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AN EDITOR REMEMBERS...    Issue 58   July 2007

Darker Than Blue 58....Simon's memories of Issue 58, coming soon! No, really!

DEEP PURPLE NEWS: Launching Rapture Of The Deep


LIVE REVIEW : Astoria, London
DEEP PURPLE LIVE REVIEW : Luzern, Switzerland


DVD REVIEW : Live In The Still Of The Night
WHITESNAKE CD REVIEW : Live... In The Shadow Of The Blues


DVD REVIEW : Highway Star, A Journey In Rock




CD REVIEW : Music For The Divine
GLENN HUGHES NEWS: Tour and band news


Launching Rapture Of The Deep - news

To everyone's surprise the group debuted two new songs from Rapture Of The Deep when they played a festival in Azkena on August 2nd 2005. "The first a heavy hard rocker called Wrong Man. It sounds like Black Sabbath or one of the songs from Abandon. Rapture Of The Deep sounds very original, with Arabic sounds and even "flamenco" touch. Very interesting." Jesus Sandonis. Warren Haynes of Government Mule jammed on Smoke On The Water. Next day in Dusseldorf the band kept the two new songs for this show, with Michael Bradford jamming on the last three numbers. This was something of an album launch party. An open air site with quite a lot of bikers. Incidentally it was already being mentioned backstage at this show that there would only be one UK date in January, but fans were still not officially alerted or given the chance to get in early.

On October 10th 2005 Deep Purple appeared at the renovated Hard Rock Cafe in London (to mark its reopening), and late in the evening did a short set for the crowd. This was a strictly invite only do and while we did know about it, we decided it was unfair to mention it on the web site as they clearly didn't want any fans present and people could have made a long journey for nothing. It was this set which was filmed. The audio turned up on the Rapture Tour Edition 2xCD and the film on the Montreux 2006 DVD.

Rapture Of The Deep - album review

Overall the record has a very strange feel to it in terms of the mix. Ian Paice fans will go gaga over his drumming as I did. I've not heard the man playing with such hard-hitting abandon and skill for a good long while, and he clearly had a lot of enjoyment laying his parts down. Yet Paice's hard work seems often to be frittered away in the mix; there's a lifeless sound in places where something has come between what he laid down and what we're hearing. Worse, on some tracks his cymbals all seem thrown into the right hand speaker and left to splash around without being part of the sound. My other first impression was that Ian Gillan was way too high in the mix, with the rest of the band kind of lumped together in the background. Subsequent plays have modified this view, but not much.

Don brings us an interesting keyboard intro to Money Talks, not unlike an updating of the old Speed King studio opening, but then promptly gets thrown into the very bottom of the mix for most of the track. Wrong Man has certainly got live potential though; the guitar solo peps proceedings up and the closing passages chug along with real intensity - I'd have lapped up another few minutes of this, with Ian and Steve bouncing off each other to great effect. On to the title track. It does feel a little like they all got their heads together and thought 'we could do with revisiting Perfect Strangers', and it sounds a bit self-conscious because of this. It's the closing couple of minutes which really do the job for me. Paicey on cracking form, backed up by the others, and it's one song which has stuck in my brain a bit after the album is over.

Clearly Quite Absurd comes on like a gentle Purpendicular out-take at first. While it potters along well enough, it doesn't raise the goosebumps as I'd hoped it might. The way Don builds up towards the end is imaginative but up until then it's all a little lacklustre. Indeed from here on, I could say the same about the whole album. It just kind of fizzles out. There's a standard romp in Don't Let Go; they come up with a really nice rock shuffle but then shove the vocals in your face once again and bury the band. Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye comes on a bit like Rainbow to begin with but it's nice to have Ian Gillan back as part of the band once more. The mix does drag an otherwise promising album cut down in my ears; the flattened drums return and even the bass appears to be squashed flat in the overall sound. Only when the nicely done organ break surfaces do we hear everything properly.

I guess MTV is meant to be ironic but with such a plodding backing one struggles to really care much. Think of the vitriol directed at Murdoch and company in Black And White and compare with this. Only when Steve Morse comes up for the solo duties does the track perk up a bit. Another very basic riff heralds Junkyard Blues, and when Ian sings "Does junkyard blues sound familiar" the only response is, "Very much so". I've been excitedly playing new Deep Purple albums since In Rock. Over the years I've been thrilled, blown away, excited and exhausted by each one. On occasions I've been frustrated, even angry, but until now I've never been distracted. I wasn't keen on Slaves And Masters much, but at least the band themselves appeared to have some passion about what they were doing at the time, some self belief. That just doesn't come across in the finished album often enough here.

As I said at the start, everyone I've spoken to about the album says it has taken a number of plays for them to get into it. I don't see it myself yet but given this consensus I will battle on. Before Time Began is clearly designed to be the anthemic sign-off. There's a strong intro to the track and Ian Gillan is trying something a little different vocally. Three minutes in Paicey picks up the beat, the energy level lifts a couple of notches, and then the track begins to bite.

Ah well, life is full of pleasures and disappointments, and if after a few more plays Rapture does end up being one of the latter then so be it. As I spend much of my working life at a drawing board I can't really let the sleeve go. The reunion has hardly been a beacon of top class sleeve design - the days when the band's packaging won awards (hard to remember but they did) seemed to end when they split in 1976 -but even against such an undistinguished set of sleeves, this is a really bland effort. Anyone who works with one of the graphic industry's main pieces of software, Photoshop, will recognise the bubble effect used on the band's name; it's the default filter. Not to have even tried to go beyond this - well, I'd be embarrassed even to submit it to a client. Maybe the cover will serve as a metaphor for the whole album. I really cannot see the album breaking them into new markets. Abandon and Bananas were patchy, the latter more so, but did have tracks of real quality. Rapture for me aims quite high at times but just misses the mark, and leaves me with fleeting moments of real pleasure but nothing substantial.

The Astoria, London. 17th January 2006 - live review

Set list: Pictures Of Home / Things I Never Said / Wrong Man / Ted The Mechanic /Back To Back / Living Wreck /Rapture Of The Deep /Before Time Began /Contact Lost / guitar solo /Well Dressed Guitar / Lazy / keyboard solo /Perfect Strangers /Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming /Junkyard Blues / Space Truckin' / Highway Star / Smoke On The Water. Encores: Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye / Black Night.

deep purple - astoria 2006Deep Purple came, they saw and, as far as themajority of the packed Astoria were concerned, opened their Rapture World Tour in something approaching classic form. Those, like me, saddened by the band's dangerously close proximity to tribute band status over the past few years, were overjoyed by the decision to whack more than half the new album into the set. This, along with the chance to hear a couple of Purpendicular goodies again, and the awesome inclusion of Living Wreck, brought smiles to many in the crowd.

On the day, we arrived just before start time to miss the dubious delights of the venue. Within minutes of finding a place (Ann stayed sat upstairs), the band were on and kicking hard. Opening night glitches were handled with humour by IG and, after the disappointing sets and sometimes mediocre shows (in terms of inspiration - they mostly play exceedingly well) on the last two UK tours, it all came as a huge relief. Clearly here was a band which did after all have a will to live. There was still rather too much reliance on Machine Head for me (as can be seen from the set-list above) but considering the show was almost two hours long, you could hardly grumble.

After the show I felt that once the set gets worked in they could reach those peaks which we know and love - much in the same way that the 1996 tour started strong and got even stronger. Instead, it looks as if we got the best of the deal, and the new tracks were reduced as the tour went on. Highpoints from the oldies were probably Living Wreck, which just took the place apart. I'm not bowled over by the new album, but Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye worked well on stage. On top of that some of Steve Morse's interesting new work early in the set showed a continuing desire to reinterpret his guitar parts which I really admire. I'd have liked a second sucker punch like Living Wreck in the latter half of the show; this would really have set the seal on things. It seemed a strange decision to throw in the Japanese only bonus track so early in the set (a song even many hardened fans won't know). If it was that good, why leave it off in the first place?

As the dying chords of Black Night rolled around the hall we were all swept out of the venue - literally - along with mounds of empties, and hardly a chance to speak to anyone, though people we exchanged a few words with in the crush on the stairs were certainly more upbeat mood than they'd been before the gig. The venue itself really does suck, and seemed even worse than I remembered from my last gig there (The Cramps) a couple of years back. Feet stick to the floor like it's never been cleaned, and with everything painted black you have to grope your way around. God only knows what they'd do if there were a fire or security alert. I also have to admit there is something which says to me it's a bit naughty to charge folk to watch a band rehearse, but this is Deep Purple, and it did make for a little more impromptu stuff on stage than last tour (and indeed the atmos reminded me of the spirit which ran through the '96 tour).

Zentralschullhaus, Luzern, Switzerland. 12th August 2006 - live review

Set list: Pictures Of Home /Things I Never Said / Hush / Strange Kind Of Woman / Rapture Of The Deep /Wrong Man /Steve's solo /The Well-Dressed Guitar / When A Blind Man Cries / Lazy / Don's solo / Perfect Strangers / Space Truckin' / Highway Star / Smoke On The Water. Encore: Black Night.

Whilst Purple basically took a two month break from touring during August and September of 2006, they did however manage a one-off gig in Luzern, at the Openair Ebikon festival, a two-day event, Purple headlining on the second night. The show went unnoticed and unannounced on the web and we only found out about it after seeing Luzern listed on the back of the summer 2006 tour t-shirts whilst in Montreux, listed as it was below the Lebanon and other July dates.

A bit of googling and finding some cheap flights (to Zurich via Amsterdam) were the easy parts. In the event, the terrorist scare in Britain's airports the day before we flew made things much more difficult with all flights delayed and many cancelled. Most notably, it was difficult for Steve Morse who was told he could not take his cherished blue Music Man guitar. Despite his complaints, as he was not prepared to risk it in the hold, he had to leave it in the boot of his car for the weekend and do the show without it. (Actually, the guitar isn't used so much now, but is usually brought out for The Well-Dressed Guitar, Lazy and When A Blind Man Cries.)
It was a strange festival, held in the school's grounds and seemed to be heavily sponsored by a number of Swiss newspapers and Chesterfield cigarettes (my old cancer stick of choice, back in the day). It was raining when we arrived and we watched the show from the side of the stage, out of the rain.

Anyone having seen the free music shows at the Montreux Jazz Festival (outside of the venue), it was very much like that, with a few food and beer stalls. I gather it has been running for about ten years and this time they decided to bring in a major attraction. However, with (according to the local press) a budget of 700,000 Swiss Francs and hope of selling 8,000 tickets over the two days, I doubt that even 2,000 were there when Purple played. Don slipped in the intro to Money Talks at the end of his solo. I asked him afterwards about this. He said it was a mistake. He meant to play Perfect Strangers. Ironically, after the show it seemed that the school was just about the only place in the sleepy resort of Luzern were you could get a drink. Cigarettes, alcohol and rock music: It is an interesting approach they have towards schooling in Switzerland!


Live In The Still Of The Night - DVD review

Live In The Still Of The Night
EU : AFM Records : February 6, 2006

Burn / Bad Boys / Love Ain't No Stranger / Ready An Willing / Is This Love / Give Me All Your Love / Judgement Day / Snake Dance / Crying In The Rain / Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City / Don't Break My Heart Again / Fool For Your Lovin' / Here I Go Again / Take Me With You / Still Of The Night .

The show was filmed on October 20th 2004 with no less than 13 cameras, mixing black / white and colour pictures, shooting in high definition, and four different audio soundtracks. It was directed by live concert director Hamish Hamilton (whose previous credits include U2, Madonna, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and, er, Westlife). The band line-up for the tour comprised : David Coverdale (lead vocals), Tommy Aldridge (drums), Timothy Drury (keyboards, vocals), Doug Aldrich (guitar), Marco Mendoza (bass), and Reb Beach (guitar).

This title was subject to nearly a year's delay, we could only guess as to why - especially given the huge investment involved in the project. Without denigrating Whitesnake, they're hardly in the same league as U2 and Madonna, and bringing this off financially must have taken some doing. And while it may have cost a lot, as film magazines often like to say, the money's all where you want it to be - up there on the screen - and it does look like the real high-production film Coverdale clearly wanted. The camera angles are exciting, the editing is very slick and the whole look is totally up to the minute. Having said that, to me it goes well OVER the top visually and the strange switching (for no utter purpose) between black and white and colour, adding grainy effects etc., just smacks of not knowing when to stop. The thing is Whitesnake don't really need it. Dig out some of your old videos and see how marvellous the promos for singles such as "Fool For Your Loving" looked - and indeed still look today. The band did some of the best promos of any of the split groups, and certainly 100% better than anything Deep Purple have ever done.

The packaging is very much what you'd expect. The design work and Whitesnake graphics looked dated in 1987, and have been used with such little variation ever since, that every release looks alike. The limited edition package comes with the two discs (DVD and CD) in a three fold digi-pak (with nothing on the spine so you can't see what it is on your shelf!) inside a slipcase, with a flashy booklet that looks like a blinged up heavy metal tour programme.

Live....In The Shadow Of The Blues - CD review

EU : SPV 95702: Nov 27. 2006 2CD
EU : SPV 95700 : Nov 27. 2006 2CD Ltd Ed.

CD I • Bad Boys / Slide It In / Slow An' Easy / Love Ain't No Stranger / Judgement Day / Is This Love / Blues For Mylene / Snake Dance / Crying In The Rain /Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City/ fool For Your Loving / Here I Go Again / Still Of The Night. CD 2 • Burn - Stormbringer - Burn / Give Me All Your Love Tonight / Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues / The Deeper The Love / Ready An' Willing / Don't Break My Heart Again / Take Me With You / Ready To Rock (new studio recording) / If You Want Me - I'll Come Running (new studio recording) / All I Want Is You (new studio recording) / Dog (new studio recording).

Hot on the heels of the live DVD, this double live album recorded during 2006 was the first for new label SPV to whom Coverdale has decamped from EMI. The limited edition digipak claims a bonus track, but this is just the full version of Crying In The Rain with drum solo (edited off the regular version). The band comprise Doug Aldrich, Reb Beach on guitar, drummer Tommy Aldridge, bassist Uriah Duffy and Timothy Drury on keyboards. Of more interest perhaps are the FOUR new studio recordings tacked on the end, the first new studio cuts by the band to be issued on CD in ten years.

The show is much as you'd expect; fans will enjoy it, the rest of us will pass. The new studio tracks left me cold, just Whitesnake by numbers really, but then I checked out of the Whitesnake camp about two decades ago (though I left my tent pegs there just in case...)

Newcastle City Hall. 27th June 2006- live review

"The first time I had seen Coverdale live since 1982 although I have kept up to date with the studio releases. With the paucity of decent gigs to go to I thought I would give them a try again.

Bad points? I - David's voice has lost a lot of power and this is especially noticeable on the fast rock numbers where it's more of a squawk than anything. 2 - The almost cartoon rock of the band e.g. the opener Burn (with a snatch of Stormbringer) was played too fast and lost it's real power. 3 - Too many fiddly solo spots (two from guitar plus the drummer) disrupted the middle of the concert and it lost all momentum.

Good points? I - Solo version of Soldier Of Fortune as last encore and a verse of Crying In The Rain proved Coverdale still has a great voice when given the right backing. 2 - Ain't No Love still a highlight and great to hear live. 3 - Debut of a new song Ready To Rock (apparently was the first time they played it in the UK). 4 - Coverdale is a great showman with good audience rapport and that was apparent throughout the show.

I have never been a fan of the 1987 version of the band but the vast majority of the crowd were 1987 era fans. Witness the quiet reception to Take Me With You. In Soldier Of Fortune, Coverdale asked people to sing along as the previous night they hadn't! So understandably there will be no return to the early Whitesnake sound, it just wouldn't draw the crowds. It's this or nothing! Would I go again? Possibly." Alan Bailey


Highway Star, A Journey In Rock - DVD review

Highway Star A Journey In Rock
Universal 06025 172 049-6 : March 2007 2DVD

This jam-packed 2xDVD interview and tour documentary, chock full of clips, footage shot over the past few years on and off the road, as well as during the making of Gillan's Inn, along with archive material, stills and much more, emerged from Coolhead Productions, headed up by Craig Hooper. There's a total of almost six and a half hours worth of stuff to plough through. This really is a fabulous offering for any Ian Gillan fan. One journalist I spoke to said it was the best rock documentary he'd ever seen. I'd not go quite that far myself, but if you think of it as a long South Bank show special on the man and his musical career (without the commercials!), and just set yourself an evening aside to go through it from start to finish, you'd certainly get plenty out of it - whether you're a died in the wool Gillan fan or not - because the story is engrossing, and has a much broader appeal beyond Deep Purple fans. The editing alone took 8 weeks and it all shows on the screen, as this has been done with a lot of skill.

The quality of the interview filming is also top notch throughout. The speakers are sympathetically positioned to camera, with just a prop or two (so behind Jon Lord you can see a tantalising glimpse of his Mac Studio display with some music scores on, while Bruce Payne gets to plug the Bananas sleeve on his lap top), nicely lit. It's just so refreshing after the trendy crap most TV documentary shows give us these days - zooming cameras, close ups of nose hair, harsh lighting - you know the stuff, some producer trying desperately to make a reputation. This one just lets the people tell it like it is.

Only two people don't turn up on this DVD. The obvious one is Mr. Blackmore, and we need hardly wonder why (he was invited), although it just leaves a gaping hole, especially as Satriani and Morse are included. The other absentee is Tony Blair. Apparently he was on the producer's guest list of possible invitees, but Gillan was adamant that he would not appear on any title which he had anything to do with. Mind you, I reckon they missed a trick by not talking to some of Ian's pre-Purple band members like Episode Six. Surely of more relevance to a 40 year saga than Pavarotti. There is a real lack of proper archive footage too. This would have given the project added impact, but would also have been very costly, so I can appreciate why they didn't go down that route. Fans like me just grumble at seeing short clips, and it would not have added that much to what the producers were trying to do here. So mostly when the talk does turn to an oldie, the clips are of recent performances. That said the bulk of the live footage is also well shot and this way of getting around archive material certainly didn't detract from my viewing experience.

Savour this DVD instead for what it does. I find it very depressing to think that twenty years ago British TV would have been putting this sort of programme together, whereas now we have to let producers struggle to do it off their own bat and face the vagaries of the market instead. So full marks for Craig and his team for doing it. It's easily the best programme on anyone from the group since the BBC's Rock Family Trees special . I learnt lots just skipping through it, and researchers will find plenty to talk about over the coming months. People are mostly very candid and open, although some areas are kind of left to hang in the air, with silences that speak volumes. I'll not pick out any highlights, you could fill a whole issue of the magazine discussing the points raised.

Gillan's Inn - album review

Gillan's Inn
EU : Immergent 284120-2 May 2006 DDCD

This one leaves me totally and utterly perplexed. The only word that came to mind after I'd been through it all was: "Why?" Deep Purple's lead singer, loads of top notch musicians, including three from his band, as well as many from earlier projects (like Tony lommi) and people he wanted to work with (such as Joe Elliot). The possibilities seem endless. And what do they come up with? A superior tribute album. Nothing wrong in that of course; while I'm not a huge fan there must be a market for and interest in the genre or they wouldn't continue to proliferate. On top of which, celebrating forty years as a rock singer - well nobody would begrudge Gillan that landmark.

I think what surprised me most was how close most of the tracks stick to the originals, which inevitably results in the listener starting to make comparisons with those very originals so faithfully recreated here. I suppose the ultimate test is this - given the choice between the version of Men Of War covered here or the original on Double Trouble, and you could only hear one, which would you want to go and play? The latter, every time. Does the new version of I'll Be Your Baby Tonight hold a candle to the joyous version by Episode Six? Hardly. And that same cold rationale would hold true for me on just about all the tracks if we're being brutally honest.

Even worse, the album holds possible the most lamestable version of Smoke On The Water I've heard in a long time, it just doesn't move along at anything near the right pace. Remember the manic one-take version Ian did with Gillan? None of the whacked out Punk spirit of that makes it's way onto this rendition. I hate being such a heel, and hopefully others will get plenty out of it. Certainly you cannot grumble at the value for money; sixteen straight audio tracks, and a whole side of bonus material, with commentaries, bits of video, and even an interactive version of Smoke which allows you to switch guitar solos. All courtesy of the new Dual Disc format.

Phoenix Theatre, Toronto. 17th August 2006 - live review

"My first ever rock gig was Gillan in late 1980. At that point in time a reunion seemed an impossibility and I jumped at the opportunity to see a legend. Me and my mate skipped a few classes at university to attend the first of two sold out shows at the El Mocambo in Toronto which in those days had tables and seats facing the stage. When Gillan came on with the twin assault of Unchain Your Brain and Are You Sure I fell in love with live rock shows.

When I heard of Ian's second [solo] coming to Toronto I knew I could not miss it. The original venue (the Danforth Music Hall) is a bat infested church hall but not without its charm so the switch to the Phoenix (poor ticket sales. In fact only 233 tickets had been sold plus another 100 or so radio station contest winners) was unfortunate but it did provide a more intimate rapport with the band. Seats were brought into the club for this occasion.

Ian came on in jeans and white shirt to the strains of Second Sight which morphed into No Laughing. My jaw hit the floor when they charged into an excellent Into The Fire. Wasted Sunsets and a very good Not Responsible back to back provided more exclamations of surprise. Ian had a bit of a struggle early in the show but grew stronger with the help of the Heineken lubricant. Local guitar hero Jeff Healey was there for a couple of tracks and delivered excellent guitar especially on When A Blind Man Cries.

A brilliant Trouble was the first encore and worth the price of admission, where Ian bathed in red light and strutting' his stuff had the ladies (a good number for a rock gig) swooning. Knocking, the second encore, confirmed my suspicions of the song's popularity in Toronto. Definitely a night full of surprises and hopefully future Deep Purple shows would be inspired to provide such wide eyed wonder at the setlist." Vincent Chong.


Music For The Divine - album review

Music For The Divine
EU : Frontiers FRCD 287: 2006

Labelling your new CD as "the career defining album from the legendary voice of rock" is no small claim. Does it match up to the slipcase hype? "Career reaffirming" might be more apposite, as Glenn welds together aspects of all his musical directions - from early days with Trapeze right up to the heavyweight funk exhibited on the last tour.

The Valiant Denial is not the best way to open the album that's for sure, and would have been better as an epic closer. The first four minutes or so are great, a long intro, then a tight, almost Rainbow-like riff, and Glenn in a low-key vocal mood carrying a good tune. It's something of a grower, with a chorus that sticks, and while the production sounds very dry it does allow everything to be nicely balanced. Then all of a sudden the tempo changes rather abruptly, not once but twice, and we're off into prog rock mode. It seems clearly designed to give the track some anthemic qualities but hasn't really been put together cleverly enough, though the Sabbath-like instrumental passage should work out well on stage.

Worries the album might quickly disappear up an overblown cul-de-sac quickly vanish as the power-trio switch into tight, white funk-rock mode for Steppin' Out - so tight indeed that it hurts at a good volume. Groovy 70s synth tops it all off admirably. An absolute Glenn Hughes classic, it is very hard to resist, and that's before they rack the funk up a notch for the closing minute or so. Much more of this and we'll all be digging out our stack heels and flares. Before you can snatch a breath, they're into Monkey Man, and it slowly dawns that Glenn has been bringing ideas first explored with Trapeze into the 21st century. Yes it's heavy, but that funk bass edge stops it sounding quite like any other rock band out there. The metal is contrasted against a short quiet refrain for added impact, and the whole thing balances out nicely. Indeed the whole album sounds like a really well recorded demo set in some ways, played almost live, and is all the better for it.

Had this been a tightened up 40 minute vinyl album, it would have been a stormer. As a longer CD it's one to cherry pick, and I'm sure different aspects of Glenn's music appeal to different fans. There are several track here I look forward to playing a lot. You get the feeling this CD wasn't done with a view to shaping it into what any particular label felt would sell best, and was intended to draw a line from which he could now push forward and start to shift more units based on his own music.

Live in Australia and JJ Marsh - news

Glenn and Chad Smith played together at a modest venue in St. Andrew's Hall in Norwich back in October 9. 2005 organised by the Norwich Drum Academy. Chad did an opening session and then they played some tracks together. This was timed to tie in with October dates starting in Spain, with a group comprising Chad, JJ Marsh, and Kjell Haraldsson, the first with Chad since a show in Zoetermeer, Holland in June 2005. After this, Glenn Hughes began gearing up to record Music For The Divine with Chillis Chad Smith and John Frusciante (guitar) plus J.J. Marsh in January. Release was scheduled for May 29th 2006 but went back to June 15th.

With the album about done, Glenn flew out to make his solo debut in Australia with a couple of showcase gigs, his first shows there since Deep Purple in November 1975, and to do some writing with Jimmy Barnes. Two shows were booked, with JJ Marsh on guitar and Lachlan Doley on keyboards, plus a string quartet. These were filmed, taped and mixed for release in 2007. Before the Divine tour proper, Glenn made changes to his group, and the line-up he's been working with for some years were replaced, with Jeff Kollman coming in on guitar, Mark Mondesir on drums and Anders Olinder on keyboards. There was a brief statement from Glenn about this on his site: "I felt it necessary and the right time to play with exciting new players. I want to be pushed and I want to be challenged and it will bring something new and inspirational to my shows. I have thought long and hard about this and now is the right time for a change." Fans were less than happy with the idea of losing JJ Marsh, and said so on various forums. We'd heard that JJ had perhaps been living the rock 'n' roll life style a little too enthusiastically lately and this was the real reason for him being asked to leave.

The Music For The Divine European tour 2006 dates were then announced. These began with two shows in the UK at the end of October, followed by a month of gigs around Europe, Russia and Scandinavia.

Roadmender, Northampton. 31st October 2006 - live review

"You can tell Glenn is happy with his line up, revealing during the encores that this was the best solo gig he'd done with a band. From a fan's perspective, I cannot remember seeing a band being able to handle some of the changes in mood so eloquently. I am pretty sure that this was the best Glenn gig I'd seen. One minute demonic riffing and the next funk double time and then... white space, even silence when it was needed. I noticed Mark Mondesir behind the kit freaking to Jeff Kollman's solo to Mistreated - getting really into it even though he was taking no active part until later in the piece. That's team work. Anyone who still thinks jazz-trained drummers can't rock will have to witness Mark playing Burn!

Jeff Kollman particularly has started to nail a couple of tracks as his own, most notably Monkey Man, Nights In White Satin and Mistreated where he showcased his own work before hitting those Blackmore chords on the latter. Anders brings an eccentric foil to the showmanship of Jeff and Glenn on stage. He doesn't have the rock star gait, but is more intent on laying a platform for the rest of the band to feed off and playing his most active role in the more soulful and emotional parts of the performance, e.g. in You Keep On Moving." Keith Thompson


Village Lanterne - album review

Village Lanterne
EU : SPY 99700: March 2006

This was originally due in late 2005, but kept going back for reasons we never discovered. There was a 2xCD digipak (track list below) followed by a single disc in a jewel case. In Japan the regular CD had a bonus version of Street Of Dreams featuring Joe Lynn Turner.

This, the fifth studio album in a decade from Blackmore's post-Rainbow career, follows much the same pattern as the previous offerings. There's little in the way of musical progression on display, and although they do explore a few new ideas within the context of what we've come to expect, the CD seems a bit like a collection of disparate ideas rather than a cohesive album. The production sounds sharper, denser on some tracks perhaps, than in the past and Candice has begun to find her niche. Perhaps the strongest track all round is the opener, 25 Years, where her growing experience as a singer in the studio comes to the fore, and she has found a range and balance which the band could do well to pick up on and exploit further. It'll certainly get another spin or two here. We get the usual instrumental of quality (The Messenger), even shorter than earlier examples, but impeccably well played.

Much has been said in the run up to this release about comments that Blackmore planned to get a bit rockier on this album. It happens, but if you're expecting full on plank-spanking then you'll be disappointed. Check out St. Theresa though, almost Rainbow-like in structure and dynamics, with some moments of spine-tingling electric guitar, though a lot of it is mixed well-down of course. Child In Time is a very strange listening experience to someone who has been playing the original for over 35 years. We've had a radical take on the number before, when Ian Gillan did a great version on his debut solo album. Here the band don't scale quite the same heights, but it is an interesting new look at the track. Candice goes for more of a US rock mode vocal which doesn't work for me, but the layered vocal chorus towards the end is good. Blackmore does wig-out in places, but again a lot gets totally buried. The track is sandwiched in-between some typical fol-de-rol and the giggles at the end kind of say it all really.

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also in the magazine... John Coletta feature, and interview ..... Remembering: Alan Freeman, Sir Malcolm Arnold, Carlo Little, Art Wood, Roy Silver ..... Deep Purple, Rapture of The Deep, album and tour reviews .... Questions & answers .... letters ..... Deep Purple, Live At Montreux 1996 DVD reviews .... Denmark / New York 72/73 DVD reviews .... Live In California DVD reviews .... Steve Morse DVD news .... Rainbow, Live In Munich 1977 CD & DVD reviews .... Butterfly Ball DVD review .... Ian Gillan, Hghway Star DVD reviews .... PAL live DVD reviews .... Rainbow, Live Between The Eyes / The Final Cut DVD reviews .... Deep Purple Mk1-4 retro stories .... Deep Purple tour programme rarity ... Audio cassettes feature .... Ian Gillan interview .... Gillan's Inn tour reviews .... Ian Paice news ... Book reviews, including Ritchie Blackmore / Black Knight .... Deep Purple vs Led Zeppelin interview .... Deep Purple, Live In London feature .... CD reviews, including Iommi Hughes / Fused, Gillan remasters, Whitesnake remasters, Rainbow Live In Cologne 1976, Dusseldorf 1976, Tommy Bolin, Whips & Roses I & II.... Jon Lord news ... Glenn Hughes live reviews ... Whitesnake live reviews .... Mk3 Burn tour feature ... and a lot more. 80 pages in total.


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