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AN EDITOR REMEMBERS...    Issue 55   March 2003

Darker Than Blue 55....Simon's memories of Issue 55, coming soon!

DEEP PURPLE LIVE REVIEW : Dublin, Rep. of Ireland
DEEP PURPLE NEWS : Jon Lord Leaves Deep Purple


LIVE REVIEW : Hammersmith, London, England
DEEP PURPLE NEWS : Deep Purple 2002 UK Tour pulled and rescheduled


LIVE REVIEW : Ipswich, England
DAVID COVERDALE NEWS : Whitesnake reform


DVD REVIEW : Not For The Pro's


ALBUM REVIEW : Past Times With Good Company


NEWS : Snapshot solo album


NEWS : Going solo


ALBUM REVIEW : Hughes Turner Project


LIVE REVIEW : Dudley, England


The Point Theatre, Dublin. 4th February 2002 - Live Review

steve morse 2002"Thirty four years after forming, with 26 years of active 'service', Purple finally came to play in Ireland. Lights down at 9 pm. and Ian Paice is first on to the stage, acknowledging the crowd from his riser and looking resplendent in a Guinness T-shirt. They launched into Woman From Tokyo with no sign of Mr. Gillan. He made a grand entrance on an upmarket zimmer frame with a Tony Iommi mask and an Irish tricolour dangling from his back pocket!

It's clear from the off that all five of them are up for it, Ian Gillan in particular looking thrilled to bits and singing wonderfully. They follow with "Ted The Mechanic" which receives a huge cheer when announced. This is something of a relief as it means that a large portion of the crowd are familiar with the band's recent output. Steve really gives it some welly for his solo and is duly rewarded by the audience response. From that point on he looks ever more relaxed. Then a surprise, "Child In Time". We knew that they had rehearsed it, but we didn't think they'd actually do it. A hush descended, perhaps because of the nature of the song but I have to say it felt as though people knew that it was a big moment for Ian to take it on again. It was a longer intro than usual from Jon. I'm not sure if this was because Ian was steeling himself or whether Jon just felt like it but it did accentuate the tension. Finally, Ian came in and came in beautifully. They built up to the first scream and Ian dealt with it well (much better than on "Come Hell Or High Water" for example), stopping Steve when he came in too early with the high note -another sign of tension - and prepared for the second scream. We know that he can no longer reach that last note but it didn't seem to matter. In the cold light of recorded day it probably makes a difference but not when the band is live in your face. Steve and Jon supported and hit that note for him.

They progressed into the guitar solo and Steve out-did himself. I have heard him play the song before and I didn't think he really got close to nailing it - but at The Point he was magnificent. It was beautifully restrained and powerful. In the past Steve might have relied upon his diddly-diddly super fast scale runs, but he chose his notes carefully - by turns bending and caressing them. He built and built the solo and waited 'til the end before unleashing his speed. I felt he had well and truly laid Ritchie's ghost to rest. Ian came back in and did at least as well as he had first time and I'm pleased to say they reinstated the caterwauling crescendo. We were up off our feet and I remember turning round to implore the rest of the crowd to do like-wise only to discover most of them already up. Roger and Steve both patted Ian playfully on the back and Ian alluded to the fact that they hadn't played the song in a long time and said he was glad they had done it.

They followed with the first performance anywhere of "Up The Wall". Difficult to tell what to make of it but as it entered its mid-section, it showcased some typical Purple contortions and changes. Ian began laughing as the instrumental part wore on and declared that he hadn't a clue when to come back in, and of course he couldn't stop laughing when he did come back in. When the song was over he said they might record it. Encores were "Hush" and "Highway Star". I can't say too much about them as by now I was roaring my head off. I'm quite a reserved person, but I just thought to hell with it - this is my band (so to speak) playing in my city so I'm gonna enjoy myself. Ian was bouncing about on his bare feet while Steve and Roger were doing their Status Quo impressions. Immense fun. The after show joy was tempered a little by the news that this may be Jon's last tour." Vincent Brightling, photo by Manfred Stoffer

It was Vince who got the news about Jon going from a local radio interview with Ian Gillan. We went with the story on our web-site as it was now in the public domain (we'd heard already but had been asked not to be the first to break the story - hence us urging everyone to get to as many shows as possible) and thanked Vincent for his help, only to see the guy castigated online for his input. He was so phased by all this that he called up the DJ in question - Tom Dunne of FM 104 - just to make sure he wasn't imagining it all!

Jon Lord leaving Deep Purple - News

Jon Lord had actually wanted to call it a day after the "Concerto" tour, feeling it was a good way to round off his time with Deep Purple. He was persuaded to stay on for a further year but by all accounts the resumption of the band's touring just reconfirmed his decision. He loved being on stage with the band but the rest of it was getting him down. His replacement by Don Airey in late 2001 was a stop gap but it did enable the band to see they could function without Jon, and also allowed Jon to see that his departure wasn't going to harm the group too much.

The problem for the DPAS was that we discovered that the UK tour was indeed very likely to be Jon's last, but for whatever reason, it would not be announced as such until after it was over. This gave us a huge dilemma but as we have always operated for Deep Purple fans first and foremost, I had little hesitation in allowing the DPAS web-site to run with the story. It seemed to me totally wrong that fans who might want to see Jon with Purple one last time might miss the opportunity, while those who were already going to one of the gigs could at least rethink their plans and maybe book another show. Needless to say we got a lot of stick for this, even from one or two of the other web sites, but I felt we were doing the right thing (and now that it is all over it's hard to see what all the fuss was about!).

Hammersmith Apollo, London. 22nd February 2002 - Live review

"The show was filmed, though with Gillan struggling from the off, I've no idea whether anything will emerge. Cameras on each side of the stage, one at the back of the crowd on the mixing desk, plus a camcorder fixed looking at Paice from the side. Presumably with filming being set up, they felt they had to give it a go. From the first lines of "Woman From Tokyo" it looked bad. On the whole Ian was bearable on the more driven bits of vocal, but on things like the quiet refrain in the middle he was cracked and coughing. Why, knowing this, they didn't rehearse "Wring That Neck" or something else that could have given Gillan a few minutes break, I don't know. When Ian Anderson suffered vocal problems, Jethro Tull dropped an instrumental in every 4 or 5 tunes for that very reason. "Well Dressed Guitar" could have been pushed out to ten minutes I'm sure, and would have sounded better for it, since the version presented here cuts off just as it gets going.

Inevitably the vocals had an effect on everyone, and cast a cloud over the show, which otherwise was a good performance. The crowd were up for it from the off, giving a lot of support. "Black Night" was restored, and featured a lovely long opening with a bit of noodling a la "Lucille" on "In Concert". "Fools" was probably the stand-out, despite a double vocal problem, which seemed to be a lack of monitor as well as a cold. "Up The Wall" comes over better on second listening, though the words were virtually unintelligible. Why are Jon's solos so short this time around? Tonight of all nights, we could have done with a ten minute meander around the keys. "Smoke On The Water" was a rough version but I enjoyed it, since it reminded me of the original Foxbat mix, which had a glorious "on the edge" feel, as to whether they would actually make it to the end. The current line up are much more in control of course, but the song does benefit from a bit of abuse now and then! Steve cut down his sonic intro to "Highway Star" (shame), though I could still listen to the song all night. Perhaps they wanted to plough through and fix up Ian Gillan with his hot toddy. Performance wise, Paice was a star, with a good solo; Lord seemed a bit low key at times, though still lively, while Steve's enthusiasm shone through." Matthew Kean

2002 UK Tour Cancelled - News

By February 8th (the Sheffield show) Jon Lord was staying well away from everyone, word being that he was suffering from the flu. Unfortunately efforts to contain the virus were insufficient. Before the Manchester show on February 14th word is out that Ian Gillan was in a bad way, but that they're going to do the show anyway. It's a calculated risk but it doesn't pay off. It's scary to watch Ian struggle through in agony, and despite shuffling the set around and dropping "Child In Time", it's a difficult gig to watch - although the others pull out extra stops to help Ian through and win over the crowd.

Jon did loads of "Rockin' Robin" before finally getting into the "Black Night" riff but those who don't know what is happening mutter darkly about them having lost it, and bizarrely no one even attempts to say something at the end of the show. Just a few words would have put it right with most. Roger mentioned that, from the stage, they'd noticed quite a few people walk out. He was also in a very bad way with the flu - you'd never have guessed from the power of his performance, though he did make a few mistakes and he said he'd had to concentrate really hard on the performance. The rest of us just wonder how they're going to get through the next few shows.

The answer comes midway through Saturday morning as Radio 2 puts out a warning that the NEC gig is off. We get a warning on the web-site, mobiles begin to buzz and e-mails start flying. The NEC has a lot stacked against it for many as far as rock gigs go, but their hard-pressed staff are on the phone all day calling ticket bookers and informing them of the postponement.

Cancelling the show gives them time to try and shake the flu, and let Ian in particular recover. They chance it again at Brighton; Ian struggles but it seems like he might be getting over it. They then do the first of two shows at Hammersmith (which was filmed and recorded) but vocally it fell apart and they cancel the second night's show on the 23rd, the (already rescheduled once) NEC gig on Sunday (24th) and rest of the tour straight afterwards. "Deep Purple hope to return in April to replay the cancelled dates" read the statement from the halls. This was the first time ever the band have had to pull so many shows on a UK tour and you can be sure the decision wasn't taken lightly. There is a certain amount of relief in this but also disappointment from many, especially as it looks like Jon Lord has played his final Deep Purple show unannounced and with a band only at half strength.

Before long, rescheduled dates are announced for the autumn, with options of attending the new dates or getting ticket refunds. To make it worthwhile, a few extra shows are also pencilled in. The next few weeks are full of uncertainty until becomes clear that Jon Lord has indeed left the band.

It's left to Roger Glover to send out a statement via the Internet.
"Jon has told us he plans to retire from active participation in Deep Purple. We wish him the best. The moment cannot pass without a personal comment. It is sad that Jon has come to this difficult decision, but everyone of us respects his right to determine his own life. I have learned so much from him that I could not possibly do him justice by attempting to quantify it. Don Airey will be our keyboard player from now on and we welcome him to the band."

But the agonising remained, what about the UK tour? Don't worry, a source close to Jon tells me, he'll be doing it. In the face of a lot of flak and not without yet more agonising, we go with the story on the web-site. How would we have felt if Jon was doing his last shows with Deep Purple and nobody had told us? Massively disappointed. At least this way people will be able to pick up an extra ticket or two and say their farewells. Ipswich, one of the new shows and the last gig of the tour (a strongly rumoured date in Croydon never happens) quickly sells out.

Regent Theatre, Ipswich, 19th September 2002 - Live review

jon lord 2002The snug little Regent Theatre is an elegant thirties survival. The gig was a goodie, though emotions on the night and even now weeks later, make it hard to come up with the right words. Sat there trying to enjoy a show and yet realising that this could be the last time you see Jon Lord with them was not something either of us could manage easily, and somehow you felt a part of your own life was drawing to a close.

What Jon himself felt, I hate to imagine. He'd been deep in discussion with Ian Gillan before the gig. "When A Blind Man Cries" came in Don's part of the set but Jon really wanted to play it one last time. The set was thus swapped around, and Jon gave us a poignant keyboard filled version which made it even harder to hold back the odd tear or two.

As it all came to an end, the place simply rose to its feet and the ovation went on and on. They hugged, stood in line and waved. One by one the others left the stage, and Jon was left to accept the thanks of a crowd who had to stand in for the hundreds of thousands of fans he's enthralled over his years with the band. They did all those fans proud and the moment seemed never to end.

I've never seen anything quite so emotionally charged at a rock gig before. Whatever happens in the future, it was a fitting end to this particular chapter of the band's history. For once, Deep Purple had said farewell to one of the band in a way which, while certainly not without sadness, was at least done with dignity and honour. Jon commented on the moment recently: "I will never forget it if I live to be 150. We finished off, we all stood in front of the stage, we took a bow, and I suddenly found myself alone. All the guys had snuck off and left me standing there and it was... difficult to put into words."


Whitesnake reform - news

best of whitesnake cd cover"Gentlemen - time to unearth that packet of souvenir prophylactics from the Donington festival survival kit; Ladies - time to brush down your "Here Comes Trouble" t-shirts... Whitesnake are back in town." Or rather they will be very soon. Geffen have put together a set compiling all the later material in America and EMI are issuing a new CD compilation in March 2003. These will be promoted by a new tour - indeed a new band. The UK CD does at least include some of the late seventies and early eighties hits before charging into the second era.

It was towards the end of 2002 that Coverdale finally began to think about hitting the road again and negotiations were started with regard to a new Whitesnake line-up. Coverdale said he'd announce the new line-up on Christmas Day 2002 on his web site:

"Ladies and Gentlemen...Boys and Girls...It gives me the greatest pleasure...000-ER!!!...to present the new members of Whitesnake... Cue the music!!! ...Doug Aldrich... Guitar/Vocals... (Dio... Lion... Burning Rain) ...Reb Beach... Guitar/Vocals... (Alice Cooper... Dokken...Winger)... Timothy Drury... Keyboards/Vocals... (Eagles...Don Henley)... Marco Mendoza... Bass/Vocals... (Ted Nugent... Thin Lizzy... Blue Murder...)... and wait... for... it... Please... put yer hands together... on drums... the Mr. Tommy Aldridge!!! ...YEAH!!!... (Whitesnake...Ozzy Osbourne...Thin Lizzy)... and, of course... yours truly... DC on vocals... (...er...Whitesnake... Deep Purple... Coverdale Page...) ..Let the trumpets sound... Let the Angels sing... YEAH, BABY!!!"

Enough already. Good to see someone out there thought the Austin Powers films were funny. The UK leg of the tour is of the big arenas and tickets are on sale now. The tour is going out under the rather dated Monsters Of Rock banner and Gary Moore is supporting, with Y&T opening the evening. The American / Canadian leg of the tour is already well under way, with The Scorpions doing the co-headline honours over there. The support is Dokken.


Not For The Pro's - DVD review

ian paice dvdI've been buying movies on DVD more than anything else this past 12 months, and I'd generally choose to watch a good film over a music DVD, so I was expecting to be bored stiff by this release. Au contraire, I sat through just about the whole show without reaching for the fast forward once - and I've never touched a drum kit in my life. Perhaps it is because it's done in depth, rather than trying to please a wider audience, that it comes over as more interesting. The section where Paicey shows how kits are made was fascinating; good to see some real craftsmen at work. As well as a woman who reckons to have checked 2 million drum sticks by eye!

The static camera footage of Paice during the Purple show is likewise compelling stuff; you really can see just how hard he (and his roadie!) work throughout. The sound is pushed towards the drums here, so while you can hear everything else, you do feel you're stood next to the kit. The drum exercises I probably won't bother with again (though for those who want some help you can't help feeling it would have been nice to have a few more), and some of the drum clinic clips missed an opportunity, being assembled for a TV audience not the dedicated Paice fan.

I think above all though the feeling that for Paice this is a job like you or me might have, different in scale, rewards and all the rest of it, but often routine and sometimes humdrum, came across well - especially during the hand-held on the road clips. I look forward to the revised edition with interest. And let's hope the cover is better - be honest, could it be any worse!


Past Times With Good Company - album review

Germany : SPV 095 74490 : 2002 2CD

blackmores night cdBlackmore's Night continued on their merry way during 2002 with gigs promoting "Fires At Midnight" (and even the odd TV promo slot). After pressure from fans and the activities of bootleggers, they finally got a live album together towards the end of the year. "Past Times With Good Company" was a double set, with a limited edition available in - well, according to the label it was to be bound in a leather corset type cover - but when it arrived it was toned down somewhat. The album was taped in 2002; the booklet merely says it was recorded in Groningen, Holland. People who know point out that most of the electric guitar playing normally associated with the set isn't there.

"The inclusion of lyrics with this double set suggests that this live offering is also meant to be a kind of 'best of, with a mixture of tracks from the 3 studio albums as well as a couple from R.B.'s past lives. If you're a fan of the band then there's little here to put you off, but due to the disciplined structures of this musical genre, the variations, mistakes and nonsense which have often proved to be highlights of live albums featuring Ritchie in the past are sadly lacking here. One major variation is the omission of the startling and brilliant electric guitar solo in "Fires At Midnight", tragically replaced here by some violin and acoustic doodling.

A surprise highlight is "Sixteenth Century Greensleeves" which actually rocks - not quite like the golden age of Rainbow, but compared to the rest of the material it's a definite return to form. By contrast, the other cover, "Soldier Of Fortune" is disappointing - Candice's pronunciation tends to grate ("Soldier of fort-chun") and Ritchie doesn't really shine as he should. So all-in-all more of the same from Blackmore's Night with Ritchie doggedly sticking to his guns, musical direction-wise. Whilst Candice seems to be getting stronger and more confident as a vocalist, I'm sure I'm not alone in wishing the medieval stuff was a side project for Ritchie rather than being the be all and end all of his musical output these days." Tim Summers


Snapshot - News

Glover's new solo album "Snapshot" came out just prior to Christmas 2002, though it was finished by the start of the British tour. Randall Bramblett is the main singer, keyboard player, sax player, right hand person and musical handyman. "We wrote some songs together, he helped finish some I had started and he wrote, one himself," is how Roger summed it all up. It must have gone well as he added that "I want to do another one right away".

There seemed to be some confusion from the record label - who gave the band a different name on the front and back of the promo copies they sent out, but they were correctly named The Guilty Party, not The Insiders. Roger explained the confusion on the web:
""Snapshot" is due to be released September 2. 2002 on Eagle Rock Records. You may even have a copy, since it appeared on Ebay within days of promotion copies being circulated through the offices. I'd like to see it myself! Incidentally, the first name that I had for the band was The Base Camp Insiders, which was shortened to The Insiders before I changed it to The Guilty Party, and this is why the early copies have the name The Insiders on the back. It is called "Snapshot" because it was done very quickly, despite the several years I have been working on it. Most of the musicians on it had no idea what kind of music they were being asked to play and all rose to the occasion magnificently, most of the performances were done in one take, some lovely moments in the studio for which I'm truly grateful."


Going solo - News

One of Jon Lord's first gigs after leaving Purple was a support do for the Countryside Alliance at the Royal Albert Hall in October 2002, featuring well known actors and musicians (including Robert Hardy, Sir John Mortimer, and Roger Waters.) Aitch McRobbie (who was among the backing singers at the Albert Hall Concerto shows in 1999) sang "Wait a While", with Jon on the piano and Paul Mann conducting the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. Jon is apparently mates with one of the organisers of the Countryside Alliance. Personally I've never been a huge admirer of killing animals for fun.

Jon then started 2003 off with a vengeance down in Australia. There were performances of the "Concerto", with the group george (they insist on a lower case G apparently) taking the Deep Purple role. Jon also did a question and answer session at one venue. This was to be followed by some solo gigs with Jon playing material from his various solo albums. Jon however hurt his hand after the "Concerto" and didn't feel it would take the hard work needed to handle the piano. He could manage Hammond OK though, so instead of cancelling the shows they did some rhythm and blues sets using at very short notice with ex-Rainbow man Bob Daisley's group The Hoochie Coochie Men.

Reports say it was a treat to see Jon in full flow at the shows, but for those of us unable to see this at first hand, they filmed one of the gigs for a full length DVD. Jon has also said he'd be happy to do some shows like this in Europe. After this, Jon was joined by conductor Paul Mann (who wasn't able to conduct the "Concerto" shows but flew over later for a week of concerts with the Queensland Orchestra in early February) to start rehearsing Jon's new orchestral piece "Boom Of The Tingling Strings", which was due to premiere on February 16th in Brisbane. Jon's "Boom of the Tingling Strings" is due for its European premier on May 31st, performed by the Luxembourg Philharmonic conducted by Paul Mann with pianist Michael Kieran Harvey. This takes place at the Conservatoire de la Ville de Luxembourg starting at 8pm. The program also includes pieces by Britten & Prokofiev.


Building The Machine - album review

Germany : SPV 085 72372 : 2001

"Glenn's latest solo release is quite a varied affair, but for the most part it can be described as funky. Anyway, here are some thoughts on the individual tracks : "Can' t Stop The Flood" kicks things off with a bass intro which leads to a nice Purple-stomp with suitably Lord-ish keyboards. Impassioned vocals which are multi-layered at the chorus help convince as this opener bumps and grinds in rocky style.

"Inside" is funky, with a smooth guitar solo (one for the open top car come summer time - dream on!). "Out On Me" - Prince? You could be forgiven for thinking this was Mr Symbol-Artist-Formerly-With-Some-Credibility as it begins, but Glenn proper soon arrives to stamp his authority on proceedings in a very Trapeze-like way. "I Just Want To Celebrate" Possibly the only outcome of what was originally proposed to be an album's worth of collaboration with Pat Travers. Rather surprisingly the pair share the vocals on this lively early 70's funky cover version. "Don't Let It Slip Away", more funk with particularly nice bass on this one. "Feels Like Home" An almost acoustic Whitesnake feel to the start of this before Glenn's melancholic vocal joins in. Just guitar and voice for the first couple of minutes or so before some keyboard work heralds a build to a big finish. Nice dynamics in this one and Glenn sings like he means it. "Highball Shooter" - Glenn's plans to re-record the entire "Stormbringer" album continue with this latest addition. The Purpleish backing is fine, but it still seems a bit weird to hear Glenn singing all of the typically Coverdalesque lyrics. Still, Paicey would be proud of the machine gun drumming which heralds the final verse, and the keyboards could almost be our Jon. Not a bad version, perhaps just a bit incongruous in the context of this particular album.

"When You Fall" - Mannered vocals over a relentless grinding backing. Again quite Purpley in a Mk 4 kind of way. "I Will Follow You"- Lyrical guitar here with a breathy vocal from a laid back Glenn. The end has a nice loose jam feel to it. "Beyond The Numb" - An atmospheric start leads to more laid back vocal work. A smooth trip but with a finale which includes Glenn's best screams this side of "Your Love Is Like A Fire". "Big Sky" - Glenn's requiem for a dead friend contains some suitably haunting acoustic guitar. Reminds me of something Tommy might have come up with somehow, although the vocal is pure Hughes. "Cosmic Spell" - The Japanese bonus track is more stomping 70's type funk which struts its stuff convincingly.

Glenn's funkier outings tend to divide opinion but overall a really good album in my book. Some nice variation within the album make it a grower, and I'm still enjoying it more with each listen." Tim Summers


Hughes Turner Project - album review

Germany : MTN! / SPV : March 2002

"This is not a collaboration I'd have thought of, and though my first concern was that Glenn Hughes would wipe the floor with Joe Lynn, this turns out not to be the case, with Joe giving one of his best performances and matching Glenn stride for stride. Some details: Devils Road - A good driving opener, perhaps a little too similar to Rainbows Death Alley Driver, but the interchanging of vocals at each verse sets the scene for the rest of the album. Both parties putting a huge amount of effort into this. Sister Midnight - A really funky number which would fit on any Hughes album and I expected this to be just his vocals, so something of a surprise to hear Turner adding the second verse. Better Man - I really enjoyed this one, it took a while to figure out what it reminded me of, but then when you get it, it's really obvious, it's Sail Away, and the more you listen to it, the more you recognise bits. Hughes really lets rip on this one. Heavens Missing An Angel - Second power ballad, this one handled by Hughes, not as good as the Turner track, this could have been lifted straight of a late eighties Whitesnake album (it's that bad, really). Ride the Storm - Another driving number, a bit too Yngwie for my liking, Hughes' vocals change the style a little, but Turners is too formulised. Run Run Run - Both of them really flex their vocal chords here, possibly the best track on the album, which also contains a really good guitar solo, at last, even though it is very short. On The Ledge - Seems to have quite deep lyrics this one, in a similar vein to 'Into The Void' and 'Don't Want To Live That Way Again', and may well be about the usual illegal substances, that both of these guys have had issues with, and if that isn't Keith Emerson on the keyboards, it bloody well should be.

Overall, I really enjoyed this album, and keep going back to it, which is usually a good indicator. The main downside is the standard of the guitar work, I know JJ Marsh is on there, but I couldn't really tell if it was him all the way through or not, a man I do rate very highly. The vocals, as you would expect, are of a very high standard." Michael Richards

Dudley, 30th September 2002 - live review

The Hughes Turner Project, spurred on by successful shows in Japan, spawned a studio album and then a bigger tour, followed by a live album from the Japanese dates. The tour ranged right across Europe for most of September and ended in early October 2002. There were only two dates for the UK - in London at the Mean Fiddler and a more intimate venue nearer home - in September. Both were well attended by DPAS folk:

" The eagerly awaited Glenn Hughes / Joe Lynn Turner road show finally hits the UK - and in the West Midlands to boot! A capacity crowd - this is Hughes' home turf after all - was in evidence, though it was a case of 'spot-the-under-twenty-five' at times. Bringing together two vocalists of such credentials could have been a license for ego-fueled calamity, but happily the guys carry it off with style. The juxtaposition of two such identifiable voices works surprisingly well on stage, with Joe's throaty, more bluesy efforts underpinning Glenn's higher soaring soulful pitching. Once the novelty of a twin-vocal attack wears off one can soon settle down to appreciate a evening's trawl through some classic Deep Purple and Rainbow songs along with some strong new material.

The newies avoid the soul/funk leanings of Hughes and the slushier elements of Turner's 80's AOR, the only gripe is the songs do sound somewhat derivative at times - witness the drive of opener 'Devil's Road' (very 'Highway Star') and the funky 'Better Man' ('Sail Away' in all but name). The set-lists on the tour thus far appear to have been switched about regularly, and tonight we were presented with a no-nonsense heavy set without a plaintive 'Oh Girl' ballad in sight. The expansive version of Sabbath's 'Seventh Star' was very much in eastern sweeping epic mode. Hughes' slightly up tempo take on 'Mistreated' worked quite well (guitarist JJ Marsh's been listening carefully to Ritchie's 'Live in London' solo) as did the quicker arrangement of 'King of Dreams' which found a new sparkle after the flat renditions on the 'S&M' tour ten years ago. Interestingly, all the Purple songs were so arranged as to almost eliminate the keyboard solos (though when you could hear him above the bass, Joachim Svalberg sounded a capable enough player). This further helped in giving a hard, fresher, more contemporary coat to the familiar songs. Of the Rainbow stuff 'Jealous Lover' was an altogether meaner beast than on record, and 'Spotlight Kid' positively belted along - lovely fluid guitar solo, almost note perfect to Ritchie's original on record. A special mention too for Thomas Broman -awesome Keith Moon-esque backing all night, the best drummer I've seen for ages.

Joe has taken a lot of unwarranted stick from certain quarters over recent years but judging by tonight's performance (and that of his recent excellent albums) is singing better than ever. Downsides? 'Highway Star' was a mess; both protagonists never know when to stop hamming it up; and the bass heavy sound mix didn't do many favours. These days the general apathy towards anything other than trendy 'nu-metal' means this project won't kick up much dust outside of Japan and Scandinavia. Cynics may write this off as just another case of 'living off past glories' (I heard one guy saying "Glenn's exhausted the Purple back-catalogue, now he's bloody started on Rainbow's!") but frankly the quality of the songs and the enduring hard-core popularity of the main duo (evident from the vociferous crowd here tonight) argues 'HTP' is as credible as any around today. A highly enjoyable night." Roy Davies.

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also in the magazine... 2002 Deep Purple tour reviews - UK (both legs), USA (both legs), and Russia ..... Deep Purple, recording new album feature .... George Harrison .... Deep Purple - SonicZoom live album series feature .... letters pages .... questions and answers .... book reviews, including Dirk Schulz and Roy Davies interviews .... Deep Purple fan clubs round up .... Purple Records round-up .... Episode SIx 'Cornflakes & Crazyfoam' feature ..... Last Rebel feature .... Ian Paice news .... Tommy Bolin news .... Steve Morse news ..... Ian Hansford archive feature .... Glenn Hughes - Legends Of Rock tour ..... Graham Bonnet's Rainbow tour .... Tony Ashton Memorial Gig ... Ex ex members .... How we got into Deep Purple .... Roger Glover, Snapshot interview .... Deep Purple Concerto remaster reviews .... STS-107 Space Shuttle feature .... Deep Purple EMI Singles Anthology review .... Deep Purple & related CDs reviewed (both official and unofficial) ..... Deep Purple Listen Learn Read On, EMI box set feature .... DVD reviews and news, including Machine Head classic album and Perihelion reviews .... Emmeretta feature ..... and much more .....


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