Deep Purple Played 8 Songs at First Show Ever This Day in 1968

Before Deep Purple became a household name in rock history, the band started out as a young, five-piece rock band, hailing from Hertford, Hertfordshire, England in the late sixties.

DP has gone through so many line-up changes in such a short period of time, that the 1968–1976 line-ups are labelled as Mark I, II, III and IV, with II being the most commercially successful one.

But there had to be a I to make way for a II, and that line-up featured the one and only constant member of the band, drummer Ian Paice, along with Jon Lord on keyboards, Ritchie Blackmore on guitar, bassist Nick Simper, and singer Rod Evans.

Happy with the line-up, DP set out for their debut tour, kicking off with their first show ever on this day, April 20th, in 1968. During the brief tour through Denmark and Sweden, they were still billed as their original band name "Roundabout."

The band kicked off in Parkskolen, Taastrup, Denmark with an 8-song set, where they were free to unleash one of the most unique sounds that is still loved in rock music today.

They opened with "Hush," written by Joe South, a song they would go on to cover over 1400 more times, the most recent time being March 14th, 2020.

"Hush"

They performed two covers throughout the set, "Hey Joe" by The Leaves and "Help!" by The Beatles; the rest of the set was filled with original tunes. All the tracks came off of their debut album, Shades of Deep Purple, which was recorded over a single weekend that following May.

DP's first line up playing a cover of "Help!"

Songs off that album have rarely been performed since those live debuts, other than "Hush." "Mandrake Root" is the second most performed song from the record, at over 100 performances, but it hasn't seen the DP stage since the early 1990s. Former bassist Nick Simper recently performed a handful of the songs with his band Nasty Habits in May 2019.

Check out the entire setlist here:

Deep Purple

DP are still going strong with their current line-up, with their 21st studio album Whoosh! dropping August 7th, and an extensive European summer tour planned. Make sure to visit their official website for any COVID-19 postponements.

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Last updated: 2 Feb 2023, 17:10 Etc/UTC