Lucky enough to score second row seats we had a fine view of the Purples, and yes folks, they were definitly on fire tonight.
Opening with a punchy "Woman From Tokyo" they powered on for over two hours through their well known classics and some amazing suprises. It was mind blowing to hear "Mary Long" and their epic version of "Fools", both never played before in this country to my knowledge.
Then there was a fantastic "No One Came" and a mesmerizing "When A Blind Man Cries", the latter of which I've only ever seen Ian Gillan sing in his own band Gillan.
The encore also contained another little-heard gem when they played a fine rendition of "Hush". There was also some kick arse playing of newer songs notably "'69" (complete with a nice middle musical passage featuring "The Mule" )and "Hey Cisco" (featuring Ian Paice's relentless double kick pattern).
The musicianship I witnessed on this night was totally breath taking and the happiness that seems to now glow from this band was perfectly contagious. There was much jovial behaviour from all the guys and the dueling between Jon Lord and Steve Morse always brings a smile.
Gillan sang great and all the soloing was inventive as ever. Needless to say the whole band has not been wearied by age. Being a drummer myself I was staggered as always by Paice's drumming with his jazz feel, finesse and power it is difficult to find such a combination in todays rock world. His solo which featured a one handed crush roll on his snare totally floored me!!!
To top the night I caught a Roger Glover pick when he threw it out - how cool!