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UK reviews 2002 (rescheduled)

A huge improvement

What can I say - today is Tuesday and I'm still grinning from Sunday night's DP gig...

Arriving at Portsmouth, there is a good atmosphere around the Guildhall and it looks to be a great little venue. We walk past a DP bus and have a drink in the Firkin and something pub - great pub. Enter the Guildhall and go straight in to see The Planets playing on stage. Very talented musicians but not our cup of tea.

Deep Purple come on and start with Fireball, good entrance and great start. I can't remember running order as I was having way to much fun. Gillan looked fit and well, not like the last time at Bournemouth. I must admit that at Bournemouth with the rumour of Jon leaving, Gillan's throat croaking and the others looking glum I thought it was the last time I may see them. I have since learnt that they were all ill and Jon retired so there was no bad vibes.

Sunday was incredible I enjoyed it as much as the Royal Halibut Hall gig. Everyone gave 150 per cent including the audience, but at the moment I think the two Ians really shine. Gillan's voice is I think the best it's been since the 70s, and Ian Paice on the drums - Yes! The guy is such an entertainer, he really seems to have rediscovered the art and is enjoying himself, what he does not know about drums from making them to playing them well.

I was glad to see Don Airey to check him out, and I was doubly pleased to see Jon Lord when he came on. Don is good and will more than do for Purple, but he is not as fluid as Jon I think. But then Jon's had 35 years of practice. So rock on Don, you are worthy.

The intro for Perfect Strangers was a high note. First with Don doing Star Wars, and there was a bit of very low bass I can't ever remember feeling music go through my knee caps like that. The lights went down and Jon came on. I guess PS would be his signature tune. Oh and Don's left hand - anyone remember Bobby Crush? Nuff said.

The whole night was just amazing, the sound punchy powerful and clean (how do they do that?). [They work with pros! Rasmus] I will carry the happy memories until the next time.

I was glad to hear When A Blind Man Cries, however, I still think the best version is on Live At The Olympia with Steve doing all the solos as it should be - a great bit of blues. Mary Long and, for the first time, Space Truckin' were great too. The rest I could listen to forever as well.

This time we never got a drum stick like last time. At this rate it's going to take us a long time to get a full kit...

Bloody good gig, bloody good night...

Kurt N

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