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Ireland & UK 2002 reviews  

Growing up the Purple way

Been reading the reviews on the site and really can't put words together quite as elegantly as some of those guys. However some thoughts of a different nature which may prove interesting.

Took my wife Maria (who likes Eagles and Lynyrd Skynyrd) and my 11-year-old daughter Catherine (who likes Steps, Sclub7, etc) to the gig. At the end of the main set Catherine turned to me and expressed disappointment that they had not yet played Black Night or Highway Star. Well of course her patience was well rewarded with the encore where they played both songs whilst Mrs Spiller started tapping around to various songs including Perfect Strangers, Smoke, Black Night and Highway Star.

From my point of view Child In Time was the highlight because as Mr Lord stated to play the intro I started to think that Mr Gillan may have problems with some of those notes and stated hoping that Jon would break off into another song. Anyway, that was not to be, and what I heard was one of the best versions of this song that I have heard for many years, the notes may not be as long as they used to be, but boy, they were on the button.

When A Blind Man Cries and Fools were almost as good and No One Came was refreshing as it must be at least 10 years since I have listened to it (not one of my favourite Purple tracks). Well Tuned Guitar and Up The Wall sound good, but there is obviously some more work to do - at the end of the latter Ian Gillan said that he thought that there was another verse and Roger wagged a finger at Steve (who shut the song down).

The only song that I missed from previous outings was Pictures Of Home, but this has been a favourite of mine since the first time I played Machine Head back in 1972, so I guess that I was lucky Mk7 resurrected it at all.

I think Quote Of The Night must go to my wife who said as we were driving home: "Well I was impressed, he (IG) never missed a note all night." That that says it all coming from someone who has always accused him of just screaming.

If this is to be Jon's last tour with the band then all I can say is that it will be a very sad day for music. I have seen him live with PAL (the gig where Tony Ashton fell off the stage at the Rainbow), Whitesnake and Purple (Mk5 and 7) and of course Concerto99 (RAH), and although there will be other keyboard players, in my opinion, none will be able to create the feel and ability of The Man.

Maybe he will now travel to gigs on public transport... (Well, he is now eligible for free transport as an OAP in the UK)

Andy Spiller

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