Having seen Purple earlier in the year when señor Gillan's voice was not at it's best; and the gig became a bit like The Steve Morse Show to allow him time to recover enough for the next song. I thought to myself it would be the last time I would see them live.
I forgot all this when I heard tickets were on sale for the gig at Portsmouth and bought a pair straight away. Old habits die hard. We took our seats and realised that The Planets were the support act again (plus side: some top tottie in the band - down side: same tune eight times again).
Luckily I read some of the reviews and found that, at some time during the evening, Jon would be tinkling the ivories. (Don, what happened to the rescheduled Airey and Bonnet band show in Southampton?)
The lights went down and Deep Purple came on, fronted by the Karate Kid. From the first note you could tell you were in for a good performance, Ian's voice was back on form and I've never seen Roger so happy on the stage, and that's after seeing him in various line-ups over the last 20 years.
The songs came thick and fast; Old, New, Borrowed and Blues. The solos were excellent - drums, guitar and keyboards I'm used to, but Roger's solo was a bit different.
After this performance I'll certainly stump up the cash for another pair of the best tickets in town.
Apologies for the quality of the pictures but I was sitting at the back of the circle when I took them.
Unauthorized copying, while sometimes necessary, is never as good as
the real thing (with apologies to Ani)
(c) 2005, The Highway Star