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Bananas album launch
Columbiahalle, Berlin
August 20, 2003

Highway Star
Knocking At Your Backdoor
Silver Tongue *
Contact Lost *
Haunted *
Bananas *
Well-Dressed Guitar
House Of Pain *
Perfect Strangers - Introduction: Keyboard Solo (Star Wars ...)
Smoke On The Water - Introduction: Riff Quiz (Paradise City, Beatles, ...)

I've Got Your Number *
Black Night - Introduction: Gunga Din

What a party! Bananas is here to celebrate. And we did!
This was a single gig with a lot of press and cameras to promote Bananas in the Columbiahalle in Berlin, only about 1200 tickets were available. Although announced as a one hour gig with Bananas songs and a few "hits", it was nearly a full concert running 86 minutes. The band was so tight! Even the new songs sounded as if the band had already played them again and again.
So we have a few 'hits to be expected', a few 'hits resurrected' (Lazy) and six 'hits gone Bananas'(*).
What impressed me most was the instrumental Contact Lost dedicated to the crew of the STS-107. Ian Gillan got very serious announcing it and was a little pissed off by some people cheering. He told its story (the band making friends with some of the crew of STS-107 and their families, them being in the studio, when the Space Shuttle crashed, stopping their work for the day except for Steve who said "I have to record this") and then Steve Morse played what almost moved me to tears (and him as well). It was a really different Steve, so emotional, you could see that in the following Haunted as well. Both songs ran together pretty good, although they took a lot of momentum out of the show. I don't mind that at all, give me these two together with Sometimes I feel like screaming and When I blind man cries and I'm in heaven.
Especially in Haunted you could hear the new vocal approach by Ian very well. More lyrical. What a song.
Bananas was perfect to accelerate things again, a really exceptional song with extraordinary solos from Steve and Don. Ian explained that Michael Bradford left them alone in the studio for one day and the boys went insane - bananas.
They were in a really good mood, Ian dancing and joking all the time ("Two in the hands, one in the bush...").
I liked starting Black Night with Gunga Din (although mostly recognized by the lyrics, the music was very different). Maybe Via Miama would have been the more obvious choice due to the reference to Bananas.
There was not one disappointment in the whole show, great selection of songs, great performance. The crowd was great as well, begging for an encore by singing "Black Night".
I hope they continue to play a lot of the new stuff during the upcoming tour. If you have the chance to see them going Bananas - go there or you'll regret it.
See you in Hannover in November.
Gerriet Backer

This concert was fantastic! It was my first time, in the first row. I haven't regretted it despite sweat and sore feet.
Unfortunately, the many reporters and photographers impaired the beginning of the concert very much. But this is promotion! After three songs it was finally over. We could enjoy a concert which exceeded all my expectations.
The new songs frm Bananas are superb. Primarily "Haunted" and "Contact lost " have touched me very much. Ian Gillan's statement about "Contact lost" brought these sad and shocking moments of the catastrophe of the fall of the Columbia space shuttle back into our thoughts once again. This song keeps the memory of the astronauts.
I am filled with enthusiasm for Don's way of playing. The development he has gone through is astonishing. Don plays the organ like Don, but it seems Jon was a good mental teacher!
Songs like "I've got your number" and "Silver Tongue" remind me of the Mark II years. All the songs sound oldly but still new. How did they do it?
I heard Ian Gillan is 58 years old. No way is this man 58 years old! He must have a secret!
I only can say it was a great experience and I look forward to Bananas very much!
Yours sincerely from Berlin,
Bettina Demus

They are back!
Sie waren wieder in Berlin. Zur Freude von 1200 begeisterter Fans spielten Deep Purple am Mittwoch, den 20. August in der Columbia Halle. Nach dem Open Air Auftritt am 17. Juni in der Parkbühne Wuhlheide waren die Erwartungen sehr hoch. Aber die wieder einmal bestens gelaunte Band hat mit Ihrer Spielfreude alle überzeugt und mitgerissen. Und die Auserwählten in der Halle sorgten Ihrerseits für die gute Stimmung und nahmen auch die neuen Songs mit Begeisterung auf. Die Bananas-Songs wurden immer wieder geschickt zwischen altbewährtem wie "Highway Star", "Knocking at your back door" oder "Lazy" präsentiert. So wurde die Party perfekt!
Das Intro von "Smoke on the water" hätte ich mir noch etwas länger gewünscht, den es gehört für mich zu den Highlights Ihrer Gigs. Und das Konzert ging mit Zugaben insgesamt nur 1h 30min. und entsprechend wurden die Solis auch kurzgehalten! Aber es war ja auch eine Live Präsentation der neuen Scheibe "BANANAS" und somit im Ganzen ein gelungenes Konzert. Man kann sich schon jetzt wieder auf die kommende Tournee freuen!
I hope they will be back again, soon!
Volker Pusbatzkies, Berlin

What was most striking, was that the guys were obviously enjoying their "work" - a good, relaxed atmosphere was evident on the stage, the classic numbers sounded fresh, and the new material fitted in seamlessly in with them. The new songs have a big potential as live numbers, and they sound like authentic Deep Purple.
Michael Labitzke
- read Michael full review

Im großen und ganzen wars megageil,... ein wenig enttäuscht hat mich, dass sie mit highway star angefangen haben. angekündigt war das konzert ja als cd-präsentation. gespielt haben sie dann aber nur house of pain, silver tongue, bananas, i got your number, haunted und contact lost. ein wenig mager für eine release party. die anderen songs waren knocking at your back door, perfect strangers, lazy, black night und smoke on the water. (hoffentlich hab ich nichts vergessen).
wie gewohnt wars laut wie die sau, aber der sound dafür umso knackiger. es ist kein musiker untergegangen im lärm-brei. die jungs waren auf jeden fall gut drauf und hatten wie immer ihren spaß. merchandise gabs das übliche, wie auch auf dp.com erhältlich. vor der halle waren noch zwei marokkaner, die t-shirts für den halben preis angeboten haben, dort tobten wir uns dann aus.

Das Konzert dauerte viel länger als angekündigt und war toll. Es warteten vor dem Eingang für die Presse unheimlich viele Leute. Man kam schneller durch den Eingang für normale Besucher rein Die Mischung von bekannten Stücken und neuem Material war für die Präsentation der neuen CD geschickt gemacht: Es ist nicht anzunehmen, dass die Mehrheit der Reporter regelmäßig Deep Purple hört, aber Sachen wie Smoke On The Water, Highway Star oder Black Night kennt jeder. Gemischt mit den "Klassikern" merkte man, wie gut und neu im Sound die neue CD ist. Zum Schluss spielten sie Hush, einfach klasse.

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