A really positive review for Purple at this exciting time of their career.
Concert review by Allan McDougall
WHEN Jimi Hendrix broke up his Experience and went back to America, a huge gap was left in Britain. On-stage excitement was hard to find. But on Monday night, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, excitement returned in the shape of Deep Purple.
They played two shows to capacity audiences, and tore the place apart with their musicianship and controlled volume — which ranged from very gentle to vicious ear-splitting level.
Opening with two numbers from the forthcoming Deep Purple In Rock LP, “Speed King” and “Child In Time,” vocalist Ian Gillan’s screaming vibrato voice was all but drowned by the power of the instruments, but this is the only criticism one can find in their act, Gillan’s voice is, in fact, really a fifth instrument in the group.
Drummer Ian Paice and bass player Roger Glover then laid the riff for an old Purple favourite, “Wring That Neck,” which featured some brilliant organ playing from Jon Lord and his multi-toned Hammond, and some fine guitar work from Ritchie Blackmore. Blackmore’s technical brilliance is of the quality that you wouldn’t believe if you didn’t actually see it.
Leaping, staggering and lurching all over the half of the stage which he controls, Ritchie’s showmanship almost outclassed his musicianship.
The closing number, another old album track “Mandrake Root,” featured vocalist Gillan on conga drums. “Mandrake” built into a deafening strobe-lighted climax after which the only thing the group could possibly do would be to wreck their instruments.
Paice kicked his drums all over the stage, and Blackmore physically toppled two six-foot speaker columns over on top of his discarded guitar. It took the audience about 30 seconds to recover from their state of limp shock before giving Deep purple a much-deserved standing ovation.
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