Live | Purpendicular feat. Ian Paice – De Nieuwe Nor – Heerlen [NL]

1 February 2024

Last Thursday, Purpendicular together with legendary drummer Ian Paice  played at Poppodium Nieuwe Nor in Heerlen. Ian, of course, became a legend with the band Deep Purple and is actually the core member of that band. He is the only original left to have played on all their albums.

Purpendicular, founded in 2007 by Irish vocalist Robby Thomas Walsh, once started as a Deep Purple tribute band. Over the years they build a beautiful friendship with the men of Purple. Ian has frequently occupied the stool behind the drum kit and even played on the band’s ‘Human Mechanic’ record from 2022.


What to expect from this evening? I actually had no idea and thought I let myself be surprised. Obviously I wasn’t the only one with that idea, because the Nieuwe Nor is rattling full this Thursday night. I was told that the average age of the audience was somewhere around 57, which made me still one of the younger visitors.

However, from the first tones that came out of the speakers it was already clear that this was going to be a high-quality evening. Super sound, beautiful lighting and an inspired band.

They opened with the Purple classic ,,Highway Star’’, which is of course a no-brainer that was in line with my expectations. The surprise came with the second song of the evening, a super cool version of Whitesnake‘s ,,Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues’’. Yes, you would almost forget it but Ian was also part of that orchestra for a while.  


The band plays great, but the real star is Ian himself. What a joy it is to watch this, now 75-year-old man perform at such a spectacular high level. What a flexibility and pleasure he radiates behind his drum kit. No obligatory session, no, here was just a legend enjoying a great performance.

And so could the audience, because ,,Hush’’ was on and that is always swinging. With ,,Human Mechanic’’ we get to hear the first Purpendicular original song and this composition stands up quite well among the hits we already heard. Vocalist Robby Thomas Walsh knows what he is doing and above all what he is capable of. He does not let himself be tempted to show off. A cool singer really blessed with a great set of pipes.

Gliding professionally through the set list, we get to hear a beautiful version of ,,Lazy’’. Then to move on to the second Whitesnake piece of the evening. ,,Ready An’ Willing’’ is another brilliant song that knows how to get you in the right mood. After that the second Purpendicular original song of the evening makes its appearance. ,,No One’s Getting Out Alive’’ is another song that fits nicely into the classic rock violence of this evening.


Next, the band commemorates Bernie Marsden with a beautiful version of ,,Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City’’. Again a song that has its greatest fame through the wonderful Whitesnake version.

,,Black Night’’ proves to be another highlight of the evening after which they play a beautiful tribute to Jon Lord through a great version of ,,Pictured Within’’. Getting off the throttle for a while is nice too. But with the first tones of ,,Perfect Strangers’’ it is pressed to the floor again. This is a crowd favorite we might conclude.


The throttle stays on with ,,Space Truckin’’’ and as a bouncer we get a special version of ,,Smoke On The Water’’, which features a reggae first verse and then continues in the full blown version we all know.


Instead of the whole ‘I walk off stage and you guys call for an encore and we’ll come back on stage for an encore’ act Ian takes a moment to address the audience and thank them for coming. He also thanks the band and clarifies that this is singer Robby’s band and not his, as many people think. He briefly announces the last song of the evening before taking his seat behind his drum kit again. We get to hear a stunning version of ,,Stormbringer’’ and then the party is really over.


Conclusion: a musically high-quality evening which was over too quickly. That is the only negative point I can think of. Super show and I went home with a satisfied feeling like everyone else. A very successful performance.

All photos by Raymond Helebrand



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