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Rock Legends Ask 'Now What?'
They may be celebrating their 45th anniversary but rock legends Deep Purple showed they have more than greatest hits in their armoury. Their gig at Birmingham NIA included almost half the tracks from their new album, Now What?! – and they fitted neatly alongside old favourites like Lazy and Strange Kind Of Woman.
Deep Purple: Roger Glover, Ian Gillan and Steve Morse at Birmingham NIA
Discarding traditional openers Highway Star and Fireball, vocalist Ian Gillan began the assault with newie Apres Vous before turning back the clock to 1970 and Into The Fire and Hard Lovin' Man. He then donned a rubber monster mask for the spooky Vincent Price, another new song from Now What?!.
Once dubbed 'The Loudest Band In The World', Deep Purple have never done anything by halves. Why only have a guitar solo in a song when you could also include a drum and keyboard solo? And just for good measure why not throw a bass solo into the encore? So guitarist Steve Morse, bassist Roger Glover, drummer Ian Paice and keyboardist Don Airey were kept busy for the whole one hour and 50 minute gig.
Morse dazzled on Contact Lost and The Well Dressed Guitar, Airey's time in the spotlight included classical and honky tonk alongside rock and pop, while Ian Paice's solo during The Mule boasted the use of illuminated drumsticks – very effective in the dark. Glover played his bass as if it were a lead guitar during his solo between Hush and concert closer Black Night.
Above and Beyond: Jon Lord remembered at Birmingham NIA
The other new songs making an appearance were the rockin' Uncommon Man, Hell To Pay, in which Morse and Glover joined Gillan on the chorus, and the poignant Above and Beyond, dedicated by Gillan 'to our beloved Jon Lord', Purple's former keyboard player who died in 2012.
Smoke on the Water: Deep Purple on stage at Birmingham NIA
No Deep Purple concert review would be complete without mentioning their anthem, Smoke On The Water, which had the audience on its feet and singing along. Now What? More please!
Apres Vous Into the Fire Hard Lovin' Man Vincent Price
Strange Kind of Woman
The Well-Dressed Guitar
Above and Beyond
Hell to Pay
Smoke on the Water