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Ireland & UK 2002 reviews  

Boys night out

I attended the Sheffield City Hall show on Feb 12th and what can I say. It was the same set as most of the other venues. A lot of my mates had gone to the opener at Grimsby travelling from Scunthorpe and Lincoln. All of them - and with their kids - came home ecstatic. So we were elated at going to Sheffield.

The show was just outstanding. Ian Gillan was in fine form. Ian Paice, Jon Lord and Roger Glover, like Ian, just seemed so happy at what they were doing as though Deep Purple was a new band. Steve Morse. Excellent!

I had with me on the night my sons aged 10, 12 and 14, a new generation of Purple fans. They were amazed at the level of performance and what is interesting is that although they are well aware of the Ritchie Blackmore era, and they loved Tommy Bolin too for them, Steve Morse is the Purple guitarist. It is as though the Blackmore ghost has been well and truly rested. They cannot understand the fuss. For them Steve Morse has kicked new life into Deep Purple and everyone in the band seemed to be really enjoying what they were doing. They looked real happy. Jon Lord was just a master towering at the back of the stage. Very impressive.

After the show, the boys had backstage passes and we met Ian Gillan, Roger Glover and Steve Morse, all of them truly interested in their fans and took time to be with the boys and myself. We all agreed how amazing it is for a generation like mine who have followed the Purple history, to see a new generation of kids coming through the concerts doors, who don't want to see plastic pop acts, but legends who can actually do their stuff live.

It was a fantastic night. It took me until I'm 41 to get to see Deep Purple. But when I bought Fireball at 11 years of age, who would have thought I would be sat with my own boys sharing the same musical experience? As Roger Glover said " It's amazing and you just never know what happens in life."

Thank you Deep Purple for one of the best nights ever and what a super crowd that night too.

Ray Fox

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