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Deep Purple – O2 arena, London – 3rd December 2015

Tonight was a gig I’d been looking forward to for some time – Deep Purple’s only UK date.   As the band that many years ago started my love of rock and metal music I’ve been a fan ever since, and while they aren’t the same live as they were years ago they are still a fantastic band.

Support on this tour comes from another great band – Rival Sons.  Rival Sons are a band that I can really see headlining venues like this before too long – they’ve got the songs, they’ve got the musical talent, and they’ve got a great stage presence, so it’s no wonder they go down extremely well tonight.  Their set flew by – 30 minutes just isnt enough for a band this good. This is a band you really ought to go and see if you get the chance.

Rival Sons setlist:

Electric Man
Secret
Tell Me Something
Torture
Where I’ve Been
Open My Eyes
Drum Solo
Keep On Swinging

Deep Purple take to the stage and kick off with a classic – “Highway star”, the first of several songs from their classic “Machine head” album, and right from the start it was clear this was going to be a great night.  Although it’s the “Now what” tour, there are only three songs from that album in the set, with most of the set coming from the 70s classic albums.

Deep Purple these days can still rock hard when they want to as we see during the set, but they can also kick back and indulge in a long jam or solo (which to be fair they’ve always done if you listen to some of their live albums where songs are far longer than the originals), and tonight’s set with it’s mix of old and new material allows them plenty of chances to show their musical talents and include a good mix of styles.
Rival Sons singer Scott Holiday joins them playing guitar for the finale, their most famous song, “Smoke on the water”.  A great end to the set, but of course there was an encore still to come.
For the encore we got “Hush” and “Black night” plus a bass solo.  Personally I’d prefer to have had Roger Glover’s solo during the main set – it just doesn’t feel right having it in the encore, but that’s a fairly minor complaint.
Ian Gillan’s voice may not be as strong as it once was, but that’s inevitable after such a long career, but he still does a great job and you never feel disappointed in his performance.  Deep Purple are still a great live band and one that are always worth going to see.

Deep Purple Setlist:

Highway Star
Bloodsucker
Hard Lovin’ Man
Strange Kind of Woman
Vincent Price
Uncommon Man
The Well-Dressed Guitar
The Mule
Lazy
(with Stephen Bentley-Klein)
Demon’s Eye
Hell to Pay
Keyboard Solo
Perfect Strangers
Space Truckin’
Smoke on the Water (with Scott Holiday)

Encore:
Hush
Bass Solo
Black Night

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About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.
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