Gig Of The Week: Deep Purple
WHO: Deep Purple
WHERE: London O2 Arena
WHEN: Wednesday, November 30
Deep Purple are no strangers to playing with orchestras. It’s just that these days, everyone’s doing whereas when Concerto For Group And Orchestra happened, it was unusual and innovative. But it doesn’t alter the fact that Purple’s music is perfect for orchestrating.
On this tour, the band are accompanied by a 38-piece orchestra. And frontman Ian Gillan believes the combination works very well.
“The orchestra augments the band, so it’s an enlarged version of whatever we fancy. Think of it as The Count Basie Orchestra rather than something symphonic or a backing unit. We use the brass or the strings accordingly in the funky and blues stuff and the whole unit where appropriate, and not at all in a couple of songs.
“The most interesting challenge is to keep the freedom of improvisation within the show and not allow it to be stifled by the dots. It was not possible to integrate that element in the USA when we had a different orchestra every day, but with a more settled unit (The New Frankfurt Philharmonic) through Europe in the summer, BK (our insane conductor) was able to write in some cues for the pick-ups. So overall it’s very similar to a DP show, but with extra dynamics and texture.”
And incorporating this orchestra into the Purple sound didn’t require weeks of rehearsal:
“Well that’s the thing with orchestras, they read their parts and watch the conductor, so it was just a soundcheck really at the first show in the summer, but it’s more than that now…very tight.”
Apart from the London, you can see Gillan, guitarist Steve Morse, bassist Roger Glover, keyboard player Don Airey and drummer Ian Paice in November at:
Sat. 26: Glasgow SECC
Sun. 27: Birmingham LG Arena
Tue, 29: Manchester MEN Arena
Support on all dates are Cheap Trick.
Find out more at www.deep-purple.com