Sunflower Superjam 2012
It took me a few months to get round to this, largely because when my copy arrived late on last year, the DVD was glued to the inside of the cardboard sleeve. So it took me a wee while to rouse myself to action.
But now that I’ve managed to get into it, what treats do we have. Well, if you don’t know, the Sunflower Jam is the brainchild of Jacky Paice, wife of Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice. Founded in 2006, Jacky was inspired to help those fighting cancer and other diseases after meeting a 16 year old boy named Kevin. Since then, Jacky has organised high-profile, classic rock events which, after outgrowing their original venue, have now moved to the Royal Albert Hall and other iconic London venues. The Sunflower Jam also organises other fundraising activities throughout the country and actively remains committed to engaging and educating people in the discussion surrounding complimentary and integrated treatments.
Which means you’ve got a DVD chock full of top names, and it’s all in the name of charidee. Deep breath, because I’m going to drop some heavy names here. Alice Cooper, Brian May, Bruce Dickinson, John Paul Jones, Ian Paice, Mark King, Alfie Boe, Deep Purple, Rick Wakeman, Joe Bonamassa, Newton Faulkner and the last live performance from the legendary Jon Lord, spread across two DVDs.
As with most of these type of things, the performance level is a bit strange. With the floor of the Royal Albert Hall turned into a seated area with tables and chairs, it all feels a bit flat, even when you do have the Rainbow classic ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ performed by Brian May & Kerry Ellis, with a guitar solo from Uli Jon Roth and Ian Paice on drums. It only turns into a show when Alice Cooper appears, because he knows how to work a room like no-one else.
You also get to hear some classic tunes utterly destroyed. And not in a good way. Say hallo to ‘Emerald’ with Bruce Dickinson as he murders, resurrects, then murders it again. There’s actually more to enjoy on the 2011 footage with the highlights including ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’ by Gary Brooker, who is still in amazing voice and Jon Lord performing ‘Bouree’ with Anna Phoebe. And let’s not forget ‘It’s Not As Big As It Was’, a song written and performed by Jon Lord and Rick Wakeman specially for the show.
At twenty quid, it’s pricey, but still worth a punt, especially as it’s for a good cause.
This year will see “Celebrating Jon Lord” – a concert produced by The Sunflower Jam which take place at the Royal Albert Hall on April 4th 2014.