“This early live material is not for the Deep Purple neophyte. It is for fans who want to explore their history and in that regard it is a valuable addition to their catalogue of music.” – David Bowling.
This is quite possibly the only live recording of Deep Purple’s MK I lineup. This concert was recorded in 1968, and Deep Purple were opening for one of Cream’s farewell concerts. It is a piece of historic pie; just as Cream’s ember was fading, Deep Purple emerged from their ashes. An interview with Deep Purple’s guitarist Ritchie Blackmore reveals that Clapton influenced Blackmore to develop his finger vibrato:
- GW: How did you develop your own unique finger vibrato style?
- BLACKMORE: In my early days, I never used finger vibrato at all. I originally carved my reputation as one of the “fast” guitar players. Then I heard Eric Clapton. I remember saying to him, “You have a strange style. Do you play with that vibrato stuff?” Really an idiotic question. But he was a nice guy about it. Right after that I started working on my vibrato. It took about two or three years for me to develop any technique.
It’s not up for debate that Cream, and Eric Clapton in particular, led the way for pretty much every blues rock band that followed, but out of all of them, Deep Purple followed it best. They were a jam band just like Cream, often extending their songs to the 20 minute length, but the main difference was Deep Purple had more than three members, so they were able to do more with the jams, and they also had great song writing ability. Finally, Ritchie Blackmore is a classically trained guitarist and rarely plays the minor pentatonic scale that Clapton uses almost exclusively.
The concert shows Deep Purple at the formative stages, they were still chasing their sound, as shown by the number of covers they performed. The covers of The Beatles’ ‘Help’ and Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Hey Joe’ showcase the band’s ability to make songs their own, as each cover shares only slight resemblances to the originals. The band also played Ritchie Blackmore’s ‘Wring That Neck’, which would later become a live staple for the group. This song shares similar intentions to Cream’s ‘Steppin’ Out’, which is to serve as a platform for the lead guitarist to extensively solo. This bootleg performance was never officially released and is of a high sound quality, however, it only gets 3/5 stars because it doesn’t display Deep Purple at their musical peak.
* * * 3 stars
- Hush – 4:48
- Kentucky Woman – 5:04
- Mandrake Root – 10:19
- Help – 6:25
- Wring That Neck – 6:46
- River Deep Mountain High – 9:48
- Hey Joe — 7:10