[% META title = 'Tour Reviews' %]

No Child drove me Up The Wall

Being an avid fan for the past 30 years (ever since buying Machine Head) I was eagerly awaiting seeing the greatest rock band in the world today bar none. It's been a while since I last saw them - thrashing about in the mud of Knebworth in 1985 and previously with the Mk3 line up in 1974 on the Burn tour.

Having read the reviews I couldnt wait to hear Child In Time along with the new songs and versions of Fools and No One Came from the early Fireball album. The set list was basically the same but there was no Child In Time!!!

They started at 8.35pm with the superb bass drum thud to Woman From Tokyo, followed by an excellent solid version of Ted The Mechanic which was again referred to as a song about a wine merchant. Expecting the set list of previous shows I kept wondering about Child In Time. We got a great version of Black Night instead and I can only think Ian's voice couldn't make it. Throughout the evening he coughed a lot and often missed cues to verses catching them quickly or missing a line. It seemed that the dry fog was a culprit, and you were really beginning to wonder if he was enjoying the gig.

The two new songs were put together and I didn't think much of the instrumental - more like a rocked up jig. However Up The Wall would be a confident album filler albeit no classic. The Aviator was included, which although never a Purple song in my opinion, seemed to work well live and would suggest it is one that Steve enjoys playing as one of his own.

By the time Perfect Strangers came they were well into the flow. A solid number if ever there was one, and interesting use of the green spots. After a shirt change from Ian we were helped to an excellent Lazy with superb exchanges between Jon and Steve and interesting Welsh anthem inclusion by Jon resulting in them shaking hands after duelling.

Fools is a song I hated from Fireball, but fell in love with live. One of the best numbers of the night. The usual intros from famous riffs such as Honky Tonk Women, Angel and La Grange let us into the familiar Smoke.

A great blues number in When A Blind Man Cries but why does Steve need to show off on technical stuff? It is far better played with the simplistic blues riff on the original. Knowing Speed King was next the show had nearly finished. An excellent solo from everybody, especially Ian Paice with one hand. And the strange inclusion of a 50s rock and roll number from Ian at the end. Encores were Hush and a superb Highway Star to finish.

The show was good although an overall distortion on the bass through the P.A. which I think was too small to handle Rogers sound coupled with the Hammond from Jon (it seems they had just hooked into the Arena set up). Roger and Steve obviously enjoyed the gig, Roger the last to leave the stage (would this be the last time he plays his native country?). Ian looked tired and Jon also looked like he would prefer to be back home by the fireside with a good book. Paicey was stunning as usual. Perhaps with the omission of Child In Time they have probably bitten off more than they could chew with this tour. There is no doubt that they are solid and one of the tightest bands you will ever see, but one wonders if they are looking at this being a final farewell with an album to boot shortly. Good Lord (sorry Jon) don't ever do an unplugged - retire at the top. It's been a fantastic 30 odd years.

Set list:
Woman From Tokyo
Ted The Mechanic
Mary Long
The Aviator
No One Came
Well Dressed Guitar
Up The Wall
Black Night
Perfect Strangers
Smoke On The Water
When A Blind Man Cries
Speed King

Highway Star

Dave Bonner

Back to reviews