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Ireland & UK 2002 reviews  

Glued to my seat

Booked my tickets months ago, requested standing. Even Quo still do standing at the BIC. "All seated, sir." "Even the band?" I jested. Something was not quite right here. The BIC date clashed with a week's holiday and a mini college reunion in Swanage, Us 'Young Ones' have bred to become 14, but I was not going to miss a DP gig for anything. We're all getting older, hair greying, shortening and thinning, can't sink 'em like we used to, even midnight seems late when the kids get you up at 7.00am, and now I've gone down with a cold. Can't hack the pace but will never admit it.

Got a baby-sitter booked, got the misses to drive, dosed up with cold and flu remedies, feeling shaky and in need of an early night, got my Purple tickets. Lets rock.

Sorry The Planets, I missed you. Propping up the bar anaesthetising my throat with ice cold lager and stocking up on tissues. Feeling positively weird surrounded by all these ageing rockers. Who do we think we are? Band on stage in five. Let's rock.

We all sat down, and some joker had put glue all over everyone else's chairs, and no one was able to break free. I ached all over. My Woman From Tokyo, and we all sat down. Disbelief. I struggled to my feet and started doing what had to be done and felt a hundred pairs of eyes stabbing me in the back. Three pints of lager met two Ibuprofen and a Lemsip. I sat down.

And the band played on. Ian Gillan looked and sounded as bad as I felt, barefoot and wearing Aladdin's pants, coughing and straining to give it his all. I tried singing along to give him a bit of moral support, but my voice gave out after Mary Long. You could sense everyone in the BIC feeling so sorry for him, urging him on, wanting to give him a lozenge, (or a hug). I was gutted. Maybe I expected too much after the Purpendicular tour? Ian kept reading the set list, seemingly counting how many more songs he had to get through and which he could miss out. Child In Time was dropped.

And still the band played on, and they can certainly play. The sound system was superb. The musical talent of the band breathtaking. I was aghast, these guys could still rock. Some of the audience broke free from the sticky stuff, others rediscovered the air guitars of their youth and banged along. Good vibes received at the stage were commented on, but the majority of us tapped our toes. Perfect Strangers was my favourite should I be forced to pick, but as the performance went on the standard got higher and somehow it didn't seem to matter so much that Ian was more green than purple. The other four gave their all in support, the interaction between them is fascinating. How do you do it? Total masters of your profession. (Ian, I didn't catch the germ, I already had it.)

It wasn't until the set ended that collectively we really appreciated how damn good you were and the roar and applause for an encore was genuine. It even broke the adhesion of bums to seats. So, finally with everyone standing, we rocked out the last two numbers and BB51 forgot he had kids tucked up in bed and was too close to the top of the hill for comfort.

I salute you. Even with the best rock vocalist of all time firing on only three cylinders you carried it off. And a new album and extra tour dates to be announced, (sorry to you guys who missed out). See you there.

Oh, and by the way, you can leave the BIC at 10:50pm and still make the last ferry back to Swanage.

Trevor Snell

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