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UK reviews 2002 (rescheduled)

Generous manly musicians

This is not a review, just impressions:

The Planets: Good, skilled, good looking young people - but static. What I heard were only classical pieces in their entirety, with drums and a rock beat added. The same concept as Exception, I thought - but a bit less swinging. I would very much like to hear them do their own music and jam, which I believe they did in their last number. That rocked.

Deep Purple: A frightful sound at the start! Fireball was nearly impossible to recognise through the mid registre wall, and that was sad, 'cause it was well played. The treble was hard as nails, and it took a long time for the sound man to begin to get it right. I had a feeling of being in an ice hockey rink - and I gather that wasn't far from the truth...

Seeing Don Airey, I thought: "Oh no, we came all the way from Sweden for one last gig with Jon... Is it his knees again?" And then, during Woman From Tokyo, I adapted to the new deal and listened. He's good, of course, or he wouldn't be where he is: I miss the dynamics that Jon masters so well, but thought let's give this guy a chance to do this his own way.

I was surprised about the set list, and putting WFT in the second place amazed me... but as we went along, I realised this was a 'greatest hits' set, and leaned back into being served a row of gifts. "Alright, it's September, it's still summer, and it's Christmas!"

Mind you, I was waiting for the rush of people towards the stage: That didn't happen. And for a long time, I was wonderous about this audience: Had the sound been too bad at the start? Didn't they like Deep Purple? Or were they just DP's old fans, who where waiting for DP to deliver the same massive feeling of being overwhelmed as these people had experienced at age15? And now, at age 45, they were unable to let themselves get overwhelmed? Stiff, is how I felt they were. But then again, this was England, infamous for it's reserve - and here, they were "prophets in their own country."

But that changed.

As Ted The Mechanic gave his life story on a rather loud table napkin, people were beginning to melt. I still wonder why they needed melting: I, personally, am melted as I get close to the area where DP will play.

I'm not one to remember the order of songs, or the order of anything. But I think this was around the time when I just had to go out for a short spell, during Don Airey's solo. Sitting there, I heard a roar... and when I got back, there was Jon Lord by the B3, doing the intro for Perfect Strangers. "No sense of timing..."

It was brilliant. He was brilliant. They were brilliant. They glowed, they played, they had fun, they jammed: Good ol' Deep Purple, now with a new member, who came up and seemed to 'do the Bump' with Jon by the keyboards.

This is where it turned into a blur for me, and when I stopped counting and just enjoyed the show. But they did all the good old ones, including nearly all of my favourites:

Mary Long,
When A Blind Man Cries
Anyone's Daughter [Huh? Rasmus]
Well Dressed Guitar (I still think "Ill Tempered Guitar" was a funnier title)
Speed King (with an incredible country & western intro)
Space Truckin' (incl. a long bass solo)
an Elvis medley, with good Golly Miss Molly,
Smoke On The Water

And then they came back, and did
Black Night
Highway Star

I'll have forgotten so much that this hardly makes sense, but here's one very happy Swede, with feet that took a week to heal, eardrums still sizzling like British eggs and bacon and bulging inwards... and a heart full of gratitude to a band who are musicians enough to always surprise me, men enough to always be honest, and generous enough to take the time for their fans, even when they've already given all they've got. Cheers, Deep Purple - whoever you are!

Friendly notes: Yes; The Blue Bell was small, but nice, and York was small and lovely. Hello Bryan, Akiko, Jim, Wolf and everyone else: It was great seeing you guys live! But where were you, David? I had so much looked forward to seeing you. :-(

Hugs from
Lotte Wieslander

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