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German reviews 2002

Perfunctory ain't Deep enough

Deep Purple ain't - and should not become - Status Quo (much as I once liked the latter). In Köln they were a bit perfunctory - a well-oiled, crowd-pleasing greatest hits machine, but nothing more, which isn't enough for DP.

Don Airey has become more confident since last year (and louder in the mix), but his style isn't as fluid as Jon's (not just the solos) - I'm afraid it never will be - and that has a huge impact on the overall groove of the band. Ironically, his playing is probably more precise than Jon's, but Jon was impeccable in sounding accomplished even if he missed a run. Hearing them in Cologne the thought occurred to me that DP without Jon is a bit like the Stones without Keith - any average guitarist can technically play Keith's rhythm guitar parts, but very few people can make the Stones swing like he does. And that's what's currently lacking a bit with Purple: swing (if only compared to their high own benchmark: Steve, Roger and little Ian will always swing, but Don isn't helping them much as for now).

I don't want to put them down - I love this band, any line-up. But it's high time for them to end the current tour and get into the studio and record that promised "Sgt. Pepper"-album (and don't forget an outside writer for the hit single Roger always longs for). That said, I'll be in London on Sept. 7 to pay my respects (and a four-day London shopping trip for my wife!). [Cool - see you there! Rasmus]

Uwe Hornung

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