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UK reviews 2002 (rescheduled)

Swansong for one of rock's greatest

'Simply superb' describes Deep Purple's outstanding performance at the NEC last night. Everyone was simply at the top of their game and it was great to see Jon Lord on stage for the last time. Don Airey proved just what a perfect replacement he is for Jon Lord, demonstrating the ability to improvise and take part in the call and response duels with Steve Morse.

As I felt the last time in 1998, Deep Purple are a happier band who seem very comfortable with each other than they ever were with a certain Man in Black. Steve Morse is an excellent replacement and now seems to have been with them for ever.

My favourites of the night were Lazy, Highway Star, Speed King and When A Blind Man Cries plus a special mention for Mary Long.

I was a little disappointed that the set did not include Fools and Child In Time which I understand they did earlier in the tour. However I am more than satisfied with what they did which served as a fitting swansong for one of rock's great musicians... he will be missed.

Keep going!

Marc Osborne

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