Another rock hall-of-famer to cross off the list, this time Deep Purple. I think I would rank them higher than Sabbath, possibly equal status with Led Zep in my rock’n’roll founding fathers chart. However, this was only 4/5ths of the mkII Purple – Ian Gillan had not long left, so I had missed the classic lineup by a matter of months.
First though, the support act, Vixen. I’m afraid to admit I have a somewhat misogynistic view when it comes to rock music. I don’t dislike bands purely based on gender, but the 99.9% bias toward male singers in my music collection probably tells a tale. When the band is all big hair and leather shoulder pads, like Vixen, the music would have to be exceptional just to prise me from the bar. It wasn’t and it didn’t. Deep Purple came on to the relief of just about everyone. Not the entrance of rock legends, they just short of shambled on really, looking old and portly. So, 4/5ths of the mkII lineup consisted of Ian Paice, Jon Lord, Roger Glover, Lord Ritchie Blackmore, plus ex Rainbow crooner Joe Lynn Turner. I already knew him from Yngwie Malmsteen’s band. They played all the classics, they ALL did lengthy solos and to be brutally honest, they were somewhat jaded and going through the motions. Unlike Sabbath, they just didn’t seem to have it any more, and I think I probably regret having seen them like that – in hindsight, I’d rather have remained blissfully ignorant. Disappointing.