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UK reviews 2002 (rescheduled)

Room for improvement

After being mildly entertained by the support group The Planets and by Roger Glover's solo album Snapshot, I never would have thought that these two items were to be the highlight of the night.

Fireball, for me, never works as an opener (I always preferred the build up of Highway Star) and the inclusion of Mary Long was embarrasing - it only just worked in 1973 - whoever thought it was going to work in 2002?

None of the band seemed to be enjoying themselves except Roger (maybe he had heard his solo album being played at the interval as well), but Ian Gillan did clear the annoying cameraman from the front of the stage. I have always missed the side on view of the keyboards with Jon Lord rocking them backwards and forwards and, to this end, Don Airey was static and almost invisible behind his set up. Big cheer though for Don who turned into Jon Lord in the middle of the keyboard solo.

Steve Morse is a superb guitar player - there can be no question about that - but it seems peculiar when people rave that this line-up has been together the longest and only play one track from it - Ted The Mechanic. Is it that this line-up's songs do not stand the test of time?

If Deep Purple are to tour without an album to promote we should have been treated to a 'greatest hits' package - not that I'm expecting Ian Gillan to sing Burn (Joe Lynn Turner did that in 1991 and look what trouble that got him into), but you would have thought Child In Time or Strange Kind Of Woman would be on the menu.

The set also comprised; One from In Rock (an elongated Speed King - introduced as "a skiffle from the Faroe Islands" - mmm interesting I thought); Four from Machine Head (a powerful Smoke and superb versions of Lazy, Highway Star and Space Truckin' - proving that this material works best); The title track from Fireball; Disappointingly only the title track from Perfect Strangers (and what happened to the interesting lasers?); Two from Who Do We Think We Are (Purple's worst album ever?); Hush, Black Night, Ted plus a frantic strumming session that they "may put on the new album over the winter." You heard it here first folks! [Not half! Rasmus]

I'll still be there next time (I've been doing this for a long time now), but please make it a bit more exciting!

Ian Taylor

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