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

Birmingham NEC , October 15

    Well what can I say,Deep Purple like back in town and back in favour, what an absolutely fantastic gig, the sound was for the most-part pretty good. The light show adequate but too bright in-between songs.
    The songs performed was a good choice, a bit of everything from the classic line-up to the new line-up, nothing much from the middle period apart from Perfect strangers. The showmanship of Steve Morse (anyone remember the Dixie Dregs??) was excellent he has now shuck off the shackles of that previous guitarist (I never thought I'd say this but) Ritchie who? And made himself at home in the role given to him.
    The band have never enjoyed themselves so much. This is the fifth tour I have seen them on since reforming and the mighty Knebworth, and the second with Steve and they performed with such gusto and force with Gillan sounding the best in years with none of the sometimes strain-laden voice that I think Child in time would put on anyone's voice, although saddened by it's omission from the setlist.

Ted the mechanic
Strange kind of woman
Pictures of home
Almost home
Woman from Tokyo
Watching the sky
Finger to the bone
Any fule Kno that
Smoke on the water
Perfect Strangers
Speed king (with a bit of Buddy Holly's Not fade away)
Seventh heaven
Highway star

    Like a fine mature red wine the classics sounded (if you don't mind the pun) classic and the new ones sounded pretty good as well. Although not as warmly received by the audience as the old favs.
    With the combined age of 250 odd years between them they move around more than most bands with the average age of 100 (oasis, charlatans) need any more clues.
    All in all a most enjoyable night out.

Wayne Ridgway

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