this was a first visit to Manchester Apollo for me, and what an excellent venue it is, with 5,000 diehards packed in to see the 'old' masters.
Roger Glover and Ian Gillan - evergreen
Support was provided by a rather bizarre 'Euro festival' style covers band, which I thought a little inappropriate - where was a young British band? 
Anyway to the main event and the usual thoughts run through your mind: What will they play? What will Big Ian's voice be like? Will this be the last time?
Well, they played 5 from the new album 'Now What!?' including surprise set opener Apres Vous, Ian's voice was fine (yes he can't quite hit the big ones like the glory years, but hey the guy is 69 next year) and let's hope it isn't the last time, as the band is running hot right now.
The first hour was quite adventurous: new numbers, lots of instrumental stuff especially from Don Airey on keyboards and Steve Morse on guitar who are big players in the band these days, dare I say it, a very proggy feel with lots of 'widdly woo'. Best of the new numbers is 'Above and Beyond', the magnificent tribute to the band's Godfather, the late and sadly missed Jon Lord.
The second hour is more familiar territory, drawn largely from Machine Head, the main set closing with that one about a fire in a casino: bamp bamp bah, bamp bamp bah bah. The encores see more solo and instrumental stuff as well as staples 'Hush' and 'Black Night'.

All in all a great show, about 1 hour 50 minutes and lots of happy punters. The only downside for me, the first time I've seen Purple and they've not played 'Highway Star', surely some of Gillan's finest words (to be honest I can do without Lazy and/or Hush).

The end will come soon enough no doubt, but what a great ride we've had since the reunion of (gulp) nearly 30 years ago. Anyway here's the setlist.
Apr├Ęs Vous
Into The Fire
Hard Lovin’ Man
Vincent Price
Strange Kind of Woman
Contact Lost
Uncommon Man
The Well-Dressed Guitar
The Mule (incl. Drum Solo by Ian Paice)
Above And Beyond
Hell To Pay
Keyboard solo
Perfect Strangers
Space Truckin’
Smoke On The Water
Encore: Green Onions/Hush
Bass solo
Black Night

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