Album review: DEEP PURPLE – Live In Rome 2013

DEEP PURPLE - Live In Rome 2013

Edel/Ear Music [Release date 06.12.19]

This series continues and each release never fails to surprise and satisfy. Done in Official Bootleg style, you get a full an unadulterated concert that’s as well recorded as it is performed. A series to run parallel with the main catalogue if not part of it, it is proven essential for fans and collectors if not the more casual fan.

The previous one (Newcastle, Australia, 2008) was marvellous and so is this.

Formed in the late 60s, only drummer Ian Paice remains from the original line-up, but the classic line-up’s vocalist Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover still front the band and still sound good. Guitarist Steve Morse and keyboard player Don Airey have both been in the band so long that they the five piece are a smooth well-oiled unit and all the better for it.

Disc 1 and the band enter the stage to the intro of Mars The Bringer Of War, and the band kick off with a cracking Fireball. Characterised by Gillian’s screams and trademark phrasing, that and next track Into The Fire are rousing and set the scene well. Great to hear Hard Loving Man, and a marginally updated take (I always found the original a little reminiscent of The Nice), but it’s these slightly longer tracks that Deep Purple do so well. Fantastic.

The more recent Vincent Price before Strange Kind Of Woman, and Steve Morse is introduced for the atmospheric instrumental Contact Lost. The Well Dressed Guitar and Bodyline sound good in amongst the older tracks. The Mule contains a shortened drum solo, and an 8 minute Lazy round off Disc 1 nicely.

Disc 2 and it’s the keyboards and bass that stand out in Above And Beyond, and vocally Gillan’s mid range is perfect and spot on. Such wonderful tones. Even some of the high notes sound good. If your Deep Purple repertoire is limited (or blinkered), listen to this version of this song. Now.

Don’s excellent keyboard solo (touches of jazz and classical, the latter has the crowd clapping along) leads nicely into Perfect Strangers. Space Truckin’ and SOTW are blitzed through nicely, before we get Hush/Green Onions. The latter Booker T & The MGs classic is a relatively recent addition to the setlist and lends itself nicely to a jam/medley. And who doesn’t love Purple’s take on Hush?

And a brilliant Black Night (just under 9 minutes) finishes the show.

A wonderful set and a great listen. I can’t be the only one who misses those 10-20 (even 30) minute workouts of the early 70s, but even so the Deep Purple live experience here is still fantastic, and the newer tracks amongst the old make for a classic show. The packaging has enough information and is in keeping with the ‘Official Bootleg’ vibe. Keep it coming. Please. ****1/2

Review by Joe Geesin

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