It was something thought to have been eradicated over forty years ago, but now fears are growing that the once ubiquitous 15-minute drum solo is set to make a return at live gigs throughout Britain.

It follows reports that during a recent Deep Purple gig at the O2, without warning in the middle of Black Night a bank of lights swung in on the drum riser. One fan said: ‘I felt sick to the pit of my stomach as the other band members dropped out but Ian (Paice) continued to play all on his own. There was even a two minute cymbals and tuned percussion section. Suddenly I was back in ’72 and it was awful!”

Organisers of The Reading & Leeds Festivals are understood to be on ‘red alert’ and a spokesman for the twinned events commented: ‘Obviously this is very concerning. We are writing a clause into all contracts that any band who has a drum solo in their set simply won’t get paid. So far headliners are complying although we can’t give categorical assurances at this stage, it is hoped that common sense will prevail across the entire bill.’

Meanwhile veteran rock DJ, (Whispering) Bob Harris, told 6 Music’s Mark Radcliffe, ‘I believe in the power of prayer and please God it won’t happen, but we’ve beaten this evil once already and we’ll do it again if necessary.’