at Wembley Arena, London, U.K., October 13, 2004

Deep Purple 2007


Good old Thunder took their job to warm up the audience at Wembley Arena very seriously this night. During their strong half hour set, Danny Bowes & Co. really made it a point in trying to make all of those waiting for Deep Purple busy with clapping and singing along to their old and new songs. Bowes was in impressively good shape, and he and his great voice did their best all the way through “Loser,” ”River Of Pain,” ”Low Life In High Places,” “Give Me Some Loving,” “Love Walked In,” plus their new single “I Love You More Than Rock And Roll.”

From time to time, the band did not get all the enthusiasm they deserved from the crowd, but did well enough to convince any fan present that they should be worth the money to check out in March next year when they will be touring in support of their soon-too-be-released new album.


Like Thunder’s now gray and half bold front man Danny Bowes, who one and a half centuries ago was voted Britain’s most sexy man, Peter Frampton (these days at least as grey and bold) was back in the late sixties the number one pin up boy. What Frampton has in common with Bowes is a lot of energy and a great voice. He might not be known for a lot of big time selling records in the eighties, nineties, or recent years, but back in 1976 he released Frampton Comes Alive, the highest selling live album ever.

Today, Peter Frampton is a middle-aged man, but enters the stage with a guitar he plays convincingly, and conveys a large amount of humor and self-irony. Halfway through his set, well aware of the importance of the nostalgic aspects of his present career, he said: “I know you don’t know a lot of the new numbers, but this is a song we just wrote on the bus on our way here, and we haven’t had the time to rehearse it.” Then he started playing the well-known voice tube intro of the 1976 classic “Show Me The Way,” the song that once gave him a break through in the UK.

Frampton got a lot of good responses from the audience all the way through the show. He is witty, and he sings and plays his guitar so heartfelt that he just can’t fail to convince even the most impatient ones present that he made the wait for Purple meaningful. Some dull numbers, all right, but he pleased many with songs like “Baby I Love Your Way” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Well done, Peter!


Deep Purple … still going after all these years, and the going is strong! I doubt Purple ever have had a line-up that has been as smiling as the present one. This Wembley Arena show can easily be characterized as five talented middle-aged guys playing at their very best, and smiling like mad while doing it! Especially Mr. Positive himself, Steve Morse, looked like he had the time of his life — and why shouldn’t he? They were playing in a close to sold out Wembley Arena, and they’re promoting an album, Bananas, which has been their most successful release for years.

Gillan, Glover, Paice, Morse, and Airey were all in a good shape, and they have had the guts to include nothing less than four tracks from their Bananas album on their set list. Respect! Earlier on this tour they’ve played as many as six new songs, but still, considering their back catalogue, they have been brave enough to leave a lot of live classics out.

It is hard to describe the present state of Deep Purple without underlining the still growing importance of guitarist Steve Morse. It is hard not to become more and more found of this guy! His guitar sound and way of playing is just so utterly hard rocking that it is almost impossible to imagine how any other guitarist (!) could have preserved Deep Purple songs in a better way during this millennium. Morse has, through musical perfection and a cutting edge to every tone he plays, established himself as he band’s most important conveyer of Deep hard rock. Steve even upgrades “Knocking At Your Back Door” to a level it has never been before.

However, the newest kid on the block, Don Airey, manages as well to live up to the title of being the keyboardist of legendary Deep Purple. All right, we all miss the great Jon Lord, but Airey makes no errors along his path in between the old and new numbers.

Halfway through the set Ian Gillan changed from a totally white, Messiah-like outfit, to the worst flower decorated vest you’ve ever seen. Despite this, he didn’t fail to perform a superb version of “Perfect Strangers.” Even though the atypical keyboard intro still outdoes a very alternative part of any Deep Purple show, the song, as soon as Morse gets to his guitar duties, became a rock and roll highlight. You get more fun afterwards, however, when “Highway Star” was performed. “Nobody’s gonna take my car!”, Gillan screams. Ironically, the authorities took his driving license earlier this year due to drunk driving.

The main set reached its end with “Smoke On The Water,” and Steve Morse pours out the riff and takes the song to highs you wouldn’t expect it to reach in 2004. Morse was smiling like he’s having one of his best times ever, and makes fun of all those in the audience who at this point put their phones up in the air after having called their friends. “(…) to make a record with a mobile!” Gillan sings, and Morse is laughing big time at those in the crowd “recording” the world’s best known guitar riff with their mobiles.

The evening proceeded toward its end without earlier established live numbers like “Ted The Mechanic” and “Lazy” (!). The band didn’t even have the time for a drum solo. The encore section, however, sure contained some extras for the fans … not the version of “Speed King,” which included a medley of a handful of all time favourites like “It’s Now Or Never” and “Rave On,” and not the solid performance of “Hush” … nope, the big surprise given to all was when the great Jon Lord made a guest appearance on the final number “Black Night.” The former Purple keyboardist made a majestic appearance halfway through the song, sharing the keyboards with a smiling Don Airey, who just looked happy to give space to the legend.

The six of them then waved good bye to an audience that just had witnessed one of the world’s best veteran bands still alive. Deep Purple have proved they are still able to put on a impressive rock and roll show!

They played:
Silver Tongue
Woman From Tokyo
I Got Your Number
Strange Kind Of Woman
Demon’s Eye
Knockin At Your Back Door
Contact Lost
Perfect Stranger
Highway Star
Space Truckin’
Smoke On The Water
Speed King
Black Night (with Jon Lord)


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