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Deep Purple - Lahr...sort of a review
[ d e e p P u r . p l e ) The Highway Star

From: Stathis Panagiotopoulos
Newsgroups: alt.music.deep-purple
Subject: Lahr...sort of a review
Date: Mon, 07 Jul 1997 21:45:03 +0000
Organization: The Deep Purple Can Do No Wrong Society

As always, after a couple of days loitering around a Deep Purple concert, the experiences and memories are so many that it's difficult to put them in order. So I won't try and organise, just spill the beans. The festival was generally a shambles. Running times overlapping, bands pulling in and out (no reference to sex!) all the time, security completely clueless and so on. Despite all that, it was an enjoyable event, there were so many things happening : motorcycle events, camping (and shagging!), stalls selling every imaginable type of food and other products ranging from clothes to posters to Deep Purple CD bootlegs (!), bands playing on 3 different stages. They had quite a bit of merchandising of most the bands, Purple were represented with a lilac _|_ shirt and a new black one with the cover art on the front and just 2 dates on the back, Lahr and Lebanon (the venue there is Mont LaSalle in Beirut).
On Sunday Dina (my girlfriend), Michael Wiklund and myself drove straight to the backstage car park and parked right behind the stage (don't ask me how, just recall the saying : beware of Greeks bearing gifts! ;-) We spotted Roger who was eager to chat. I straight away asked him if there were going to be any changes in the set list, he said "yes". Then that's how the conversation went:
Me : But you're not saying anything else.
RG : No, it might not happen and I wouldn't want to spoil it...
Me : "It"... The New song?
RG : "Them!"
Me : ...... (silence)
Well it didn't happen as you'll see later. They have written quite a few tunes, Ian Paice said it already sounds more energetic than the last one, and it will be out in March 98, no title as yet.
Purple were supposed to be on at 22:15, but Marla Glen overran and they went on at 23:00. Curfew was supposed to be at midnight, so there was talk of an one-hour set (ludicrous) which of course didn't happen, but they still had to truncate the set to an hour 45 minutes.
Set list:
Hush/Fireball/ Into The Fire (the full song!)/ Ted The Mechanic/ Black Night/ Bloodsucker/ Cascades/ Steve Morse solo/ Woman From Tokyo/ No One Came/ Smoke On The Water/ Jon Lord solo (minus the piano part)/ When A Blindman Cries/ Speed King/ Perfect Strangers/ Highway Star.
Highlights? Into The Fire. I was left aghast hearing them tear into it for the first time in 26 years! Speed King with amazing interplay, in fact the whole show was a higlight. They hadn's played together in a while and it showed, a couple of missed cues and the like, but it was all the better for it!
The crowd I estimated at over 50.000, and Purple got the best reaction from any band on the lineup, really going for it. The stage was really huge, in fact Steve said it was the biggest he'd ever played on. After the gig, they came down to a special backstage area and chatted, signed things and so on. Bruce Payne, Colin Hart and Neil Warnock were all there. Jon confirmed his oslo album, also that he'd be back online when they go back to Orlando, and Big Ian said that Dreamcatcher is definitely going out in September. Roger said that the best track on the new MH25 will be When A Blindman Cries, it's an amazing remix. About LATO's pricing he said that EMI swears up and down that they sell it for less than 10 pounds, while Cee Dee (and other dealers) swear up and down that they get it for 14. He gets 2 different stories and he doesn't know who to believe... As for why they play Lebanon, he said "I guess a couple of us were big down there years ago, so that's probably why..." ;-)
Steve has done quite a few guest appearances on other peoples' records, he's no idea when they will be released, he just confirmed the project with guitarists playing Xmas songs, to be released by Xmas, and featuring Jeff Beck among others-Steve seemed especially pleased about that.
As far as the future's concerned, Purple play Lebanon on July 8, then it's back to Europe (!) for a festival near Zurich (probably July 11) and then on to Canada. They are also considering more European dates for the autumn, IMHO that's a good thing cos they've been received so well everywhere.
In a nutshell : my 22nd Purple gig (not to mention Michael Wiklund's 52nd!) wasa stormer and I'm glad as hell I went!
If I remember anything more, I'll add. Finally, a big hi to all I've met there, and sincerest apologies to Fedor De Lange and Doug McBeath for not coming to the meeting, I'll explain why in a personal e-mail! Cheers!

Stathis N. Panagiotopoulos
Deep Purple Appreciation Society, Greece
P.O. Box 50322, Thessaloniki 54013,Greece

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