[ d e e p P u r . p l e ) The Highway Star

Selina's 25/4/99

Big Ian said they were going to do a couple of songs they don't normally do and he didn't know what was going to happen tonight.

Ted, Black Night, Bludsucker, POH, Rosa's (great!), Woman from Tokyo, Fireball, Into The Fire (WOW - AWESOME), No-one Came (I'm In Heaven over this), Watching The Sky, Steve Solo (no "scanning"), Smoke, Jon Solo, Lazy, Perfect "Street Rangers", Speed King ENCORES Seventh heaven, Highway Star.

I don't know what happened. Maybe the group gets off on small venues (Selina's holds about 1000 people) but this concert was the best I have ever seen by any group anywhere. Sydney was brilliant but this was awesome. It's a good thing the roof was on tight because they would have lifted it off otherwise. BIG TIP - if this gig was taped put it out as a live CD, two hours of sheer magic and brilliance.

At one stage Ian got down off the stage and was singing in the audience. Lots of banter with the audience and talk and jokes among the band. The audience was probably a bit different from many Purple solos. The venue is a pub type and there were a lot of people who would only know "Smoke" and "Black Night" but that didn't stop what happened. It was magical.

Steve's solo was cut down. He didn't do what I call the "scanning" bit but concentrated on some wonderful picking and harmonics. His solos aren't just noise, there's melodies, harmonics, fast runs, beautiful controlled picking, a pleasure to watch and listen to.

To see "Into The Fire" and "No One Came" live was totally unexpected. "Into The Fire" made it seem like they had recorded it recently and not almost 30 years ago. It ages beautifully and shows the band does as well. "Perfect Strangers" is close to my favourite. It is really a majestic song and it showed here. The reaction when it finished was amazing.

There was definitely a star here - Ian Paice. The drumming he put on was unbelievable. I have never seen someone work so hard and fast and still hit every note right. He dropped a stick in the first song but still didn't miss a note. I'm sure that if Roger didn't anchor the group so well they would have taken off. Selina's - 12 out of 10 at least.

Colin Hadden

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