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Amazing snakin’ Purple at the NEC

My good lady and myself turned up really wondering what sort of night was in store for us – we were not to be disappointed!

Thin Lizzy on at 7pm … Great to hear the old standards but they were a little “thin” and never really seemed to get the crowd on their side – even though we were sworn at to do so… Enuff said about that 40 odd minutes.

8pm Styx, must say did not know anything about them – however they won both of us over after the first couple of songs – very energetic, excellent musician who typically American put on a high speed high energy show. They got the crowd going.

I was told by a fan that they had done mostly older songs – anymore than that I’m afraid I am not in the position to commment, only to say that we would go and see them as headliners if they ever come back to the UK.

Then the main event. About 9.30pm the boys appear – they hit the stage running and never stopped – this was one of the best gigs I have seen of them – they were enjoying every moment and sounded great – (for the NEC).

Not a word from Ian untill after ‘Strange Kind of Woman’ then a quick helllo, but like all the best bands they let their music do the talking – many could learn a lesson from that.

The set list was the same that has already been seen here so I will not bore you by running through that, but why oh why do they have to play the same old songs every time around? Machine Head, Machine Head and Machine Head.

I know this is personal opinion but with such a great back catalouge why play the same old standards, instead of more newer stuff? ‘Rapture of the Deep’ was excellent on the night. I would also like to hear songs from Perfect Strangers for example – for me they could do a show based on that and I would be happy. Anyway that’s that.

My good lady loved Steve’s bit – I would like to see the solos done as part of the songs – it would help the flow of the show IMHO – but he is an amazing player.

They introduced a guest for Smoke on the Water, ex-Whitesnake Bernie Marsden played along side Steve – and had a couple of solo’s, as always with that large affable smile on his face. I have always enjoyed Bernie so it was great to see him on stage even for a short time.

Of course they finished off with ‘Black Night’ – they did stay around for the applause and seemed to really enjoy the recpetion they recieved. Ian said Good night and added “look forward to seeing you again soon” or something very close to that so we all got the impression they will be back.

In summary a wonderful night of entertainment – take the time to listen to some Styx. Purple were ‘Into the Fire’ on fire. Can’t wait to the next time.

Bob & Linda Barfield

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