Album review: DEEP PURPLE – Live In Newcastle 2001 The Soundboard Series

DEEP PURPLE - Live In Newcastle 2001 The Soundboard Series

earMUSIC [Release date 05.07.19]

First in a series of official bootleg type recordings/releases, getting a wider release as they originally had a very limited showing. And well worth it they are too.

This is one of six shows recorded on the Australian tour in 2001, shortly before Jon Lord’s retirement from the band. And what’s refreshing is that in each case you get the full show, as it stands, and shows a recent incarnation rather than regurgitate the 70s over again. Deep Purple are still performing and doing rather well.

I know there’s those out there who believe Purple begin and with Blackmore, well here’s news for you, things move on. There’s no denying that Blackmore wrote some of the band’s best (and best known) work and laid down one hell of a template, but he’s happy strumming his lute dressed as Robin Hood now. Now in Steve Morse, someone I’ve seen Purple with a few times now, they have a guitarist who not only keeps the song true but adds a lot of himself, does things his way, and Deep Purple are still relevant and rocking. Just listen to opener ‘Woman From Tokyo’, vocalist Gillan sounding sharp, the guitar interplays with the bass and keyboards as good as ever. There’s some nice new touches in here, it’s not a repro of 1973.

Gillan talks to the crowd more than most, and introduces ‘Ted The Mechanic’ before the crunchy chunky riff comes in. The version of ‘Lazy’ is excellent – again a slightly different arrangement in places. ‘No One Came’ and ‘Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming’ sit nice next to ‘Black Night’ and the classic ‘Perfect Strangers’.

Local musician Jimmy Barnes joins the band onstage for ‘Speed King’/'Good Times’ and closer (usual opener) ‘Highway Star’, both sound fantastic. Several songs are extended, and delivered with Gillan’s trademark phrasing.

Basically a great set, a good recording of a show I would have liked to have been at. Sadly this review is by stream but from what I can gather the packaging is minimal (there is a red vinyl LP available), adding to the “Official Bootleg” feel. Interesting but not essential for the casual fan, but great for the collection for most of us. Me included. Cash in? Maybe. But the physical is on my wants list. ****1/2

Review by Joe Geesin

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