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Deep Purple rockin' at the Regent

PUBLISHED: 18:49 19 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:40 03 March 2010

AFTER a six-month delay, tonight's the night when the world's loudest rock band finally bring their own brand of music to the heart of Ipswich.

Deep Purple hit the Regent Theatre with an amended line-up, but ready to make the kind of music that their fans know and love.

AFTER a six-month delay, tonight's the night when the world's loudest rock band finally bring their own brand of music to the heart of Ipswich.

Deep Purple hit the Regent theatre with an amended line-up, but ready to make the kind of music that their fans know and love.

The band that made its name in the early 1970s has suffered from several hiccups over the last three decades – but is still making the kind of music that is instantly recognisable.

From Smoke on the Water and Black Knight through to The Aviator from their Purpendicular album, the band have attracted millions of fans throughout the world.

Deep Purple has undergone many personnel changes over the decades – and now with the departure of Jon Lord, only Ian Paice remains from their original 1968 line-up.

Keyboard player Lord left the band earlier this year at the end of its truncated British tour – the second half was postponed until now because vocalist Ian Gillan was suffering from a throat infection.

Lord has been making some guest appearances during the autumn tour, but in the band he has been replaced by Don Airey.

But Gillan is the true voice of Deep Purple, who provided the vocals on its best-known tracks from the Machine Head and In Rock albums.

The guitarist from the legendary Mark II line-up, Richie Blackmore, left ten years ago after tensions within the band – but his replacement, Steve Morse, quickly won over the fans.

Deep Purple play at Ipswich tonight after a highly-successful summer touring the world – playing in Russia, eastern Europe, the far east, north America and Germany before returning home.

Ironically the band feels it is bigger the further it gets away from these shores.

"We don't seem to get the recognition in the media at home that we do in other parts of the world," bassist Roger Glover told me earlier this year.

"But the fans are very loyal." Certainly in Suffolk they are – the Regent concert sold out and very few tickets were returned when it was postponed.

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