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Untitled Document

King's Dock, Liverpool, England
July 1, 2003

Highway Star
Knocking At Your Back Door
Pictures Of Home
Well Dressed Guitar
Don Airey Solo
Perfect Strangers
I Got Your Number
Speed King
Steve Morse solo
Smoke On The Water
Space Truckin'

Black Night

1 hour 35 minutes

What a superb audience at the King's dock - when the Purps walked on stage the place just erupted - a fantastic reception to one of the best rock bands of all time! You will never please everyone all of the time - if you asked 100 Purple fans to compose a set list you would get a 100 different answers! Still I did miss "Anya" and something from "Fireball" or "Abandon".
Opener "Highway Star" set a furious pace which was only temporarily halted by a new number called "Haunted". This was a nice song but not really live material.
Great to hear "Knocking At Your Back Door" and "Pictures Of Home". "Lazy" gave Don Airey the chance to take centre stage - I've followed Don's music since his "Colosseum II" days - what a fantastic replacement for Jon Lord he is. (PS to Jon Lord - I thought of you during the Concert - thank you for over 30 years of brilliant keyboards - enjoy your "retirement", mate - you've earned it!).
"Perfect Strangers" followed Don's excellent solo and was just amazing as always. Next was a new song called "I Got Your Number" from the bizarrely titled CD "Bananas" (who brought the inflatable banana in the front row?). This new number was great and had a catchy Morse riff.
To the few who moaned in their reviews of earlier gigs about lack of atmosphere - can I ask you a question? Were you standing up and applauding and singing along - if not, why bother going? The best concerts are when band and audience join together as one and enjoy the music.
Here's to the next UK tour - keep on rocking Deep Purple - let's all go "Bananas"!
Mike Jevons

What a fantastic night. Thoroughly entertaining and DP at their best. The group were obviously enjoying themselves on the last night of the tour.
I took my 13-year-old daughter with me, who was thoroughly transfixed by Steve Morse and Don Airey and thought the support band's lead singer was 'fit'.
I enjoyed every second. Gone were the technical difficulties that were evident at the beginning of the Birmingham NEC concert last week, when guitar and keyboards seemed to clash.
Tonight was a perfect performance and I'll never forget it.
Kathy Mulhearn

Third time I've seen Deep Purple live, and probably the best yet - although none of them were anything short of tremendous!
The King's Dock Big Top... sorry, Arena was surprisingly intimate feeling. I was hoping that without Lynyrd Skynyrd we'd have a 2-2½ hour set of prime Purple, but there was a support act of some bland nu-metally type thing. They didn't do anything for me.
Half hour interval, tick followed tock followed tick...
And after that you NEED something like 'Highway Star' to get your attention! Good to see it back at the head of the set. then 'Knocking At Your Back Door', which I don't remember enjoying much when Blackmore played it. having read previous reviews I was a little disappointed that we were missing out on 'I'm Alone' and 'Mary Long' and getting this instead. OK, sorry guys, I was wrong - great stuff! Sounded fresh and exciting, and just showed how good the whole band was.
I ian Paice evidently decided that Gillan had spent too long introducing 'Pictures of Home' and just thundered into the opening drum fills, catching everyone by surprise. Yes the longer version of this song was better, but in a relatively short set, where they were concentrating more on trying out new material, it was great to hear this one.
'Lazy' is one of my favourite Purple tunes, since it was the first one I'd heard and the whole reason I'm into them, and Don Airey showed how much more than a Jon replacement he is in his intro. great stuff! To me, he sounds like Jon Lord used to sound in DP's earlier days - somehow fresher and more experimental. Not to detract from Jon, who still remains THE rock keyboard player, but as far as the band goes, Don seems to have left the whole thing in the same way that Steve Morse did when he joined. And Steve was in blistering form in 'Lazy' - my jaw was dropped throughout his first solo; unbelievable!
First new song next - 'Haunted'. Been likened to 'When A Blind Man Cries', (because it's down-tempo) but a totally different feel - more uplifting. Not my ultimate favourite tune, but good all the same, and on hearing the 'Bananas' version playing as we left, I think it'll grow on me when the new album arrives.
Once again, Gillan was surprised by Paicey: I think he was expecting 'The Well-Dressed Guitar', but then remembered his setlist as 'Speed King' started up. Again, a shortened version (no drum or bass solos) which was a bit of a shame, but still rocked!
Sometimes Jon seemed like he found it hard to keep up with the 100mph notes of Steve in the jam, but this time Don shrugged off the speed of the playing as he and Steve just got faster and faster.
'The Well-Dressed Guitar' - well I'm a guitarist, so I love hearing Steve Morse instrumentals! Tight as anything!
Another new song 'I've Got Your Number'. Yes, good song - still humming the chorus to myself. Whole band very tight with the syncoptions and moer unusual rhythms - but then why would you expect them not to be?!
Don's solo - he just gets better and better. The bit from 'Lily the Pink' went down well with the Liverpudlian audience! Could have done with more Don in the mix throughout, I think, but when you needed to hear him in solos, he seemed to crank up the volume.
'Perfect Strangers', followed by 'Space Truckin'' and 'Smoke on the Water', very much as they have been for the last few tours. Not that that's a bad thing - they rock! Steve's riffs intro, I know some people are tired of, but I love it - can't beat a bit of Led Zep at any opportunity!
'Hush' and 'Black Night', again in the comfortable groove that DP always find - a great way to finish. It looked like the band wanted to keep playing, but I think they'd already exceeded the Arena's curfew!
All in all, an amazing night! The new tunes stand up well beside the classics; always a good sign, and the sound and lighting were almost perfect - a touch less Steve and a bit more Don would have made it superb.
Here's hoping 'Bananas' is ripe soon...
Richard Sowerby

A vast improvement compared to Birmingham. The gig there was a bit of a let down as there was not much crowd involvment and Gillan seemed to be uninterested in us too (Sorry mate!).
But the Liverpool gig was outstanding in my view. Instead of Mary Long they performed Knocking At Your Back Door which ws a total buzz! Gillan was much more into the crowd and Steve, Ian P, Roger and Don were all on top form, most probably because they wanted the last gig of the tour to go out with a bang, and it certainly did!
Weegi Carvell

Liverpool Pops is a series of summer concerts with a line up as diverse as Peter Kaye, Status Quo, Alice Cooper and of course Deep Purple. The venue is right on Albert Dock. It is a tent that reminded me of my youth visiting Billy Smarts Circus. Strange Venue..but remarkably it worked…
Anyway I had a front row ticket and was placed just to the left of centre stage. Great view. The band came on and blasted into Highway Star, we stood up... only to be told to sit by our friendly neighbourhood bouncer.. this contributed to the strange sight of Purple playing their nuts off with the whole auditorium sitting! After every song the band received a tremendous ovation with the audience standing and clapping then sitting down.
I was worried that we would continue with this through to the end of the show but as the first notes of Smoke rang out everyone was on their feet... Great stuff… Space Truckin followed and I was so intent on watching the band I never noticed that everyone had sat down again… Leaving me as the only guy standing at the front. It’s a very strange feeling being the Last Man Standing in a gig. I thought for a minute I was going to get “bladdered “ by the bouncer but by this time he had given up.
A highlight for me was catching Gillan's second “lunch wrapper” at the end of Lazy…
Encores followed swiftly, Hush and Black Night then it was over. A short sharp performance but none the less exhilarating for all that. I left the tent while Haunted played over the PA…
The backstage area reminded me of a contractors site with porta-cabins everywhere.
I had a chat with all the members of the band. Roger Glover commented that halfway through the gig he suggested to either Steve or Ian that they should get chairs and sit down as well!
Steve went into a monologue about signing autographs while skateboarding on cobblestones! Ian Paice was very chatty commenting on my Skynyrd t-shirt and how good a band they were for Purple to play with. Don refused to divulge the reason behind his hat... Ian Gillan was every inch the gentleman posing for pictures and congratulating me on my catch.
All in all a memorable night… Now what am I going to do until the Bananas tour?
Mike McBain

What a great night I had in Liverpool, traveling again from the Isle of Man. This was the 3rd gig in two weeks and DP just get better and better.
The big top on the King's Dock provided in my opinion the best atmophere I have seen yet. Maybe because it is a little more intimate. It could also be that I was on the front row...
Thanks Steve for the plec, and Mr Paice for the drum stick. The only sad part was the robbing scouser who nicked it off me (and if you can do a snare drum roll like Mr Paice with it then your welcome to it, you wanker). I love Liverpool it is like a second home to me so I was left a little pissed of about that one.
Mr Gillan was in fine voice and the guy next to me was over the moon when he was thrown the first harmonica in Lazy.
The reviews I have read at times left me wondering, was I at the same gigs these people are writing about. DP these days are playing old favourites to a musical level of excellence that at times maybe lost on the man in the street. But I say keep doing it and doing it well.
Cheers fellas, enjoy your vacations. I look forward to more live stuff soon.
Neil Cowie

I know a 32 year old professional should not get animated about such petty issues, but I'd like to put it on record that at Liverpool, I was the lucky recipient of the first harmonica Gillan threw out. I stood at the front with Neil Cowie.
As for the gig, absolutely blistering, even if the set list has become all too familiar, It is perhaps worth remembering that a lot of the Purple audience is there to hear the standards, and don't actually buy their new output. For those of us that consider ourselves open minded, however, it's a crying shame that songs such as Fingers to the Bone are not tried out sometimes - I remember being practically moved to tears by it at Manchester 1998.
But, since the band that was performing and writing when I was born is still providing me with such exquisite pleasures, it seems churlish to complain too much.......
John Parsons

Ian G thanked us for making this, the last show of the current phase of their four year tour, such a special event.
We sang 'Wo Wo Wo-Wo...' to Black Night until we were hoarse and clapped until our hands were numb.
In the words of , my 12-year old son Anthony - who, having listened to Purple all his life, experienced them live for the first time - 'That was mega-brill!'
Thank you guys - come back soon and play us your new stuff. Can't wait.
Dave Joy (and Anthony!)

New venue this, sort of a make-shift circus tent, probably holding about 2000/2500 people, and to give it its due was actually very good, not too big, great sound and well organised, plus free parking - major bonus!
I'm 35, and Gillan supplied the soundtrack for all my school/college years and I saw him/band quite a few times but I've never seen Purple before. My dad had all the albums, Machine Head, Come Taste the Band etc, so I'm well versed on the songs so, to finally have the chance to see them was well and truly grasped with both hands - and feet!
When the opening chords of Highway Star rang out the hairs on my neck were standing on end, almost a tear, it was that happy emotional feel you get when good memories are stirred! Jesus, how can anyone have such songs as Space Trucking, Pictures Oh Home etc, and not be good!
That first song really set the pace, Ian Gillan looked like he was totally enjoying himself, his voice has only lost that slight edge on the really high stuff, but he has so much else in reserve that he's still far and away the best rock singer ever!
Steve Morse (who I'd heard great things of) never stopped grinning from ear to ear. He gives the impression of total ease, so relaxed, so confident, and this, in turn makes you feel the same, chill-out, relax, enjoy the show!
Don Airey (who once again I've seen before with Ozzy), fitted in nicely, but I can't help feeling that Mr. Lord would have done a better job. There's no doubting Don's credentials but there were times when little glitches and gaps appeared which slightly offset the tone of the night!
Roger Glover and Ian Paice - what can you say about these two? The superlatives run out before you approach anywhere near their performance. Paice's live drum sound is just sublime, and his technique, perfect! And Roger just exudes supreme showmanship, been there, done there, sure, now watch me do it! Exactly!
All the faves were there; Smoke on the Water, Black Night, Lazy, Knocking at Your Back Door, Perfect Strangers. Even the two new numbers blended in perfectly. But, no Woman from Tokyo! Why?
Highlights? Ian Gillan barefoot giving it his all. Steve Morse's 'anthems' guitar solo - I could watch him all day, God I hate him, what a talent!Ian Paice's wonderful little fills here and there, absolute power, but, with control. Roger Glover and Morses 'headbanging' formation dancing routine. Don Airey's tribute to the great composer's solo. The promise that they would be back soon!
These people, especially Gillan, are true heroes of mine. I moulded a great deal of my life around their music. To see that they're still pursuing what they believe after all these years is a big 'up' to me.
Long may they continue.
Andy Hardy

Press reports:
Daily Post's pre-show interview with Roger Glover
Liverpool Echo's show review
Daily Post's show review
Thanks to Elinor Bostock and Matthew Norman Hedley

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