During Ian Gillan’s hiatus from the band Deep Purple, he did many things musically including his brief stint with Black Sabbath. One of his lesser known musical ventures is the Ian Gillan Band. One of the reasons for it’s small impact among fans here in the USA is that Ian Gillan Band was more of a Jazz Rock band than a straight-ahead rock band. The magic of the Ian Gillan Band, live was captured and recorded as ‘Live At The Rainbow 1977’. And recently this concert was made available on the DVD format.
At the point of this concert, the Ian Gillan Band was promoting their second album ‘Clear Air Turbulence’ and a few songs from that album are featured as well as three Deep Purple classics, featured at the end of the set, Child In Time, Smoke On The Water and Woman From Tokyo. Upon listening to these three, fans will notice that they all have been jazzed up in the arrangements. At first I was put off then I found that while they may sound weird in comparison to the originals, they had a very appealing flavor to them.
This concert may get mixed responses depending on the open-mindedness of the person watching but just remember that at this point in time, Deep Purple wasn’t around to play these songs. Take a chance, like I did, and watch the magic that is the Ian Gillan Band.
There are several extras on the DVD such as 10 minute interview with guitarist Ray Fenwick remembering the band and their very short moment in rock history. Also included is an audio interview with Ian Gillan recorded in Japan in 1977 and various rare outtakes, played on the backdrop of a slide show of photos from that era.
I found the music to be very interesting and may be geared more towards the progressive and jazz rock fans rather than the traditional rock ones that have enjoyed Ian’s performances in Deep Purple or Black Sabbath. I would recommend this DVD to be watched because simply Ian’s vocals have a charm to them even in other musical genres.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on Novemebr 12th, 2006