(born Belfast, Northern Ireland, April 9, 1979)
When the band’s longest-serving guitarist Steve Morse announced he had to bow out from the legendary band due to personal reasons, Belfast native Simon McBride was an already known and respected guitarist within the Deep Purple camp. Having played with keyboardist Don Airey and singer Ian Gillan on various projects in recent years (including Gillan’s three live Contractual Obligation albums and Airey’s last studio recording One Of A Kind) Simon got his initial warm-up playing with DP during the 2022 summer tour, to rave reviews from fans and critics alike.
Simon recently signed to Europe’s leading rock label, earMUSIC, home of Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Al Di Meola, and a host of other leading names.
He released his latest studio album ‘The Fighter’ on Ear Music in 2022.
His guitar skills (“Among the best blues-rock players anywhere in the world” — GUITARIST) made him a go-to guitarist on the blues rock scene, admired among professionals and endorsed by some of the biggest brands, like PRS Guitars.
Former Young Guitarist of The Year and a fully-fledged blues-rock virtuoso, he has toured with guitar legends Joe Satriani, Jeff Beck, Joe Bonamassa and Grammy nominee Derek Trucks.
Simon was recruited by the Belfast-based metal band Sweet Savage, who reformed in 1994 when he replaced their founding guitarist, Vivian Campbell (Dio, Def Leppard). Simon toured and recorded two albums with Sweet Savage. He also toured for six years with Andrew Strong, who made his name in the 1991 cult film The Commitments.
This seasoned pro has already added a new energy to the Deep Purple camp, with his effortless adherence to the accomplishment of those before him, together with his own unique and recognisable style.
His journey with Deep Purple is a most welcome addition.