Deep Purple Newcastle City Hall 1972

Deep Purple Newcastle City Hall 1972
Support from Glencoe
Deep Purple were back at the City Hall in 1972 and this was the band at its peak. This was the Mark II version of the band, which most people regard as the ultimate and classic line-up of Deep Purple. In 1972 Purple had world-wide success with the release of their album Machine Head, and in the same year they recorded the superb live album Made In Japan. They started with Highway Star, which is just the perfect set opener; it kicks off with a great riff, its fast and up-tempo, and there’s a wonderful solo from Blackmore. They played all their best known songs, including the now classic Smoke on the Water which was then new to the set. Other songs which featured in the set at that time were Child in Time; The Mule; Strange Kind of Woman; Lazy; and Space Truckin’. All great. It didn’t get any better than this at the time. The encores will probably have been one or two of Black Night; Speed King and possibly Lucille; I can’t be certain. Its difficult to put into words just how great Deep Purple were at that time; they were easily on a par with Zeppelin and Sabbath. Jon Lord’s swirling organ and the unbelievable vocal range that Gillan had in those days gave them something unique, which set them apart from any other band. And Blackmore was amazing, so confident, so flashy in his guitar technique. For this gig I was lucky enough to be sitting in the third row, right in front of Ritchie, and I just couldn’t keep my eyes off him. And Purple were so LOUD; my ears were ringing for days after. My hearing isn’t so good these days, and I reckon the main culprits are Deep Purple, the Who and Motorhead! I remember support act Glencoe well and saw them a few times around that time. They featured Norman Watt Roy on bass and John Turnbull on guitar, who I’d seen in Bell and Arc. Both of them went on to be part of Ian Dury and the Blockheads, and Norman is now bass player for Wilko Johnson. They were a good band, who deserved more recognition. Tomorrow I’ll bring together my memories of the 1973 Deep Purple tour, which was the last time I saw the classic line up in the 70s. Things were not great in the Purple camp, and sadly the band was about to disintegrate.

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