Deep Purple to debut new song at S'pore concert, Latest Music News - The New Paper

Deep Purple to debut new song at S'pore concert

Fans of British hard rock pioneers Deep Purple heading to their Singapore concert next week are in for a treat, as they will be the first in the world to hear the live rendition of a new song from the band’s upcoming 23rd album.

The quintet behind classic rock staples such as Smoke On The Water (1972) and Highway Star (1972) are set to perform on May 1. The original venue, Fort Canning Park, has been changed to The Star Theatre. It is Deep Purple’s only Asia show announced in 2024.

Says frontman-singer Ian Gillan, 78, in a telephone interview from his home in Portugal: “We haven’t done a show since before Christmas because we’ve been working flat out on a new record. So everyone is like a caged lion at the moment. We’re going to explode with energy when we hit Singapore. Everyone’s very excited.

“We’re going to do one song from the new album. It will also be the world premiere of a live performance, which is very exciting too.”

The new album, =1, is set to be released on July 19.

More than five decades after they formed in 1968, Deep Purple, who last performed in Singapore in 2013, are still going strong with global tours and new music.

Part of the reason for their longevity, says Gillan, is that they have never been interested in what is popular or trending in the music world.

“We found at an early age when we attempted to do something commercial, it was absolutely awful, that we had no idea what commercial means.

“We shouldn’t be chasing style or fashion. We did that in bands when we were semi-pro and in the early days, you try and find the popular trend, and adapt to it with your clothes, style or music. This is completely opposite to the way Deep Purple does things.”

The group’s fluid line-up over the decades has also helped keep things fresh, says Gillan. The only founding member left in the band is drummer Ian Paice, 75. Gillan and bassist Roger Glover joined in 1969, keyboardist Don Airey joined in 2002, and newest member and guitarist Simon McBride joined in 2022.

Previous members of Deep Purple include acclaimed guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, 79, and keyboardist Jon Lord, who died at the age of 71 in 2012.

“There’s a lot of dynamics in Purple records, it keeps us alive. And, of course, the change of personnel,” Gillan says. “It’s heartbreaking at the time, but it’s probably one of the other reasons the band’s lasted so long, because we had to get fresh blood and they’ve always been of the highest quality.”

Gillan, who has authored several books, sticks to a daily ritual to exercise his creativity. “I have a pencil and I have a rough book, an exercise book. And when I get up in the morning, I make a cup of tea and I start writing whatever comes into my head, and that’s not for a record or for a song or for a book or story. It’s just because that’s what I do.

“If there’s a break in the day, I just like writing about stuff. And so you get pictures and impressions and scenarios that are always there, available for new songs.”

The new tracks on =1, he says, were inspired by how complicated the world has become. He recalls an incident in which he had difficulty trying to purchase an item online.

“I found myself being asked by a robot to prove that I’m a human being by filling in a matrix of traffic lights. And I tried, but they were all blurry and hard to pin down, and I failed to prove to a robot that I’m a human. The world is going totally insane.

“And I suddenly had this desire for simplicity. So I started doodling, and I made a long equation. It was a really long, complex equation, but it equalled one. This is what we do in our lives every day, all these complications.”

Asked how long more Deep Purple will be around, the rocker replies: “Oh, probably about another 60 years.”

While fans at the band’s shows in the United States tend to be older, the average age of their audiences in Europe is 18 years old, and they are even younger in South America, says Gillan.

“The energy that the audience brings to the show is reciprocal. It just winds everything up, it’s amazing. You can weaponise it, almost.”

Deep Purple Live In Singapore

Where: The Star Theatre, The Star Performing Arts Centre, 1 Vista Exchange Green
When: May 1, 8pm
Admission: $188 via Sistic, go to