The Shades of Deep Purple Tour was a short tour by British hard rock band Deep Purple to support their debut album Shades of Deep Purple. The tour lasted over one month and included only eight dates (7 in the United Kingdom and 1 in Switzerland). It was the band's first United Kingdom tour.
After a short debut tour the band recorded their first album in just one weekend and then confirmed their first United Kingdom dates. The album was released in the United States only, reaching #24 on the charts. It included the hit single Hush (written by Joe South and previously performed by Billy Joe Royal) which peaked at #4 and threw Deep Purple into the USA mainstream, although the Shades of Deep Purple Tour included mostly UK dates. No official live recordings from this tour have been released yet.
Summer 1968 saw Deep Purple's first shows in United Kingdom. The band's first high profile United Kingdom performance was at the 8th National Jazz & Blues Festival in Sunbury. In previous years this festival was held in Richmond, and it would later be moved to Plumpton for several years before transforming into the famous Reading Festival. Deep Purple played twice; they opened the main stage at 7 PM and played another set later that evening in the Marquee. Many people had high expectations but the general consensus was 'pretentious' and 'too American'. The line-up for the festival was Deep Purple, Joe Cocker, Jeff Beck, Rory Gallagher (with 'Taste'), Peter Frampton (with 'the Herd'), Marc Bolan and John Mayall and others. Photos from these shows prove that in the early days Jon Lord would sit behind the keyboard and sing backing vocals.