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Surprises in Melbourne

An Australian Band called Mandrake opened the show. This three piece powerhouse should be a household name worldwide. They did songs from both their albums, as well as an amazing cover of Tommy Bolin’s “Wild Dogs”

Next came the legendary Status Quo. They could now have made more of their 85 min. set. Packed with wall to wall classic hits, that rock even more live, and played with pin point perssion, supporting their new cd “The Party Ain’t Over Yet” (and it ain’t). What a great band!

Waiting for Purple to come on I glanced around and noticed that most of the people in the first 10-15 rows were young teens, and most of them girls who would sing along to most Purple songs. Is there hope after all of seeing them on Rage?

The lights lowered and a pre-recorded Middle Easternish number started playing, almost putting the crowd to sleep, when in a flash, Ian Paice pounds away on the drums at top volume while blinding lights flashed away and the band broke out into “Pictures of Home”.

Living Wreck was a great surprise, I don’t know if Purple ever performed that in concert. This version out did the one on “In Rock”. Four songs from “Rapure of the Deep’, Space Truckin’, “Highway Star”, “Smoke On The Water”, “Perfect Strangers”, “Ted” “Lazy”, “Hush”, “Black Night”.

Great solos by each band member completed a fantastic evening that was GREAT value. In fact with Mandrake, and either Quo or Purple it would have been more than worth it. Deep Purple, come back soon and this time bring Uriah Heep with ya’ll.

Mark O’Neill

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