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The Sunflower Jam Rocks The Albert Hall

Deep Purple, Joe Bonamassa, Bill Bailey & more raise thousands for charity

Bill Bailey joined Deep Purple onstage last night at the Royal Albert Hall in London at the annual Sunflower Jam gig.

Their rendition of 'Smoke On the Water' complete with Bill on the cowbell orchestra topped off an incredible night of music and fundraising for the charity. 

Established several years ago by Jacky Paice, wife of Deep Purple drummer Ian, this year's Sunflower Jam was the biggest ever with more performances and a bigger audience than ever before.

Oscar winning actor Jeremy Irons was MC for the evening and as well as a host of musical guests, an auction was held which raised thousands of pounds for the cause. The Planet Rock Gibson SG Guitar, signed by the likes of Slash, Jeff Beck and Emerson Lake and Palmer was donated by Planet Rock owner Malcolm Bluemel and raised £6,000.

Highlights included Thunder's Danny Bowes and his rendition of Bruce Springsteen's 'Born to Run', Joe Bonamassa's blistering performance of 'Ball Peen Hammer accompanied by Jon Lord on Hammond and Jon and Rick's unique keyboard duet, which was written especially for the event and titled 'Its Not As Big As It Was'. 

But it was Bill Bailey who got the audience rushing to the front of the stage with his epic six-necked guitar. Bailey serenaded the crowd with his multi-skilled guitar playing before switched to piano for a medley of rock and pop anthems done in the style of Chas n' Dave. 

The Sunflower Jam was also given the royal seal of approval by his Royal Highness, Prince Charles who attended Deep Purple's sound check earlier in the day and also chatted with Bill Bailey about his multi-necked guitar. The Prince was given a tour of the stage by Jacky Paice and also attended a champagne reception before the performance where he spoke to the likes of Rick Wakeman, Deep Purple's Roger Glover and Planet Rock's Malcolm Bluemel.

Here's a few photos from the night.

All photos © 2011 Adam Mart

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