Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle, United Kingdom
November 10, 2004
Unfortunately we missed Dean Howard's performance but
Thunder and Peter Frampton both produced terrific mini-sets which
left you feeling satisfied not bored. Worthy of mention was P.F.'s cover of
While my guitar gently weeps, spine chillingly good.
As for the main men, Deep Purple, five guys who've done it 'n' seen it
all, doing what they enjoy, under no pressure to do this 'n' do that and quite
obviously having fun.
Four songs were aired off the new album Banana's which were the title track,
Contact lost, I've got your number and show opener Silver tongue (which was
a bit of a surprise).
Also in the set were Woman from Tokyo, Knocking at your back door, Perfect strangers,
Highway star, Space truckin', Smoke (of course), Speed king and Hush (for an
As usual people leaving afterwards on about this song and that song not being
played / played but they never ever will please everyone.
On the night they played a good tight set, seemed to enjoy it,and we left happy
in the knowledge that IG still has a superb voice, SM is still a brilliant banjo
player, DA has just taken up behind the ivories as if he's always been there,
RG and IP plugging away keeping everything in order and running along smoothly.
Brilliant lads see you next time.
The sound was better than I was expecting from the Arena, though
still a bit muddy and impenetrable in places and not a patch on City Hall or
other real music venues. Interesting to note that the Arena security forces
were much more easy-going and less obtrusive than at the other venues. I think
that's a big point in its favour - and, oh, look, even without nazi security
there were no fights, riots, or stage invasions. Amazing. Why can't other venues
grasp the idea that we go to enjoy a night of music, not to cause trouble? Ah
The warm-up bands did a great job as usual, the atmosphere was fantastic, and
the place was packed to the limit by the time Purple hit the stage.
A seat at the side and almost level with the edge of the stage gave me a very
odd perspective, though I could actually see the entire stage clearly (except
for Don who was annoyingly blocked by a speaker stack half the time). I could
also see the various goings on backstage, things like Roger's lightning guitar
change, the guy whose job is to throw fresh towels at Ian Paice, and the person
flashing morse-code messages in the direction of the mixing desk. Very interesting.
But not interesting enough to detract from the five guys on stage who, as usual,
gave an incredible performance full of energy, humour, and top-notch virtuosity.
The set was 90 minutes again, but the mix of songs and jams seemed to work out
much better than previously - the songs felt spacious with stretched-out solos,
as in Glasgow, but they still fitted in Hush (including a brief drum solo this
time) as the second encore. The best of both worlds.
It's hard to pick highlights when absolutely everything works so well. Well
Dressed Guitar, which is still a phenomenal piece of music; Smoke, which is
of course, Smoke; and a proper, stretched-out, jam-filled version of Speed King,
which is still the best live song there has ever been.
The new songs fit in very well and feel like classics, and the classics are
I've got nothing left to say...
Being less than keen on Bananas, I was pleased when they moved
their attention to the far more satisfying Demons Eye, then Knocking at your
Back Door and Perfect Strangers.
Ian Gillan sat himself down on the stage as he talked us through the introduction
to my favourite selection from Bananas, the instrumental Contact Lost. Most
atmospheric, being played as a veritable galaxy of glittering silver stars swirled
in orbit about the auditorium.
Highway Star and Space Truckin' came next, worth the ticket price alone. These
two, along with the anthemic Smoke on the Water, provided us with highlights
of the classic Machine Head album before the band left the stage.
An encore of Speed King and Hush topped off a most enjoyable concert.
The band seemed to enjoy themselves and Mr. Gillan's voice was in fine form
Not one thing negative can I think of to say about the performance (the new
album on the other hand, well... ).
The word that can describe Deep Purple to the maximum effect
is... GOOGOOPLEXICAL! Both on and off stage they are magnificent.
My wife and I are hard nosed, ardent, solid Purple freaks, and have been since
1969. That's when I bought Hallelujah. Since 2000 we have been able to travel,
and been lucky enough to see them at various locations around the world.
The show in Newcastle was amazing. Standing tickets - we got to the front -
and right in front of Roger Glover. The sound was amazing (of Roger, that is)
because that's all we got. Roger Glover - bless him - our wonderful, wonderful
bass player. Our fault for being too close to the front, so we couldn't hear
The rest of our family were there - who had never seen Purple before - and as
they arrived I pushed them in front of me, to get a better view. The further
I was pushed back - we're only talking three rows, here - the better the sound
quality. I get the distinct impression that if we had been at the back of the
hall we would have heard everyting as clear as a bell - but then we wouldn't
have been up close and personal to the band - which is what we like.
Ian Gillan's voice just gets better and better - I am always amazed at his vocal
range, and tonight, he was well on form, to the extent that he was not too far
from the top 'A' of Child in Time. He looked good too - can't wait for the next
tour and the next album - a little birdie told me, it is to be a hell of a rocker.
From Silver Tongue to Hush - the night was better than Perfect Street Wranglers!
Love to Purple People Eeverywhere.
Keep on rockin'
Margaret & Peter