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

Deep Purple in London - Wembley Arena

After Istanbul, I thought they couldn't get any better. Boy, was I ever wrong! It's obvious that this band should tour as much as possible, it improves them! My 24th Purple show, and it was the best of the lot. I'm afraid I've run out of superlatives, and apparently Stephen Thompson (who's seen many more shows on this tour) thinks it wasn't as good as some of the shows on the German leg. The mind boggles...
We are a very lucky bunch of fans: we have a band at the top of its powers. Everybody was in top form (and Ian Gillan, in particular, was in crystal-clear voice), but special credit must go to Steve Morse (and I've always been a Blackmore diehard!), who has, quietly and unobtrusively, become the star of the show: he worked his ass off throughout, showing enthusiasm, flair and downright genius. His solo spot was a concert in itself: structured and improvised at the same time, featuring quotes from Amazing Grace, Fur Elise, Cascades and Zep's Heartbreaker, it was simply amazing. Let' s hope he doesn't get into renaissance music anytime soon. ;-)

After the show, there must have been a million hangers-on (rumours of a 160-strong guest list abound!), among whom Jerry Witherstone, Michael Wiklund, Dave Hodgkinson, Stephen Thompson and his marvellous mum, and possibly our very own Joanna (I didn't actually see her, mind you, but her presence was felt ;-) ).

Stathis N. Panagiotopoulos

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