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UK reviews 2002 (rescheduled)


Same set as Germany tour i.e., Fools, No One Came, CIT and Up The Wall dropped since the Feb UK shows. Fireball added (the opener) along with When A Blind Man Cries and Space Truckin'. On the face of it it looks like an unadventurous set (and I admit my heart sank when I saw the setlist from Germany reviews). Having seen it, I still think it is one or two songs short.

However, this was easily more than compensated for by the sheer verve and power of the playing. Mary Long and WABMC provide breathing space, but otherwise it's an out and out rocker from start to finish and the energy levels were fantastic. All on form.

Jon replaces Don for Perfect Strangers and Speed King. Both duet on Smoke (now the set closer) and first encore Hush. Don then does Black Night and Jon rejoins for duet again on Highway Star - all very well handled and brilliant response for both from a very enthusiastic audience.

The real highpoint for me though was that improvisation may be coming back into favour. For the first time in many Purple dates, I've heard some phrases and passages in the songs that are new to me. It's not jamming, and it's not ad lib, but it's a new start. The test will be whether they develop this during the tour - let's hope so. E.g. Lazy would have had many Mk2 purists gunning for Steve, but I thought it was just outrageously brilliant.

Forget any criticism of the set - on this form DP are unbeatable and unmissable.

Ian Nichols

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