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Ireland & UK 2002 reviews  

Emerald Osaka

Having grown up listening to my Deep Purple albums, I was delighted to take my baby sister (now in University) to see Deep Purple in the Point for their first show in Ireland (that I know of).

For my part I have seen the band many times down the years, and can honestly say that this was one of the best shows that I have seen them perform. There was an obvious joy and excitement that came from the stage, and enthused the appreciative full house. Ian Gillan was his usual vibrant self, banging out the lyrics with a freshness as if it was the first time he was singing them.

There was plenty for those fans who would remember the classic Mk 2 period in the early 70’s including the opener Woman From Tokyo, Mary Long, Lazy, Child In Time, No One Came, Fools, Speed King, Smoke On The Water, Hush, and Highway Star - roughly in that order with Highway Star being the finale.

In between the band treated us to Perfect Strangers, Ted The Mechanic, The Aviator, The Well Dressed Guitar, and a new track that will now be recorded on the next album after the crowds favourable response (or so Gillan led us to believe!).

Steve Morse was excellent. In the past I felt he tried to do too much, but on the older tracks he played closer to the original runs, and added his own individual brilliance on top. In fact on Highway Star you could almost imagine that you were in Osaka 30 years ago.

Jon Lord was his usual inspiration, and I always think of his solo spot as the highlight of the show. This time I particularly enjoyed the dueling with Steve Morse during Speed King. Roger Glover was as solid as a rock, and it would be nice to see him featured more. However, for me Ian Paice was the star of the show, he was fantastic. Along with Jon Hiseman I think he is the best in the business, and he certainly shone tonight.

By the end of the final strains of Highway Star my baby sister was hoarse from singing. Make sure you catch them on this tour, they are on top of their game.

Saul Evans

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