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A promising thrill – London

I was at the opening date of the Rapture Of The Deep world tour and things seem promising.

The band were a little loose, on several occasions they had to check the sequencing on some tunes to make sure they got it right! Gillan frequently consulted a folder of lyrics placed on the drum riser. But they were still belting!

The band was class, and it was great to have it in-yer-face, instead of the arena I saw them in at Wembley. It was bloody loud (a v.good thing) and the mix was generally very good.

It was certainly a thrill to hear them storm on with ‘Pictures of Home’. Gillan manged to get through a plethora of microphones early on. The set list took me by suprise, less hits and lots of Rapture material, which I enjoyed immensely but which pissed off others. Didn’t think they’d do ‘Back To Back’ or ‘Before Time Began’ and was a bit suprised to hear ‘Ted the Mechanic’ and ‘Sometimes I Feel Like Screaming’, though they didn’t quite pull off the latter.

‘Living Wreck’ was a real highlight too. Again, there was little respect shown to the intro for ‘Lost Contact’, which was sad. Steve Morse enjoyed a lot of showcases in his inimitable style. He’s a real mastery of his instrument. The only quibble I have is he didn’t really nail some of his own distorted riffs, marring the glorous lick to ‘Perfect Strangers’ and ‘Space Truckin’. Still, I don’t mind Morse taking risks and it will get better as the tour progresses.

Airey’s keyboards have become integral to Purple and were very inventive, but his solo was too brief and Paicey didn’t get one. Roger Glover did and displayed his class, playing fingerstyle occassionally and melodic nouse.
‘Highway Star’ was perhaps the highlight, with the whole band rocking out at the front and headbanging in time to the music.

The usual features of a Purple gig were there, lots of smiles, air keyboards, general mucking about and throwing picks to the crowd.

As a tour warm up, it was fantastic, with a crowd full of all sorts of people. Lots of kids my age, 17-20 year olds. Pretty girls too! As the tour progresses, they will be sensational.

Sam Knight, London

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