– I cannot believe my luck to be able to attend this very special event, said Ricardo Diniz who travelled from Brazil when he won JonLord.org’s contest for two tickets to The Sunflower Jam last week in London.
This is Ricardo’s review of the evening:
It’s hard to describe the experience of being at The Sunflower Jam last Thursday in London. The evening, the music, the atmosphere – but it’s easy to describe how it felt seeing Jon Lord back playing with Deep Purple after these years: just perfect. In fact, it’s so familiar that it’s like he never left.
The smiles from Steve, both Ians and Roger during the set were a kind of ‘welcome home’ to a place we all know belongs to him, despite Don’s fantastic job during recent years.
My guess it The Sunflower Jam will grow bigger and increase its importance in the future, and I’d hate to miss the next editions. It’s a fantastic opportunity to watch artists doing an unexpected performance and playing with different people and styles of music, and I can see more Deep Purple related artists being taking part in this also.
The night started with some dancing performances on stage, introduced by Mr Rick Wakeman, followed by auctions where you could bid on a one-on-one recorded and videofilmed drum session with Ian Paice, Ian Paice’s limited edition snare drum and historical photo prints from photographer Fin Costello of Gillan – the Mr. Universe scream cover and Deep Purple MKIII’s arrival in front of the airplane a few days before California Jam.
A little bit later, the musical part of the set started featuring Amy Winehouse’s two backing singers. They got the audience dancing to versions of Signed Sealed Delivered, Soul Man and Dance To The Music among others.
Sam Brown guested onstage doing Respect, and Bruce Dickinson joined the band to sing an amazing version of With A Little Help From My Friends with Jon Lord on keyboards. But there was still a surprise; with Micky Moody on guitar during the first set and Jon on stage, why not try something familiar?
The riff started and the hall shook – Walking in The Shadow Of The Blues, with a unique performance from Bruce, closed the first part of the set. Incredible vibe and powerful version of this song.
After some minutes, Deep Purple started with huge performances of Pictures Of Home and Strange Kind of Woman. On the next numbers, Hush and Wring That Neck, Jon Lord joined on keyboards, and extended versions of these songs allowed him room for some hard, exciting and virtuoso solos, with the band pushing him more and more… This was fantastic.
The band, now again with Don Airey, also performed Mary Long, Well Dressed Guitar and Highway Star, before Jon came back onstage to play together with Don on Smoke On The Water, bringing Bruce Dickinson on to share vocals with Ian Gillan. It was great to see them both together on stage. The audience asked for more and we got Black Night plus a song which has for a long time not been present in Deep Purple’s set: Lucille, again with one of Amy Winehouse’s backiong singers sharing the vocals on stage.
What a fantastic night, something to really remember. For those who wants to know, everything was audio and video captured – it would be wonderful see it released in the future.
And for those, like me, who attended the show, it was a magnificent experience to see Deep Purple playing in a small venue… like a friend’s party… In fact, that’s what it was: a friend’s party onstage celebrating friendship, love, affection, respect and memories of 40 years of playing together.
Finally, I would like to thank Jon Lord and Rasmus Heide for all their kindness and attention during the event, making everything possible and offering me and my wife a memorable and pleasant evening. Thank you very much.
Jose Ricardo Diniz
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Photos: Knut Morten Johansen & Rasmus Heide