[ d e e p P u r . p l e ) The Highway Star

Ian, may your voice touch others the way it has me

Deep Purple was explosive, as ever, at the wonderful Lycabettus Theatre in Athens. I felt some distortion in the overall sound, but otherwise a great concert. I hope they keep this quality of venue.

Ian Gillan had some initial trouble with a cough, but soon showed why he is my favourite singer. More blues singing, please, please. I was asked by a friend (who knows I have almost every recording IG has ever breathed on...) whether he was sincere in his comments that this particular concert was a very moving one for him, and that he would never forget it. I haven't met IG (one day...?) but having followed some of his interviews, replies to fan emails and even when he co-DJ'd with Roger Glover years ago on a radio station (Rock Show, I think), I believe he means what he says. May your voice touch others the way it has me.

Don Airey was a wonderful replacement for the maestro, who I hope recover completely. Ian Paice was again showing how rhythms are played, even with only one hand! Other drummers should watch very closely. Roger Glover was having too much fun for his own good. Brilliant.

Which brings us to Steve Morse. I knew nothing about him before the "Purpendicular" album (sorry, Steve), and this was the second time I have seen him with DP, three if you count the "Concerto" on TV. He re-writes the rule book, in that he seems to be the master of all trades. He obviously has nothing to prove to anyone, even to die-hard Blackmore fans like me. There definitely is life after Ritchie. And I can't wait for the next album.

The songs played were, bar "Ted The Mechanic", all pre-Morse. The classic hits obviously went down well with the crowd, particularly those who haven't followed DP in depth lately. I can only think that market research showed that (in Greece) only the old stuff is known. This is a great pity for a number of reasons. Some of the new stuff is absolutely wonderful ("Cascades: I'm Not Your Lover", "Castle Full Of Rascals", "Hey Cisco" and "Any Fule Kno That", "Almost Human", "Don't Make Me Happy", "Fingers To The Bone" from "Abandon"). The second reason is that these great songs will not get learned by the crowd and thirdly, Steve does not get to play "his" songs.

My thanks to Michalis, Manos, Virtzinia and Katerina for arranging my ticket (I flew in from Cyprus for the concert) and to Tim for making my visit extra special.

Kind regards

Manolis Kroussaniotakis

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