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UK reviews 2002 (rescheduled)

The Cheshire Cat Morse

Drove up to "The Smoke" from Bristol last night to see Purple for the first time since the Albert Hall Concerto. Been counting the days since the Bristol gig was postponed in March.

The Planets seemed like a very tight and accomplished bunch of musicians and were politely received by a hall full of Purple fans of all ages. Our position front row of the balcony, dead centre allowed us a great view of the whole stage, and was that some of Purple's relatives being shown to seats midway back in the stalls? [The delightful senior Mrs Glover was certainly there on the second night, bopping away like the rest of us. Rasmus]

An explosive start by Purple fronted by Gillan and the Cheshire Cat Morse. All through the gig the band looked happy and seemed to be on a roll from the recent German tour. The crowd was loud and incredibly appreciative of everything Purple did. The night had that feel of the great concerts I attended during my teenage years.

One of the loudest cheers came after Don's Star Wars lead-in. The lights dimmed and as they came back on there was Jon Lord at the Hammond, black t-shirt and sunglasses on looking for all the world like a hitman! As the crowd cheered we saw Ian G. go behind the keyboard stand and give Don a hug.

Jon had to come back for us and the situation seemed well-handled as Don came back to the keyboards to first work with Jon on several numbers and then take full control again before Jon came back for the encore.

Steve and Ian G. must have touched the hands of everybody stood at the stage and looked like they had a great time all through the show. It sometimes looks like Steve wants to get down with the audience and enjoy the show with the public as well as being up on stage!

The show ended to incredible cheers from the whole hall and we left regretting only that the band had been on for only an hour and a half. Here's hoping that the lads expand the program for the Bristol show and include Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming and Rosa's Cantina to make the perfect night.

Steve Evans

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