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UK reviews 2002 (rescheduled)

Planets worth looking at

I sometimes wonder if they ever produce a bad concert. This is the ninth time I have seen them since my first concert in 1971 at the De Montfort in Leicester. Each time they produce something a bit special, and this time the audience at York were left wanting more of the Purple sound.

I was disappopinted at first when I didn't see Jon Lord at the organ, but Don Airey is an excellent keyboard player, and has obvious admiration for Jon as his style is very similar.

However, I must have let out the loadest cheer of the night, when out of the mists suddenly appeared Jon Lord standing over his Hammond, and sending the crowd into a frenzy with his opening bars of Perfect Strangers. He has a fantastic presence within the band, and surely no other person has influenced the Deep Purple sound over the years as much as Jon Lord.

The rest of the band were buzzing, and I think Ian Paice gets better and faster with age. I had to take a second look at him as I had never seen him perform without his head scarf before. It certainly didn't slow him down, and his one handed drum solo is just amazing to watch and hear.

Ian Gillan's vocals were on top form, and the sound mix ensured every word he sang was audible.

Roger's bass was unbelieveable. I was sitting up in the balcony, and I could feel the air being blasted past me in waves, as well as feel the whole auditorium reverabrate as he pumped out Speed King and Highway Star at incredible decibel levels.

Steve Morse produced his own brand of excellent guitar riffs and solos, and his 'racing car' sound at the beginning of Highway Star still leaves me wondering if he ever had a proper guitar lesson in his life - amazing sound and an amazing guitar player - Ritchie who?

Great gig in York, fantastic to hear Space Truckin' again after about 20 years, one of the highlights for me.

A request for the next time they come to York, I would love to hear Hard Lovin' Man and Flight of the Rat live... Also, if there is any room for improvement in the band, I would like to offer this suggestion. Could they start to look like The Planets. They produced an excellent hour of high class classical rock and good looks. Unfortunately Purple only beat them in one category.

Keith Scoullar

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