Ian Gillan didn`t exactly promote playing in France in this article that instead of a concert review looks more like an interview. Good stuff anyways.
By Allan McDougall
DEEP PURPLE cut short their Tour De France on Sunday, after a stunning set at the Paris Olympia.
The previous night, the group had played at Dourges in a place which might hold 800 comfortably. The French promoter managed to pack 2,000 people in, and apparently girls were fainting away all over the place, and had to be lifted over the heads of the audience because there was nowhere else for them to collapse.
So when the news came through about the ghastly tragedy at St. Laurent Du Pont, where 142 French kids got wiped out in a fire, Purple decided they’d had quite enough of France and the French and French organisation.
“Except for Paris,” singer Ian Gillan told me backstage at the Olympia after Sunday night’s gig, “French audiences all seem musically thick and completely apathetic.”
I’d flown over to join Deep Purple in Paris for their Olympia gig. I’ve seen them maybe a dozen times this year, but it was on Sunday that it all came home to me about Roger Glover.
Roger is a fantastic bass player.
I talked to Ian Gillan about Roger and he agreed.
“Yeah, he doesn’t get so much glory as Jon or Ritchie, because Rog is very unobtrusive. The rest of us are dead flash on stage, but Rog just choogles along quietly on bass, keeping a rock-steady beat for little Ian, and keeping Jon and Ritchie up to scratch with chord progressions when they’re freaking out all over the place.”
I noticed that Purple’s stage act is undergoing a subtle change, but they still keep in the numbers that they’re known for by audiences throughout the world — “Mandrake Root,” “Child In Time,” “Speed King” — and, of course, “Black Knight” has been added as an encore number.
Sitting in the wings of the Olympia noting the changes they’re going through, I was joined again by singer Ian, who doesn’t take part in the purely instrumental “Wring That Neck.”
“Jon’s added electric piano now, and uses both that and his old Hammond organ in some of the numbers. And just listen to how fast Ritchie’s playing these days – much faster than Alvin Lee, yet every note is as clear as a bell. Oh, listen to how they play this next part…”
Whereupon the other four played the “next part” of “Wring That Neck” differently than they’ve ever done before.
That’s probably the reason that Deep Purple’s stature has grown so hugely in recent months. People keep going back to see them, knowing approximately what they’re going to get — loud, hard, showmanship rock. But never played exactly the same way as the last time.
They know they’ll hear Ian’s uniquely high, screaming voice. Jon’s keyboards pumping out all the musical changes from rock to jazz to classical to rock again. Little Ian’s wild, uninhibited drumming. Ritchie’s violent express-train guitar playing. And Roger’s powerhouse of a bass.
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