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Ireland & UK 2002 reviews  

Steve Morse? No worries!

Had this gig not been on my doorstep (I live about ¾ mile from the venue) it would not have been that appealing. Sure, I saw Purple at Knebworth in 1985 and at Wembley in 1987 (the night of Blackmore's non-appearance for the encore), but in all honesty the band had not been that important to me in the intervening years. However, I sure am glad that they did decide to play on my doorstep!

To put it bluntly this has to be one of the best gigs I have been to in many a long year. Admittedly me and my mates (Hi Barry, Big Kev and Dave) were quite relaxed by the time we got to The Cliffs thanks to a very pleasant early evening session at the Hamlet public house, but we still had our senses about us to see quality when it hits us in face. From the word go everything seemed to click into place, great sound, Gillan's voice sounding as good as ever and the rest of the band being quite frankly as tight as ever.

One concern we did voice in the pub was no Ritchie Blackmore and to be honest we didn't have much form on Mr Morse. In retrospect we had no reason to worry. Not only was he a more than adequate replacement, but I am sure that I am not alone in noting that the rest of the band seem far more relaxed and enjoying themselves a lot more these days.

I won’t go through the set list as I don’t think it is changing that much. Personal highlights, have to be the golden oldies - Speed King, Highway Star, etc.The one song that I did feel sounded a bit rushed and a bit contractually obliged to play was Smoke On The Water, but then again if any of us had played it as many times as the band have I guess we would want to get it out of the way as quickly as possible.

In conclusion I would like to thank the band for a great night. Yeah sure, they may be in their advanced years but from what I saw they could give any of the younger bands a run for their money, and not only that. Not many other band of Purple's stature choose to play on my doorstep.

Please come back soon!

David Law

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