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Cardiff: Short show disappoint veteran

We arrived at 7.30 anticipating a look at Thin Lizzy who we remembered as a great warm up on the USA tour in New York at the Beacon in 2004, but were really disappointed to find they had been and gone!

The Cardiff International Arena is not our favourite venue, I must say, with literally over the top security and poor crowd organisation. The venue was packed and you seem to be herded like sheep wherever you go, doors locked, barricades up… A sign of the sue you mentality of the world we live in.

Anyway after getting our extremely over priced drinks we mingled to take a look at Styx who, whilst having a good sound, made us look and listen to the most unendearing patronising American boy next door pastiche and cliched antics, especially from the keyboard player (I love me, who do you love?)… Awful!!

Once they had gone we waited for a quick turn around as the crew worked excellently in setting up Purple’s gear. At approx 9.45 the band hit the stage with Pictures of home as they have done for most dates on the tour.

Sound is good from where we are (centre stage, 25m back). The first three nuumbers are turned into a medley before Ian says hello. They are all looking happy and are enjoying their’ third gig here in five years.

The set list is the same as in Manchester… A superb Into the Fire. How does Ian manage those screams at 61? He looks a little tired but still manages to sum up the stamina and deliver amazing vocals.

Steve is on form, the crowd enjoying his solo piece and Roger and Ian provide the usual solid rhythym laced by Don’s melodic tinkling on the Hammond and synth.

The set is too short for me (75min) but that is due to having three acts… obviously a commercial decision.

Since this is a Rapture tour I was disappointed that the band had dropped Junkyard Blues and Wrong Man which we felt went down so well in Paris (January 24 2006 see review) and it was nice to see The Battle Rages On but Perfect Street Rangers was sorely missed.

Let’s have a return of numbers from Purpendicular, Abandon and Bananas, songs like Screaming, Watching the Sky and Ted and House of Pain which they played so well in Denmark 2003.

They finished with the usual Machine Head numbers and an encore of Hush and Black Niught before the house lights signalled the end of another solid performance from a band who arguably are the best at their trade in the world today.

Dave Bonner



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