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Ireland & UK 2002 reviews  

Been burning since Kursaal 1974

This was to be the first Purple gig I'd seen since the Burn tour in 1974 (Kursaal ballroom, Southend, anyone remember it?) [Was that the night the band was joined onstage by a naked dancing girl? Rasmus] and needless to say I was very keen to renew an old acquaintance. Could they still cut it live? Would it be as exciting as that last show? Would I know much of the later material?

Well, as it turned out, yes, yes and yes. It was a cracking performance with a nice mix of new and old material, particularly the unexpected, such as No One Came, Fools, Mary Long and the previously neglected When A Blind Man Cries.

Kicking off with a stonking Woman From Tokyo, it was obvious that this line-up still took it seriously whilst having a lot of fun at the same time (I don't remember seeing Coverdale and Hughes laughing so much on stage). Maybe Steve Morse occasionally drowned out Ian Gillan, and Jon Lord was a bit far back in the mix at times (and perhaps they could have included even one song from the Mk 3 era?), but that's just nitpicking.

Overall, a brilliant night, a sentiment echoed by those we overheard on the way out. I won't leave it so long to see them again.

Ian Cotts

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