& The Gemini Orchestra
St. Wendel (Saalbau)
September 29, 2004
notes about the location and event itself. As HK Audio explain on their
website: "Jon Lord Concert at HK Audio: Jon Lord, former member of
Deep Purple and long-time friend of HK AUDIO, is debuting his new album
"Beyond the Notes" in Germany this September. Accompanying Mr.
Lord will be his 25-piece "Gemini Orchestra." Rehearsals for
the upcoming concert will be held in the HK AUDIO demo hall at our facilities
in St. Wendel, Germany. The tour will officially begin in February 2005."
at the Saalbau (which is not the facility of HK Audio but a small concert
hall in the city of St. Wendel) was not only the first show of the tour
but also the presentation of a new sound system from HK Audio. And it
was not promoted by a promoter but by themselves in the region only. Therefore
the audience consisted of three equally big parts (of about 200-300 each):
HK Audio guests and partners, people from the area that had nothing better
to do that evening and fans that had heard about this special show.
general audience was allowed into the venue there was a short intro of
the system - the best news for me was that the "sound man" for
the show was Rob Hodgkinson (formerly Deep Purple's sound engineer as
well). But the doors opened soon after that so that everybody had about
equal chances to get the best seats (tickets were not numbered). The side
of the room opposite of the entrances was covered with a curtain. When
the concert was about to begin the curtain on the other site was drawn,
too. This caused some laughter - but it was very good for the sound. Really
excellent sound! Purple curtains, btw ;-)
(by Christian Stumpp of HK Audio) was nice: short but not too short, to
the point and making clear that Jon Lord is/was doing far more than being
a member of a certain rock band. Mentioning the Concerto Jon Lord is "the
godfather of cross-over" (obviously the style of his solo activities
stage were the Trondheim Soloists, getting a big applause. When Jon finally
entered the stage the applause was enormous. Jon spent most of the time
at the grand piano using the microphone adjusted to it. But about every
second song he stood up and went to the center stage vocal microphone
(so Sam Brown had to adjust it every time she came on
first piece made it clear that there are lots of new arrangements for
bigger orchestra (during the Pictured Within Tour there was only a string
quartet) and different band. Jon always referred to Sarabande as "an
album I made 30 years ago". It seems obvious that he also made some
'corrections' to it (like he did for the Concerto in 1999). Most of them
appeared to have been extended. The orchestra as well as the band on stage
was very much the same (with the exception of Pete York / Bert Smaak on
drums) that recorded Beyond The Notes, and the arrangements for those
tracks weren't too different from the album.
Sounds very fresh, Jon afterwards announced it very much to the point
as "title track from Sarabande called Sarabande". [He'll
have heard Ian Gillan introduce Perfect Strangers that way for 18 years
;-) Rasmus] Several musicians seemed to be pretty nervous in the beginning.
But as everything went fine and already the first title got big applause,
they eased soon. Some even smiled ;-)
Send You a Postcard (Beyond the Notes, 2004)
Dedicated to Tony Ashton "one of the best boogie players ever, but
this is no boogie, just my feelings about him". Great as well.
I Forget (Before I forget, 1982)
Almost the same jokes about "when I was on holidays in a band called
Whitesnake" and "I made a record to find out who I was that
was one of the best kept secrets in the music industry" as on the
Pictured Within tour. The vocal line was done by Sabine van Baaren (e.g.
from Vocaleros and together with co-Vocalero Mario Argandona, the only
ones that were present on Pictured Within album and tour as well) and
Miller who seemed to have some discussion off-mike about when to sing
what exactly. The original song was done by the very young Sam and her
mother Vicki Brown. But this was not mentioned, probably because of Sam
being present. Knowing that Vicki died in 1991 I couldn't help but thinking
about all the dead people linked to this concert. Nevertheless it never
went too sad - actually it was all a lot of fun!
a While (Pictured Within, 1998)
First vocal track of the evening: "One of the best voices in the
last five (dramatic pause) million years. Sam Brown!" What else shall
I say? But I will never like her dress! See Akiko's
pics from Hell and Andi
Thul's pics from Wendel. Sam's stage presence is amazing and the song
still makes everyone shiver.
Again (Beyond the Notes, 2004)
Jon tried to explain the funny aspect of the song title ("'Cologne
again' as in 'Alone again' - at 3 a.m. when I wrote it seemed awfully
funny!"). None of my favorite tracks so I don't remember very much
Obviously this song only ended up on the setlist because guitarist Paul
Shigihara asked for the score far more than once. This song has never
been played live before. Great spot for Paul. First time I realized how
easily Jon steps aside to leave the solo spot to other musicians. Afterwards
Jon said: "You know, the guitar player who recorded this song became
enormously famous afterwards. He formed a band called "The Army"
or so." Only a small part of the audience got the joke
case you don't get it, too: Andy Summers formed The Police together with
Introduced as the last song that will bring us to the "Pause"
(German pronunciation). I hoped for more German since Jon often uses it
on German TV - but we only got two words. "Gigue" got an extended
version with a fantastic drum battle (Bert on drums and Mario on percussion)
in the middle. The only applause within a song I recall. I'm not 100%
sure but I think this was the first out of two songs Jon played some Hammond
B3. From my seat I was able to witness it from behind. I never realized
how uncomfortable it must be using the pedals while standing
was about 20 minutes. Several voices were heard in the lines of "they
turned up the heating to sell more drinks". Unfortunately there was
no announcement of how long the break would be or any notification outside
when the concert was about to start again. Therefore a lot of people were
still getting in when the first song was already being played! Very annoying
as it was a very quiet one. But it was pure chance that I arrived at the
doors when they started to close it - I reached my seat just in time!
Within (Pictured Within, 1998)
A dream came true. I've waited more than five years to hear this song
live (sung by Miller - on a Jon Lord show). And sorry, I am absolutely
unable to make any objective remarks about it. Most of us have a special
song, a song that changed our lives - this is mine
09 A Smile
When I Shook His Hand (Beyond the Notes, 2004)
Including: Here Comes the Sun (The Beatles, 1969)
As an introduction Jon told the story how he took a walk with George Harrison
not long before his death. This version included his most famous song,
sung by Sabine and Miller. There was also a certain joke about a lot of
great deceased musicians having lots of fun and only one problem. I won't
tell it as I don't want to spoil the fun for those who don't know it yet.
But it went to show that it wasn't a sad show at all.
Song (Pictured Within, 1998)
The second song featuring Sam Brown. Introduced by herself as being about
sitting at the open window in your favourite chair. Jon agreed that he
couldn't have said it better. There's no doubt the two of them get along
more than well - knowing each other more than 20 years by now.
Dance (Dave Brubeck, 1961)
Those of us who were present at the Pictured Within tour knew what was
coming when the complete orchestra started to clap their hands in a special
rhythm. Jon's remark about it dealt with the fact that he loves the title
- it's not a square dance, so let's call it unsquare dance.
Calls (Beyond the Notes, 2004)
Miller had taken off his jacket by now - but still had no clue where to
put his hands. All of our pics show him holding his own hands
voice - or as Jon put it: "This man sings my songs as I would, if
I could sing". Millers comment that Jon "actually sings pretty
well" was not agreed by Jon.
Telemann Experiment (Beyond the Notes, 2004)
German television show Sunday Night Classics seems to have made a great
impression on Jon. He said that they will try to have as much fun with
the song now as they had doing it there. I guess they had. The song is
a mixture of "baroque, madness, Swedish folk music (listing all kind
of styles) and fish & chips." Yep, it is - it's great!
Profundis (Beyond the Notes, 2004)
The song about leaving a certain band. Jon used the German word "Tondichtung"
(tone poem) to introduce the song. It wasn't an easy decision to leave
Deep Purple, but he his happy about it now. "This is why I am not
touring in Outer Mongolia at the moment!"
Jon and all band members left the stage. The applause was ground shaking
- no shouting for "encore", but clearly intended.
For Miriam (Beyond the Notes, 2004)
Jon came back telling us that he rearranged the song about his mother
for orchestra and now wants the Trondheim Soloists to do it for us. In
fact, he went off stage again during their performance.
Girl Lost (Sam Brown Solo, un-released)
During the Pictured Within Tour Sam did Stop! (with band) and a solo song
that was featuring her alone on piano: Breathe In Life. This year it was
her and her ukulele, that once belonged to George Harrison. The song is
about a women that's going mad (she is "away with the fairies").
The third title from Sarabande that had been played on the Pictured Within
Tour (and in the same order), once again as the final piece. I have the
impression this title gets heavier each tour. The string orchestra is
definitely more powerful than the string quartet was. And the band joined
in pretty heavily, too.
The end applause
was rocking the house. When Jon finally came out to tell us that there
will be no encore because they have no more songs (each part was about
80 minutes) he reacted to somebody shouting for DP: "They are still
alive and doing well, very well. Go to see them."
(same as in Hell):
Jon Lord (grand piano, Hammond B3)
Sam Brown (vocals)
Miller Anderson (vocals)
Paul Shigihara (guitars)
Urs Fuchs (bass)
Matthias Krauss (keyboards)
Mario Argandona (percussion)
Bert Smaak (drums)
Trondheim Soloists (16 string players)
Sabine van Baaren (backing vocals, some percussion)
and a lady on flute
to Europe 2004/2005