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Outpouring of appreciation

After a nightmare journey of 2.5 miles and episodes involving an absent wife, the Brownies, Cat-poo, a recalcitrant babysitter and a child that didn't want me to leave, I reached the BIC as the GREATEST BAND IN THE WORLD EVER were kicking into Woman From Tokyo.

Took my seat in the peculiarly arranged, (ask Ian Gillan) BIC, courtesy of an excellent purchase by Mr Nick Scott and enjoyed an uninterrupted view of the band hitting top form. Poor Ian was suffering greatly from a bad throat but was unquestionably making every effort to deliver. All things considered, that is exactly what he did. Late on in the show he sang for us an exquisite version of When A Blind Man Cries and rightly received an ovation for it. Top effort, Ian.

Early on we were treated to ...shock horror.....Mary Long, the stand out track from Who Do We Think We Are. At Ian's mention of Mary Whitehouse and Lord Longford a few of us knew what we were in store for and demonstrated our approval for a great song and some of Purple's best-ever lyrics. Fantastic!

The band really were on top form and very clearly seemed to be enjoying playing for us and getting a tremendous reception. It did feel odd that we were seated at such a top show. Oh well, I now know how the Japanese must have felt in the 70s.

Jon Lord and Steve Morse were truly mesmerising exchanging licks in Lazy that were so tough to follow. Although I am sure he enjoying doing his own thing now, Richie should reconsider his decision Not To Rock. His former bandmates are now doing it in fantastic style, with Steve being the absolute star of the show, demonstrating phenominal technique coupled with a tangible love of what he is playing. The fun that he is having doing it is clear for all to see.

What other band can boast such a line-up of legendary banjo players as the Man In Black, Tommy Bolin (RIP), and the great Steve Morse, all of whom have contributed enormously to the musical portfolio of this great band.

Steve, as of now, you are truly The Man!

The usual classics were rolled out, to universal approval, I don't need to list them. The band also rolled out a new song called Up The Wall. This was very well-received. The only disappointment for me was no Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming. Still, Mary Long made up for that.

High point of the evening for me and my other concert going mate, Terry 'Brooding Buddha' Bagshaw, was Ian Paice's single hand drum roll, executed at astonishing speed while looking as bored as a Parliamentary backbencher. How does he do that? He and Roger held together the keyboard and guitar pyrotechnics and melded them into rock music of the highest calibre.

The musicianship on display at the BIC, in my open mind, set a new standard. Only a few bands existing today can hope to match it; Rush, when they can be bothered, and maybe Dream Theater. Only thing is (and I love both bands) they look so po-faced doing it. Deep Purple had fun. If you have fun when you are working, you'll do a great job.

The band closed with Hush and Highway Star, and finally received a genuine standing ovation. So many audiences give these out simply because it is the done thing, but in Bournemouth there was without doubt an outpouring of appreciation for the efforts of this great band and the entertainment they gave.

Finally, our compliments to the band on the clearest PA I have ever heard, especially considering the BIC's weird set up, (stage set up on the long side of the auditorium as opposed to an end, (Ian G was totally perplexed at this), a colourful and imaginative lightshow and backdrop, and some good merchandise to boot.

I had no intention of mentioning age when I wrote this, but I feel that I have to pass one comment on the subject. Here goes: Age is irrelevant. It is as simple as that.

Thank you Deep Purple.

Hugh Braddock

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