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

Ta' Qali, Malta, 6th June

Yesterday, Purple played a fantastic gig. The crowd was probably small by the usual Purple standards, but it was good for us with around 5000 fans. The gig started off with Hush, then a few numbers from Abandon.

The crowd really went wild when they played the old standards, such as Woman from Tokyo, Strange Kind of Woman, et cetera. The songs from Abandon were not known to most of the crowd since the album has yet to reach our record stores. The band must have realised this because Gillan commented "you'll like the songs when you hear them"!

The usual "yeaaoow"'s were to be heard at various intervals throughout the concert. Both Morse and Paice played their customary solos, much to the crowd's approval. I must say that I did miss seeing Lord's old antics such as swinging the Hammond about to get some weird effect be he was great nonetheless! Ian Paice was the usual metronome, perfect timing and a great drum sound.

I don't think anybody really missed Blackmore. Steve Morse is a more than competent replacement. He sounded like Blackmore whenever he wanted to, but he has a different sound all to himself... and we loved it. Also, in a pre-concert interview Glover said that they were back to their best times, when they could work without someone "wanting to do everything his way".

I must be one of the few who had actually listened to the songs prior to the concert, having bought the album from Holland (via the Internet, from http://www.plato.nl; good selection from rock to jazz, blues, whatever; good prices). Sales for Abandon must be picking up! I ordered mine around a fortnight ago and it was delivered within five days, whilst a mate who ordered it last week is still waiting for it.

The band must have enjoyed our response as well, since Gillan offered to hire 50 or 60 coaches to take us around the tour with them to every gig! Pity we couldn't take him up on his offer!!

All in all, it was a wonderful experience, one that I would like to repeat as early as next weekend! Please pass on our heartfelt thanks to the group for such a fantastic performance.

John Zammit
Malta, G.C.

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