[ d e e p P u r . p l e )
Tour Reviews
The Highway Star

Back to...
Ireland & UK 2002 reviews  

The years rolled back

Picking up a postcard promoting The Planets who were supporting Deep Purple on the 2002 British Tour, our initial impression was why a clean cut four girl, four boy act with a pop image were on the same bill as the legendary rock band. Once they took the stage it was soon apparent that the eight piece band are all fine musicians, their instrumental versions of classic melodies and self-composed pieces taken from their forthcoming album Classical Graffiti performed on a variety of instruments including violin, double bass, flute and electric and acoustic guitars had elements of rock, classical and pop. In spite of the contrasting styles of their music and the headline act they were well received by Purple's audience.

After a brief interval whilst the hard working roadies reset the stage ready for the headline act, excitement mounted, then the lights dimmed and then they were back!

Drummer Ian Paice first on stage taking the seat he has filled since 1968, quickly followed by keyboard player Jon Lord, who back in 1967 was a member of the band Roundabout who were to evolve into one of the most famous rock bands ever. Bassist Roger Glover and new boy American guitarist Steve Morse who joined the band in the mid 90's followed. Finally from the back of the stage Ian Gillan emerged!

Whilst his long hair has gone, his voice is as remarkable as ever which was evident from the opening classic Purple number Woman From Tokyo. The barefoot singer working hard to ensure that all in the auditorium which by now was full to capacity could feel that he was singing especially for them at some point during the evening. Pleasingly Purple's twenty-first century set is not just a rerun over their old hits, but includes some newer songs such as Ted The Mechanic and The Aviator which Gillan introduced by saying that not only was it his dream to be able to fly, but band member Steve Morse actually is an aviator, and a former airline pilot.

As Lincolnshire's only venue able to be able to consider bands of the magnitude of Deep Purple, Grimsby Auditorium is a state-of-the-art venue with excellent sound and great lighting effects, the extended strobe lighting during No One Came effectively catching Gillan's whirling mic stand and other band members frozen in dozens of momentary snapshots.

The first notes of Child In Time drew much applause from the audience, whilst we have heard it many times on record, seeing this awesome song performed live sung by Gillan for the first time will live long in the memory. Spine shivering!

Two other new works are Well Dressed Guitar given the working title of WD40 by the band, a well oiled instrumental piece that showcases Steve's remarkable playing abilities well, and Up The Wall, a song which was written towards the end of 2001 and currently unrecorded, Glover and Paice's pounding drum and bass rhythms and Jon Lord's distinctive Hammond Organ providing the classic Purple sound.

When A Blind Man Cries, another song with the 'blind man' theme that seems to bring out something special from Gillan, has been plucked from the obscurity of an early single b-side to feature in the band's 21st century shows.

Steve Morse then treated the audience to a selection of classic riffs from songs by The Who, Hendrix and others before launching into perhaps Purple's best known song, Smoke On The Water, with Gillan encouraging the audience to sing with him on the chorus, the crowd bathed in light sang and the years rolled back!

Closing their set with an extended version of Speed King, a song with its roots in both rock and rock'n'roll, we were treated to solo spots by each of the band's members before the band took their leave.

The crowd erupted, 'More!, More!' croaked Tom, voice not standing the test of time as well as Ian Gillan's! Then they were back, choosing for their encore their version of Joe South's song Hush that was one of the first songs the band ever recorded, followed by another Purple classic Highway Star.

The band were delighted with their reception for their first night at Grimsby, the good vibe running through the audience transmitted to the band who were clearly enjoying playing their music even after all these years. Few in the audience could be disappointed by what they saw and heard, in the coming days many more rock fans will enjoy Deep Purple's shows.

Hope you find our review of interest, we enjoyed the show immensely, thanks to to the band for stopping to sign our edition of the latest Classic Rock mag, with the Deep Purple feature.

Cheers & all the best,

Ali & Tom Beaumont

Back to reviews


Donor Section

[ en-gb ] [ en-us ] [ de ] [ ja ] [ it ] [ pl ]


Subscribe to:
The Highway Star Update!

Participate in:
Purple discussions

Join the:
Mailing lists

Purple Tours
Tour Dates
Tour Reviews

Purple Music
Upcoming Releases

Sound Archives
MIDI Archives
Movie Archives

Other Sections
Frequently Asked Q's
Image Gallery
Purple Contributions
Special Features
Bios/Family Tree
Joanna's Gossip
Who To Blame



Unauthorized copying, while sometimes necessary, is never as good as the real thing (with apologies to Ani)
(c) 2005, The Highway Star

|||| _|_ This site is EMI approved