--- SEARCH ---
Learning Chinese
Learn to Cook Chinese Dishes
Exchange Rates
Hotel Service

Hot Links
China Development Gateway
Chinese Embassies

Deep Purple is Coming

China's rock 'n' roll fans have got pretty jaded about news touting the arrival of groups like the Rolling Stones, the Eagles and Suede.

Suede's two gigs in Beijing's cold February 2003 failed to heat up the audiences' enthusiasm; the Rolling Stones cancelled their China tour because of the SARS epidemic; and the Eagles seemed to have soared past Beijing altogether.

So who knows if Deep Purple, unfamiliar to Chinese fans, will be able to satisfy their thirst for terrific riffs?

One of the longest-lived hard rock bands, Deep Purple has had its influence on metalheads and prog-rockers alike.

Since it was founded in 1968, Deep Purple has survived a seemingly endless series of lineup changes and a dramatic mid-career shift from grandiose progressive rock to ear-shattering heavy metal to emerge as a true institution of the British hard rock community.

Last August, the 36-year-old band released its album Bananas which finds them discovering and reinventing who they are. Now the new line-up of vocalist Ian Gillan, guitarist Steve Morse, keyboardist Donald Airey, bassist Roger Glover and drummer Ian Paice is touring Asia and Australia to promote "Bananas."

The China leg includes one concert in Beijing on March 31, one in Shanghai on April 2, one in Guangzhou on April 6 and the last one in Hong Kong on April 7.

The tickets in Beijing are going for 1,580 yuan (US$191), 1,000 yuan (US$121), 800 yuan (US$97), 500 yuan (US$60), 300 yuan (US$36), with the cheapest at 180 yuan (US$22).

Although these are relatively high prices for the local performance market, Niu Jiawei from the promoting company RGB told China Daily that the tickets are selling well. According to him, the 180 yuan tickets have sold out, and the 1,580 yuan and 300 yuan tickets are down to the last few.

"I am quite satisfied with the ticket sales. Initially I expected to sell around 60 per cent, but sales were over 50 per cent by Tuesday and I am confident we will sell more than 80 per cent," Niu said.

However, it is hard to say whether people are buying tickets to hear Deep Purple or to hear Cui Jian, dubbed the godfather of Chinese rock 'n'roll, who will guest star in the shows, singing five to six of his old hits.

Beijing has had a good grounding in rock 'n' roll, but the fans are not as knowledgeable as Westerners who have listened to Deep Purple for three decades.

Suede's failure could have been the push behind the Chinese promoter arranging to have Cui as the guest performer. In Shanghai and Guangzhou, Cui will split the spotlight 50-50 with his Western friends.

Although Deep Purple have confessed that they know little about Cui, other than that he has lots of fans in China, they are hoping they all hit it off in the right key.

In an interview last year with Randy Cohen, the famous American music critic, Glover said: "I'm looking forward to playing in the Chinese mainland, which we have never been to. I will be interested to see what happens when we go into China proper."

Recently Glover confirmed his willingness to do a show in China to a Beijing magazine. "We have travelled to most countries of the world. China is very intriguing for us and we have wanted to visit the country for many years."

He also said: "Most people's ideas of any country start off with stereotypes, and I suppose I am no different. However, having experienced many different cultures and climates I have come to the conclusion that people are the same everywhere. Politics and religion aside, people are just plain human beings and we share all the same passions and emotions. That is what joins us all. The more I see of the world, the less I divide it into countries. John Lennon said it best -- 'Imagine there's no countries.' We all just live on the same planet."

On the China tour, Deep Purple will perform songs from the album Bananas as well as a long list of their old hits, including Highway Star, Strange Kind of Woman, Knocking at Your Back Door, House of Pain, I Got Your Number, Perfect Strangers, Hush, Black Night and of course, the most famous Smoke on the Water.

The inspiration for Bananas came from a photograph Glover saw in a newspaper in Australia about three years ago.

"It was in the travel section and it was Viet Nam and there was this guy pushing a bike with a bunch of bananas in front and I turned to Ian who was sitting next to me and I said this is our next album cover -- we'll call it bananas. And he thought it was a brilliant idea," said the bassist.

"I was in India -- Bombay -- about a year later, stuck in a traffic jam behind a lorry full of bananas. There were two old guys sitting there and we took a photograph of that. And it became the stronger image to be on the album," he said.

Bananas is their first recording with producer Michael Bradford. Glover said Bradford came to the album with a definite idea about what he wanted to hear, having grown up in Detroit listening to their early albums when he was a kid. "Oddly enough, that is what makes it so reminiscent of our earlier albums, there is the same raw spirit there," Glover said.

Performance Details:

Date: 7:30 PM, March 31

Venue: Beijing Workers' Stadium

Ticket Prices: 1,580 yuan (US$191), 1,000 yuan (US$121), 800 yuan (US$97), 500 yuan (US$60), 300 yuan (US$36), and 180 yuan (US$22)

Booking: 010-83156356、13311300636

Online booking: http://www.pp.com.cn

(China Daily March 26, 2004)

Rock Across the Sea
Atlantic Affairs to Rock China's Musical Boat
Cui Jian on the Drama Stage
Rock's Bad Boy Grows Up
Taiwan Rocker Comes Home
Youth Rock to a New Beat of Optimism
Chinese Youth Rock to A New Beat of Optimism
Print This Page
Email This Page
About Us SiteMap Feedback
Copyright © China Internet Information Center. All Rights Reserved
E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-68326688