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Highlights aplenty in Cardiff

Arrived a little late but caught the end of Thin Lizzy’s set. Don’t know what to say really, all talented musicians and everyone seemed to enjoy them but they really are a covers band aren’t they, albeit a very good one.

Tommy Aldridge is always good value for money and my 19 yr old son loves watching him (it’s animal off the Muppets!). What he lacks in subtlety he makes up for in enthusiasm and effort.

Next up were Styx which surprised me as I thought they would’ve been first on. I did buy an album of theirs in my younger days (Pieces of eight) but don’t hold that against me as we’ve all got some skeletons.

Typically American, (We got us a rawk show!), my youngest son would have loved them but he missed the show due to falling ill on the day. More surprisingly my son who did come and is into Nine Inch Nails in a big way turned to me at the close of their set and said “I really enjoyed them!”

At last Purple hit the stage to the sound of Pictures of Home. I was crestfallen as one of my favourite songs was ruined by a crap mix. Sound was also much quieter than the support acts. This got sorted from Things I never said next up.

What was clear was Gillan was in fine voice much better than last time at Cardiff. To be truthful I didn’t think he was capable of being this good any more. He excelled throughout struggling only with Into the Fire.

Set list was as described in other reviews but lots of highlights for me – SKOW, Space Truckin’, Rapture, Hush, Lazy were all superb as was The Battle rages on. I’m not leaving much out am I? Yeah they were that good tonight.

For me the momentum was lost a little with Steve’s showcase spot and as much as I appreciate his skills he lacks in charisma for me. I ended up wishing time to go quicker to bring the band back in.

There’s still an air of trying desperately to gain even more acceptance of Steve from the crowd with Ian constantly cajoling the crowd to cheer him on. Not really necessary in my opinion.

Don on the other hand is sensational and now oozes confidence within the band baiting Steve to duel with him on several occasions. As much as I loved the set I’d have loved to see Before Time Began especially and Money Talks in there.

Noticed Ian’s wife Bron and possibly his daughter sat on the edge of the stage with a few others and they were really into it. Paicey was on the money as always and Roger looked to be loving being back in his homeland.

They finished with an excellent and REALLY loud Smoke and Black Night before they were gone again. Gillan gave a long and emotive goodnight which had me wondering if I’d see them back in Wales again? On this showing I certainly hope so!

Kev Roberts
South Wales

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