AFTER years of playing for some of the greatest rock bands in the country and winning numerous awards, a group of Port Elizabeth's top musicians have come together to pay homage to the pioneers of rock – Deep Purple and Uriah Heep.
Shades of Purple features Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water and Sweet Child in Time and Uriah Heep's classics The Wizard and Easy Living.
The Deep Purple group – made up of frontman Geoff Good, keyboard player Boet Strydom, guitarist Roy Pretorius, bass player John van Vuuren and drummer Jeff Sidal – will play old favourites from the 70s rock era. There will also be a guest performance by Jason Pretorius, who will join the band on stage.
The Uriah Heep group will consist of Ken Collier, Andre van Wyk, Neil Engelbrecht, Gavin and Neil Grundlingh, Mario and Lyn Torrente and Michelle Olivier.
Van Vuuren said the event will be an experience rarely seen in Port Elizabeth.
"The audience will get to experience the hard rock sounds of Deep Purple and the poetic rock of Uriah Heep. We will be dressed like Deep Purple and our audience can come dressed up in rock gear too," Van Vuuren said.
Most of the group participated in The Herald On The Go Show held in the '60s through to the early '80s which produced many of the country's top musicians.
With some band members performing since the mid-'60s and others raised in a musical environment, there is more than 200 years of musical experience and an unlimited amount of musical knowledge among them.
Guitarist Pretorius said Deep Purple, which was once listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's loudest band, "improvised a lot of their songs on stage".
"They would improvise and play off each other. We are going to try and bring that to the stage," Pretorius said.
Van Vuuren said they are going to take the audience on a groove through musical history.
"People who will come see the show will come because they are Deep Purple or Uriah Heep fans. They know the history of the two English rock groups," Van Vuuren said.
Pretorius said that although it will be a firm favourite among group fans, many will recognise favourites such as Can't do it Right, Sweet Child in Time, Circle of Hands and The Wizard.
"There will be youngsters who will say: 'I know this. I grew up with this music' and you will see them singing and rocking with us," Pretorius said.
For Port Elizabeth fans who remember purchasing their imported record of Deep Purple or Uriah Heep from Michael's Record Bar for R14 – which was "almost half your salary" – or the children raised on classic rock, Shades of Purple will see leather-clad rockers descend upon the venue.
The Shades of Purple performance is at 66 Butterfield Road, Kragga Kamma in Port Elizabeth tomorrow at 8pm. Tickets will be R80 per person at the door or available from Rob on 072-840-2180.