Sunday, July 30, 2023

A Look Back At The Abrupt But Wonderful Deep Purple 2023 "World Tour"


I love Deep Purple. They're my favourite band, and have been ever since I was a kid. I still love the new line up, but something just bothers me about this current "world tour" they have on at the moment. Well, apparently it's finished.
It's so bizarre. It's the middle of the year, and Deep Purple are not touring. The last time I remember this happened was during COVID when nobody could tour. But now the abrupt "World Tour" (moved on to the 'Unleashed In Europe' tour) has wrapped, certainly leaving audiences wanting for more, and other countries wanting for more. I wouldn't call a 13 country half a year visit a "World Tour", but either way the shows have been fantastic on a large scale of epicness. 

Last year, we had a very surprisingly brief tour of the 2020 Deep Purple album 'Whoosh' - a brilliant record I might add. It's just unfortunate that hardly any new songs were played live. I think they just played 'Nothing At All', 'Throw My Bones' (very occasionally) and stuck with the hard hitting 'No Need To Shout' during the last phase of the tour, leaving that the only new song in the setlist.

Sadly, they once again didn't come to Australia, last having done so in 2013, (!!!) despite trekking over to Indonesia a few months ago, my hopes were high but were shortly dashed when they decided to bugger off to somewhere in Brazil that nobody's ever heard of to do some huge Monsters of Rock festival dates with bands like KISS and Scorpions. Those shows were fantsatic from what i've seen, and i'm frustrated that KISS couldn't bring over the Purple guys on their upcoming 'Final Curtain' Australian tour this year in Sydney. 

The setlist for the new tour has been pretty standard stuff. with only 1 new song 'No Need to Shout', and a wide variety of songs spanning from their large back catalogue. They've been performing some of these songs for a long time. Surely they could drop some stuff like 'Into The Fire' and 'Uncommon  Man', they're great tracks, but the set list could be changed every so often to add something abit more fresh. However, i've really enjoyed the renditions of songs like 'When A Blind Man Cries' and 'Perfect Strangers',  once again. 'Anya' could most certainly be dropped. A lot of these set lists feel like warm up concerts for new guitarist Simon McBride, who replaced long-time guitarist Steve Morse back in the middle of 2022, after he stepped down for cairing for his ill wife. I  loved Steve but Simon also feels right at home in the band.

Simon had previously toured with Don Airey's solo group, which featured Ian Gillan a few times during the mid-2010's. He is a fine guitarist indeed, focused on more of a blues sound. I really like his style (also I enjoyed his 2022 solo effort 'The Fighter'). Everybody is still in fine form, Ian Gillan sounds great as usual, Ian Paice, Don Airey, Simon and Roger are a fierce rhythm section. They prove you are never too old to rock, and that is right. Crowds have won them over still even when the band are in their late 70's and they continue to have a blast with no sign of slowing down, it's just so unusual that at the moment there are no new tours for a while. 

They are currently working on a new album with the Simon McBride line up, due for a potential release date in 2024, let's hope by then, we can get a lot of new songs in the set list, mixed with some re-tweaked classics, a longer tour and a long awaited return visit to Australia. 

It's such a shame that the Whoosh tour lasted so abruptly, with hardly any new songs played live stuck in the setlist for that long. I loved Whoosh and thought it was a great album. So was 2021's Turning To Crime, but understandably those songs were covers, and Purple are more focused on playing their own original material at their live shows, which makes sense.  

Despite this epic but oddly brief 2023 'warm up' tour, I hope it's a sign for new things to come, a new Deep Purple album, and a brand new world tour, let's hope they visit more than 13 countries next time. 

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