Formed in 1968 at a time when Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Rolling Stones pretty much owned the territory between blues and rock, Deep Purple were a more straight-forward option, containing elements of all three best-selling bands with a bit of groove thrown in for good measure. "Smoke on the Water", "Hush" and "Strange Kind of Woman" are influential classics all - and, just listen to "Black Knight" then Tame Impala's "Elephant". That's no accident.
By the mid to late seventies, UK rock was morphing into the new wave of British heavy metal and Deep Purple's initial lucrative inspirational reign was over - for now at least. Just as they were inviting the mainstream to "Come Taste the Band", the band tasted defeat and disbanded.
Iron Maiden took up the mantle as kings of British rock and Purple's various musicians split to seek solo solace. Ian Gillan and Roger Glover had already departed the ranks, David Coverdale formed Whitesnake, Tommy Bolin sadly od'ed and Glenn Hughes immersed himself in many projects. Thankfully, various members have played under the name Deep Purple and have now settled as a unit for nearly 20 years and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 (finally).
Fast forward to 2013 and Deep Purple find themselves back on track after an eight-year gap between albums. "NOW What?" follows-up 2005's "Rapture of the Deep" with a release in April. Recorded in Nashville, fears of a country revival can be dashed with the first swat - this is rockin' territory, especially with Floyd, Kiss and Cooper protagonist Bob Ezrin at the controls. Gillan, Glover, Morse, Airey and original drummer Ian Paice are also set to give this new material a thorough going over 'live'.
Their first shows since 2011 will begin in Manchester on 12th October, followed by Glasgow on 13th, Birmingham on 15th and London's Roundhouse on the 16th. Tickets on sale now, priced from around £35 upwards.