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Damp Purple crowd

Monday 18th February, I wake up later than usual because I'm bunking off school to go to Bournemouth from Crawley to see Deep Purple. Later on in the week I have two more shows at the London Hammersmith Apollo. Get all my stuff ready, my mate comes round and we leave, after losing my camera, unable to find a sleeping bag and forgetting my lunch. Luckily my mum drove down the road and gave it to me whilst I was on the way to my mate's place.

We leave on the train from Gatwick airport to Bournemouth, one train all the way there. On the way we listen to Deep Purple and talk about guitars. I even negotiated a deal for a new guitar amp on my mobile on the train... He he. We get down to Bournemouth, get to where we are staying which was a student's house, very nice people, all slightly older than me. (I'm 17 going on 18 in March). The afternoon turns to the evening and before you know it we've got a taxi and we are in the Bournemouth International Centre (BIC). We get a Fanta (fizzy orange) then go in and watch the support band (The Planets) who were very good. Then came the time for the roadies to set up for Purple. I went up to the front of the stage and was checking out all the gear. I had a good look at Steve's 6x Peavey 5150 cabs and 4x Peavey 5150 Head (all Eddie Van Halen signatures), that was the same amp that I had negotiated a deal for earlier on. But my amp is a smaller 2x12" combo.

The show starts. The band kick off with Woman From Tokyo. The first thing that really pissed me off was the unresponsive crowd. Loads of grey hair and people too young to appreciate anything other than Black Night and Smoke On The Water. I was sitting next to three old guys and they just sat there through the whole thing - didn't move. Poor Ian Gillan still had his flu, and he was giving 110% and he rocked. The poor guy was giving it his all that night, and the crowd just did not respond. After almost every song I stood up for the band and clapped and shouted and waved my hands about to get their attention so they know at least one person in there was having the time of his life and fully appreciated the efforts of the band. It was really off-putting actually, there was a very stale atmosphere in there.

I knew every lyric of every song, it seemed like I was the only die hard fan there. Obviously I wasn't as there has been more reviews here but still, I couldn't believe no one was moving. I head banged, sung, tapped my feet, clapped my hands, everything. The guys next to me must have thought I was mad. I was pissing a bloke off in front of me cos I kept singing and clapping my hands, but I thought 'fuck you, I paid alot of money to get here and I'm gonna support my favourite band, even if nobody else here will.'

When I had been standing up after every song, Roger saw me when I was waving to him, then he gave me big waves back and said something but obviously I couldn't hear it. To make sure it was me he was waving to I gave him a big thumbs up, to which he replied the same. Then when it was going quieter and I was still standing and waving, Ian Gillan saw me waving at him and waved back and said 'Hi there, how you doing?' I thought to myself, at least the presence of a die hard crazy fan has been made known to the band, and they know that I fully appreciate every note they play and sing.

I can't remember the order of the songs, but these are the songs they played... Woman From Tokyo, Ted The Mechanic, Mary Long, Lazy, No One Came, Fools, Smoke On The Water, Up The Wall (new track, very good), Well Dressed Guitar (Steve Morse's own new track, seriously rocking), Perfect Strangers, When A Blind Man Cries, Black Night, Speed King, Hush and Highway Star.

Awesome solos from all the band. At the end of the show, I stayed for a while to watch the crew de-rig. A security guard came up to me and said 'what are you boys hanging around for?' I replied 'we're watchin the crew de-rig.' 'You helping of watching?', so I was honest and said we were watching, then he told us to leave. Arsehole. The staff at the BIC were stupid anyway, telling people to sit down, etc. Really bought the thing down, especially during Smoke On The Water when a group of five or six kids and a guy stood and clapped and staff came over and told them off. It was really upsetting to me actually, don't know why.

Anyway, the band rocked majorly. It was my first proper DP gig. My first DP gig overall was the first night of the Concerto in London 1999. That rocked alot too. It was just such a shame at the BIC because of the crowd and the staff. At the end the crowd did stand a clap to Hush and Highway Star. Man, my hands, throat and especially my neck hurt when I came out of there that Monday night.

Thanks for reading my review. Can't wait to see them at the London Apollo tomorrow... Long Live Deep Purple.

Matt Love

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