Ian Paice's Sunflower Superjam - 'Live At The Royal Albert Hall 2012'

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Ian Paice's Sunflower Superjam - 'Live At The Royal Albert Hall 2012'

It's a hugely varied, fun and entertaining show and well worth checking out.

The Sunflower Jam started life as a private charity event created by Deep Purple's Ian Paice and his wife Jacky. The event was successful and this recording, taped in 2012, documents the second Jam, which was open to all.

The best thing about the Jam is seeing an array of great stars on the prestigious Albert Hall stage, all having a blast. The Temperance Movement kick things off with a spirited rendition of their track 'Ain't No Telling' before Sandi Thom comes out to try her hand at Julie Driscoll's 'The Wheels On Fire', backed on keys by original keyboard player Brian Auger.

Uli John Roth performs 'The Sails Of Charon' before we get to the more left field selections, which make the event such fun. You never know who is going to show up, and when celebrated tenor Alfie Boe takes to the stage, I wondered what he would choose to perform. I enjoy stuff from the Musical Theatre genre, where Boe is very comfortable, so he completely threw me when he decided to sing Led Zeppelin's 'Rock And Roll'! He did a very good job too, following it with a powerful version of Foreigner's 'I Want To Know What Love Is'.

Another great West End singer, Steve Balsamo, took to the stage to pay tribute to Jon Lord before delivering a brilliant version of Lord's 'Pictured Within'. Level 42's Mark King then pick up the pace with energetic takes on 'Something About You' and 'Lessons In Love'.

It was covers time again as Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson tries his hand at Thin Lizzy's 'Emerald' which was okay, but not nearly as successful as his impressive rendition of The Who's 'Behind Blue Eyes'. I often see the word "super-group" used in this magazine, sometimes tenuously, but there can be few better examples of the term than when Ian Paice on drums, Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones on bass and Queen's Brian May on guitar join Dickinson for 'Black Night'. To prove it's a jam, May is enjoying the riff so much he keeps playing even as the rest of the group were winding up, prompting Dickinson to shout "This is the end, Brian!"

May welcomes another West End singer, Kerry Ellis, to the stage for a great duet of 'Since You've Been Gone', before Alice Cooper brings things to a close with 'Elected' and 'School's Out'. The stage is then packed for an all-star finale of 'Smoke On The Water'.

The accompanying audio version contains all of the above, while the DVD offers an extra track from The Temperance Movement and two from May and Ellis. It's a hugely varied, fun and entertaining show and well worth checking out.

James Gaden

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