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DEEP PURPLE/Cheap Trick, Manchester MEN
lifetime fan of Deep Purple, it is often difficult to stay objective.
And yet, as a fan of Everton FC too, I have similarly rejoiced at the
tradition but also baulked when things went wrong.
I was there
in 1976 when Mark Four finally capitulated. In 2002 I saw them gainfully
battle against flu. We've all seen 'Come Hell and High Water' and the
tensions on board. Yet I have also witnessed some of the greatest ever
rock songs written and performed.
Would this be triumph or adversity?
The resurgent Cheap Trick opened for Purple. An excellent rock n'
pop band, these guys' songs don't need an introduction either.
infectious 'Surrender' was the highlight of the evening, but it brought
it home to us the rich vein of creativity which permeated from Cheap
Trick in the late 70s and early 80's with a string of international
hits. Robin Zander is an amazing singer still. They overran though and
had the plugs pulled during the encore, 'Dream Police.'
The irony is
that Deep Purple, in the words of Roger Glover, are a 'hard
working band' and this of course denies them access to the Hall of Fame
which incidentally seems to be reserved for those who have retired,
deceased or been able to mothball their achievements in a hiatus. The
Clash? Come on. A decent five year career of decent hits and then zilch.
And if you are doing Zep and the Sabs, you can't exclude Purple.
Anyway off my soap box and back to reality. (I doubt if the founding
fathers lose sleep over the issue). This is a 40 year back catalogue to
die for. 'Songs that Built Rock' is a justifiable strap line. Ably
assisted by the impressive New Philharmonic Orchestra of Frankfurt, the
band entered the arena energised and ready for some serious action. We
even witnessed a violin solo during 'Lazy.' Founder Jon Lord would
Steve Morse has finally shaken off the badge of "replacement" and
provides his own orchestral sound that was at times in breathtaking
synergy with the orchestra.
this is a rejuvenated band with renewed purpose. Guitarist, Steve Morse
has finally shaken off the badge of "replacement" and provides his own
orchestral sound that was at times in breathtaking synergy with the
orchestra. In particular, 'When a Blind Man Cries' was a highly
emotional rendition which was preceded with a haunting melodic
has come into his own in a big way. I originally got the impression
c.2003 that Airey was almost in apology for stepping into Jon Lord's
shoes and using the Hammond bequeathed by the founder member. Now the
integration is complete. Happy to echo Lordy's unmistakeable genius
though in song like 'Lazy' his energy is a true dimension to Purple in
was in fine form throughout this two hour set. It goes without saying
that he isn't 22 anymore. Let's not impose HG Wells on the scenario we
have before us.. But the voice that built ten thousand gigs has adapted
well to the years. Dressed down in unassuming black, Gillan often cuts
an awkward figure on stage but we enjoy his presence, delivery warmth
and yes energy.
Peart is the live master. Purity over pomp.
For 40 years
Paice has provided the nuance. What distinguishes Purple songs from also
rans in pubs and clubs up and down the country is Paice and Glover's
the Water' is built around a riff and yet the unusual rhythmical
marching that we now take for granted takes what could have been a mere
album track to legendary status. Tonight it was heartening to see him in
industrious mood. Paice not Peart is the live master. Purity over pomp.
favourite of the evening was 'No One Came' from the Blackmore maligned
"Fireball.' album. This was the first song an impressionable 11 year old
ever learned the lyrics to. Perceptive, Gillan's satire on the mimic
industry in the early 70's pre-dated Floyd's similarly themed 'Have A
Cigar,' but the words seem as relevant now as then.
It shows how strong Purple's household favourites are if you can afford
to leave out a hit single and track! Shame but, as the man said "leave
them wanting more."
'Hush' and 'Black Knight' ended the history masterclass and the 6,000
crowd went home with yet more memories of a great band in immaculate
form. This ain't 1972, but it's not Vaudeville either.
"Now where's my Robin Hood outfit?"
Set list and original studio release
Highway Star (Machine Head)/ Hard Lovin' Man (In Rock)/
Maybe I'm a Leo (Machine Head)/ Strange Kinda Woman (single and In Rock
bonus track)/ Rapture of the Deep (Rapture of the Deep)/ Woman from
Tokyo (Who Do We Think We Are)/ Steve Morse and orchestra 'symphony'/
When a Blind Man Cries (single b side)/ Well Dressed Guitar (Bananas)/
Knocking on Your Back Door (Perfect Strangers and single)/ Lazy (Machine
Head)/ No One Came (Fireball)/ Don Airey and orchestra 'symphony'/
Perfect Strangers (Perfect Strangers)/ Space Truckin' (Machine Head)/
Smoke on the Water (Machine Head and single)/ Hush (single)/ Black Night
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