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Ireland & UK 2002 reviews  

No sleep 'till Slovenia

On Feb 22 2002 I flew from my hometown Ljubljana in Slovenia to London to see two consecutive Purple shows in the legendary Hammersmith Odeon. In fact, it is now called the London Apollo now but for me it'll always be Hammersmith Odeon. A part of rock history was written in that venue. All big hard rock and heavy metal bands played there. As a 15-year-old kid in 1982 I was virtually dying listening to Motorhead's legendary No Sleep 'Till Hammersmith LP.

So there we were on Friday night. The doors opened and the first thing I bumped into was a huge merhandise stand, with lots of good stuff (t-shirts and especially CD boxes - bootleg and Soundboard Series, CD Ahoy...). In a matter of seconds my credit account went down for nearly 200 pounds. Jesus Christ!

Then I entered this holy place. What a surprise for me. No standings, just seats. The hall looks now more like a cinema and I just couldn't imagine it being full of heavy metal fans some 20 years ago headbanging to Motorhead or Saxon. No way.

Purple entered the stage at 8.30 and opened with Woman From Tokyo. The sound was great, the light were great, everything was superb, except one thing - Ian's voice. After that first opening number his voice was all broken down and cracked. Poor Ian. But he struggeled through the set, avoiding the screaming parts of the songs (Laaaaaazy, stay in bed!). And of course Child In Time wasn't played. (Pity, because I last heard it live way back in 1993 at the Vienna Stadthalle, with the one and only Blackmore on guitar - there is only one Ritchie). All in all it was very good concert, my 16th Deep Purple show.

On Feb 23 the show was cancelled, due to illness in the band. I don't think it's illness or flu as I read somewhere. There's nothing wrong with Gillan's health as I could see. It's only his voice that he has problems with. And it is not the first time as we all remember. So I am very much afraid for the future of this band. What we are all gonna do if Ian Gillan won't be able to sing anymore? Let's pray this won't happen!!

DP, hope to see you soon.

Botjan Zadnikar, Ljubljana, Slovenia

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