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Hammersmith Odeon, London 20 October 2004

Opening band, The Quireboys, were a great choice of support act. Unfortunately I missed the vast majority of their set tonight but, of what I did see, I have to say they are still on form and it is good to see they are recording (and playing live) new material and having fun doing it. I look forward to seeing them on their own upcoming tour.

Last time I saw Whitesnake was in 1997 at Shepherds Bush and that was a gig that had left me disappointed. However, tonight I was amazed at how good David Coverdale is sounding- and looking, and what a great line up this incarnation of the band is, I would go so far as to say that this was the best Whitesnake gig I have seen since 1987 and is one of the best gigs that I have seen this year. The good news for those that missed it is that the show was recorded to be released as a live DVD.

The set opened with an energetic rendition of Deep Purple's "Burn" and contained songs spanning the 25 year career of Whitesnake including "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City", "Love Ain't no Stranger", "Here I go Again", "Still of the Night" (of course!!), "Bad Boys" and the highlight of the night for me was a great version of "Judgement Day".

DC is a great, in fact one of the greatest, frontmen around. He is funny and highly entertaining, we are told that tonight we are gonna hear songs about bonking, that we all look great and as if we are fresh from the hairdressers and we are also thanked for coming to the show- however, you get the feeling that he really does mean it, he is enjoying himself and he is giving the singers of more current bands a real run for their money. His voice is stronger than ever and he proved this with vocal only renditions of "Time and Again", "Only My Soul" and as final encore "Soldier of Fortune".

The guitar playing of Reb Beach and Doug Aldrich is very much in the tradition of Whitesnake, particularly Aldrich's soloing, and the solid drumming of Tommy Aldrich (complete with drum solo - with and without drumsticks!!) and bass playing of Marco Mendoza hold the whole thing together. Top this off with the fine keyboard playing of Timothy Drury and the vocals of DC and this is not only a great touring line up but one that should be put in a recording studio as soon as the tour finishes. The crowd at this show, and I imagine the other shows on the tour, have shown that there is still a market there for a new album.

Great show, great band and I can't wait for the next tour.

Review: Nikk Gunns

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