Album review: IAN GILLAN with The DON AIREY BAND and ORCHESTRA – Contractual Obligation #3 Live In St Petersburg

IAN GILLAN with The DON AIREY BAND and ORCHESTRA - Contractual Obligation #3 Live In St Petersburg

Edel/Ear Music [Release date 26.07.19]

Singer Ian Gillan, best known for fronting rock legends Deep Purple, took this solo project on the road during a break in the Purple schedule, and recorded some live sets in November 2016. Featuring a band and orchestra fronted by Purple pianist Don Airey (who replaced founder member Jon Lord in the early 2000s), this is a mix of material that GRTR has also looked at in the review of ‘Contractual Obligation #2′.

The three releases, recorded in Moscow, Warsaw and St Petersburg respectively, were all released exclusively on different formats; #1 on blu-ray, #2 on 2CD and #3 here as a triple LP.

The first thing to strike you is the packaging, which I love; it’s a solid heavy feel, and the gatefold features some sleeve notes and band info.

The track list is the same on all three, with some minor differences in performances and banter. Guitarist Simon McBride (who had recently replaced Micky Moody in Snakecharmer) does a fine job, it’s quite a different arrangement from the harder sounding original on Gillan’s ‘Toolbox’ solo album. There’s a nice mix of Deep Purple tracks, some I wish Purple would play, and some they should drop. Lazy gets a good lengthy workout and sits nicely next to ‘Rapture Of The Deep’.

‘Hang Me Out To Dry’ and ‘No More Cane On The Brazos’ are excellent tracks, and I’ve always loved ‘Difficult To Cure’ (this was the first song Don Airey jammed with Blackmore when he joined Rainbow).

There’s also some fine work by bassist Laurence Cottle (ex-Black Sabbath) and drummer Jon Finnigan.

If you just get one of the three, you’re getting a damn fine set and not missing too much on the audio front. But I would recommend this 3LP set because the look and feel is just fantastic. *****

Review by Joe Geesin

Album review (Live In Warsaw)


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