'Concerto For Group And Orchestra' teams ageing heavy rockers with ageing orchestra...

Deep Purple are playing a one-off concert at the Royal Albert Hall on September 26 to raise money for the Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy Charity.

It’s a return engagement with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 30 years on performing Jon Lord‘s ‘Concerto For Group And Orchestra’.

In his book ‘Child In Time’, singer Ian Gillan – who had just joined Purple in 1969 when the original RAH concerto was performed with 110 musicians – recalled that during rehearsals, the band experienced a great deal of resentment and hostility from the orchestra. At one point a female cellist got upset at being forced to play with “a second-rate Beatles“.


The conductor then said to the orchestra “…I don’t know what you think you’re doing. You’re supposed to be the finest orchestra in Britain and you’re playing like a bunch of c-nts. Quite frankly, with the way it’s going, you’re not fit to be onstage with these guys, so pick yourselves up and let’s hear some bollocks.”

The performance was well received – composer Sir William Walton came backstage to say that he enjoyed it – but during one of Ritchie Blackmore‘s guitar solos, violinists were spotted yawning.

The current line-up is as it was in 1969 with the exception of Ritchie Blackmore; the new guitarist is Steve Morse.

A second show may be added.