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

Concert review - Manchester, Oct 18

Manchester, 18 October 1998

Set-list (not necessarily in correct sequence):
Ted the Mechanic
Strange Kind of Woman
Pictures of Home
Almost Human
Woman from Tokyo
Any Fule Kno That
Watching the Sky
Fingers to the Bone
Smoke on the Water
Perfect Strangers
Speed King
Black Night
Highway Star
...plus solos, polkas and general mucking about

Duration: 2 hours

The sound quality was great (much better than last year at the Apollo) and the sound level was just right - loud, but eardrums intact.

They were tight and professional as anyone who's seen them before would expect. Personally I'd rather Blackmore had stayed, but it's unfair to expect Steve Morse to fill his shoes, and this time round he was much more his own man on the old stuff, rather than slavishly copying Blackmore's approach. Good stuff.

IG was struggling with his voice a little now and again, and kept nipping backstage, presumably to gargle with aviation fluid, because he always came back on sounding more his old self. Nevertheless he didn't seem to hold back at all, and still delivered a great performance.

I'd have liked to hear something slow. They did When a Blind Man Cries last time, and it was great, and they could have done Don't Make Me Happy from Abandon, or even Child In Time, which I'll never tire of hearing, but I've been reading the tour reviews so I wasn't expecting any of those, and what they did was excellent.

So, a great performance by everyone in the band, and I'm looking forward to the next tour.

Hamish MacRae

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