Jazz Festival, Stravinskij Auditorium, Montreux, Switzerland
Woman from Tokyo
I've Got Your
Strange Kind Of Woman
Knocking At Your Back Door
Steve Morse solo
Well Dressed Guitar
Don Airey solo
(William Tell and no Star Wars!)
Smoke On The Water
Hit the Road Jack and Gillan's favourite nursery rhyme
was a very, very long night.
DP were billed as being on second which is what
happened in 2000. This time when Cheap Trick left the stage we were momentarily
confused at the stage set up we were watching until we realised the smart white
cabinets signified that the Quo were on next. I was grateful for this as I wanted
to see them but doubted my capacity, after the 2000 experience, to make it to
the end. That was the only time ever I was praying for Deep Purple to leave the
stage because my feet were screaming from standing in queues, being too competitive
and determined to be at the front, from where there was no escape.
Quo were superb and it was obvious from the audience reaction and the number
of Quo shirts in evidence that many had come purely for them. And they were amazing!
Immaculate timing, loads of fun and those great songs to which I defy anyone to
stand completely still. I am so glad I got to see them.
Cheap Trick were
also very entertaining. Robin Zander is truly charismatic and posseses a real
rock voice and personality and still has the hair. They did an hour, the Quo did
an hour and a half.
DP were rather late on, it was after midnight! I briefly
feared another 'Skynyrd effect' after the Quo's mighty performance - quite a number
of people did leave before DP came on. But they did not let us down one little
The set worked really well despite my usual misgivings about too much
from the Mark II era material. At least there were four Bananas songs. I
would still like to hear some material from Abandon or Purpendicular included.
sound was superb and the screens on either side of the stage were a great benefit
allowing me to avoid the crush and staying at the side this time. Much safer!
In fact you could watch the whole concert from the safety of the bar on a huge
screen if you chose to.
After Smoke quite a few people left the
Auditorium, either they had fulfilled their ambitions of seeing it performed in
its birthplace or else their feet gave out.
As always the band looked to be
enjoying themselves. Ian's voice sounded really strong, although he was having
difficulty with the high notes in Woman from Tokyo (he should take
advice from Roger Daltry who still manages to sing all the Whos back catalogue
simply adapting it to the way his voice is now) and all their usual energy was
there in abundance. I don't know how they do it after such a punishing schedule.
Montreux obviously brings out the best in them.
This was the second outing
for Demons Eye and it is good to see a different song being
brought into the set.
Don was on form, his playing gets better and better and
at least his sound is given the prominence it deserves. I used to have to strain
to hear Jon Lord at times. Don did a delightful jazz version of Smoke as an intro
to the real thing, very appropriate for the festival. During Smoke
the lights at the back of the stage were turned into a smoke and flame effect.
Earlier Status Quo had used them to good effect with falling raindrops to accompany
Steve had a lengthy solo
opportunity with Contact Lost which Ian introduced with the story of the loss
of STS 107 Columbia. The Well Dressed Guitar is still in the set to the disenchantment
of many it seems. I still love its simplicity.
made his usual references to the vibes coming from the audience that are so important
to them and it sounded sincerely meant. Ian also referred to a statue on the lakeside
before he started Hit the Road Jack. I dont know if the younger members
of the audience would have understood he meant Ray Charles - perhaps they thought
he meant Montreuxs rather more prominent Freddie Mercury feature.
- did they really only change to being third on so they could watch the football?
now I only have to wait 18 weeks or so to the UK tour. It's too long . . .