Putin's heir rocks to sound of Deep Purple

Politicians seem to be queuing up these days to proclaim their trendy music credentials to image-conscious voters. First Gordon Brown waxed lyrical about his love for the "very loud" Arctic Monkeys. Then David Cameron got in on the act by including the Killers in his Desert Island Discs selection.

Now, the man who is almost guaranteed to be the next leader of Russia has gone one better. For Dimitry Medvedev doesn't just love Deep Purple, he loves them so much he's going to fly them to Moscow to play at his own private gig.

Besides being the current First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and chairman of the state-controlled gas giant Gazprom, the heavy metal-loving Mr Medvedev is also President Vladimir Putin's anointed successor – and thus the clear frontrunner in next month's presidential elections.

At a party to be held next Monday in the Kremlin, officially to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Gazprom but also being touted as a tribute to Mr Medvedev, guests will be entertained by his favourite group. Mr Medvedev has on more than one occasion outlined his love for heavy metal bands including Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, and says he owns every Deep Purple album. Russian news agencies reported yesterday that Tina Turner would also appear at the gig.

A spokesman for Gazprom said he could not confirm the line-up and that the event would be an "internal corporate party" and closed to the press. Although Russian media have hinted that Mr Putin will attend, his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said it was not yet in his diary.

President Putin is known to have more conservative musical tastes. When asked if Mr Putin also liked Deep Purple, Mr Peskov said: "I haven't heard anything about that. From what I know, he likes classical music more."

Bringing in Western superstars to play is nothing new for the top layer of Russian society. George Michael, Christina Aguilera and Beyoncé are just three of the stars reported to have been whisked into Moscow for behind-closed-doors gigs. Last year a juice magnate flew in Paris Hilton to entertain his 15-year-old daughter.

On Deep Purple's Russian fan website, Deep-Purple.ru, reaction to the impending visit was mixed. "I'm pleased that our high-ranking officials have good musical taste," wrote one fan. "But they are not spending their own money on the concert." Others hoped that bootleg recordings would be made available, while some posts raised suspicions that Mr Medvedev himself was using the forum under a false name.

Deep Purple formed in Hertfordshire in 1968, and - with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath - went on to become one of the pioneers of heavy metal. The band was successful in the US before poaching the singer Ian Gillan from Episode Six and making it back in the UK. The group - which once was the loudest in the world according to the Guiness Book of Records - split in the 1970s before later reforming with Steve Morse.

The band has given 24 concerts in Russia since 1996. In 2004, the deputy mayor of Moscow, Mikhail Men, hired band members Glenn Hughes and Joe Lynn Turner to re-record some songs he had written in the 1980s.

Turner was in Moscow last June to sing at a private party attended by Mr Medvedev. He told The Moscow Times he was paid "very well" for the concert.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - SQL Server, T-SQL

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Data Analyst (SQL Server, T-SQL, data)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...

Day In a Page

Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

How Etsy became a crafty little earner

The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

Don't fear the artichoke

Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
11 best men's socks

11 best men's socks

Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

Paul Scholes column

Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

Frank Warren's Ringside

Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

Khorasan is back in Syria

America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

On the campaign trail with Ukip

Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

Expect a rush on men's tights

Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions
Peter Kay's Car Share: BBC show is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade

In the driving seat: Peter Kay

Car Share is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade. The programme's co-creator Paul Coleman reveals the challenges of getting the show on the road