Great work, Don!
About 4500 people had come to Hamntorget in Helsingborg to see and hear Manfred Mann and DP play. The setting is a smallish square beside the harbour lagoon in the centre of town. The stage is facing the sea, the audience has their backs to it, as the sun gets lower it shines it's last rays onto the stage. (Sounds a bit nicer than it was, although true, the square is a boring piece of asphalt not much else.)
Before the gig a few known faces had been seen in Snaps Bar, Doug and Steven, Svante, Benny and Sirpa amongst others, always nice to see you guys.
A bit after 7.30 p.m. Manfred and his gang entered the stage. As I'm not a particularly keen MM-fan I'll keep it short. Nice, great singer (Noel McCalla), some songs I actually recognised ;-). But I didn't really feel the groove, alas. I guess they where good, the crowd seemed satisfied and happy.
About 10 pm DP hit the stage, the crowd who had been laidback and happy during MM now closed in on the stage and started to get exited "Woman From Tokyo" came first, great set starter. Being an ardent JL-fan I was slightly worried about how I would react to another keyboard player in DP, but Don did an amazing job (although I still would have preferred JL, I was not disappointed and the band rocked as they should).
Then on to "Ted", heavy stuff. After a short comment about the death of Lord Longford by IG, "Mary Long" was next. I do like this song! Don got going soloing into "Lazy" with more than one though of old JL solos, good work!. "Lazy" is my favourite DP song and got me dancing as it always does.
"No One Came" next. Good to hear some new old songs.
IG got going, "Steve wrote this one on the ferry coming over, finished it in the dressingroom," (no he didn't) "The Well Dressed Guitar". Wow, he's fast!
A short Airey solo into "Perfect Strangers" - he's fooling around with quite a lot of different music in this one, nice job. I've never really enjoyed "Perfect Strangers" on record, but live it's one of the best, you need the impact of a full PA to get the massiveness into this one. Massive!
Another Airey tune inside "PS" as well as some nice playing by SM. (I won't keep repeating what Steve played as solos, he was brilliant and smiling as always)
"When A Blind Man Cries", mmmm! I love it, true beauty.
Steve goes of on a musical tour (Beatles, Led Zep, Leyla etc.) and into "Smoke". Crowd goes nuts , as always, sing-along and all.
The set ends with "Speed King", (now I'm worried again, how will the duel work?)
It worked! GREAT WORK, DON!!!
(Not quite as smoothly and flowing as with JL, but I mean you cannot expect that from a guy who's been called in as late as poor Don, and that hasn't had time to play with Steve. Come on! *talking to myself here*)
A grooving solo by Roger followed by Mr Paice (one handed drumroll and all).
A quoting-a-hell-of-a-lot-and-making-things-up-as-you-go-along thingie between IG and Steve (lotsa laughs), and back into "SK". Love it!!!
Encores: "Hush" - I really like the groove of "Hush", and "Na-nanna-Na-nanna-na-nanna-nah" is fun to sing ;-)
"Highway Star". What can I say?
I'd like to thank Don Airey for being brave enough to help the guys out in their distress, thus making it possible for me and the rest of us Scandinavians to see DP on this tour.
THANK YOU DON!!!
(and thank you Roger, Mr Gillan, and Mr Payne for being so nice to me)
CU - next time