this DVD / CD / LP format bomb was first advertised, many people
doubted its legality, but it turned out to be legit, although
only intended for the Eastern European market.
we get on the DVD is an almost complete show from The Spodek,
Katowice, June 3rd 1996, recorded quite early on in the Purpendicular
tour by Polish television. When
I first saw a copy of the broadcast in 1996/97 (recorded from
Czech television) I was a tad disappointed. Seeing it now with
better picture and sound quality (though still not particularly
good) has changed my mind, but just a bit. The cameras generally
keep a distance from the stage, instead preferring spectacular
swooping shots over the audience from cameras mounted on cranes
(wheeeee!!!... ). Although the crowd are all partying their hearts
out, the intensity which permeated the shows I'd attended a few
months earlier is not captured, leaving a rather unengaging 100
minutes or so of video material.
The show kicks off with a wonderfully fierce version of 'Fireball',
the drums and keyboards punching cleanly through the mix, and
emphasising great work from Messrs Paice and Lord. It's also immediately
noticeable that the accompanying pictures are not up to scratch.
Forget any comparisons with Total Abandon here, or Perihelion,
or perhaps even Bombay Calling. The overhead cameras sweep around
enjoying themselves and not being much use throughout, leaving
it to cameras in the audience to try and show what's happening
on stage, with zoom lenses pushed to their limit. The resulting
visuals are often soft, murky, and grainy. Still, the music cuts
through, and though the soundtrack is less than perfect it has
an appealing rough edge, with the band on song despite big Ian
sounding at bit hoarse. It all makes for a decent official bootleg
in the same vain as Live At The Olympia '96, in fact I marginally
prefer this one.
music is fresh and energetic, way above some of the uninspiring
performances presented on the 2001 'Soundboard Series' shows.
However, compared to some of the piledriving renditions of vintage
material on the 2004 UK tour, tracks on 'Live Encounters' such
as 'Black Night' seem a little polite. The one track from the
original broadcast that's missing is 'No One Came', which even
then lacked the explosive strobe sequence, so it's no big loss,
especially as the track is on one of the CDs.
real interest is that the set includes soon to be discarded Purpendicular
tracks such as 'Rosa's Cantina', which inside a month had gone
for good. Other notables are 'Cascades / I'm Not Your Lover',
and 'Hey Cisco' (the latter complete with godawful backing
vocals) which all receive their debut on DVD. 'Sometimes I Feel
Like Screaming' features Morse and Glover's acoustic intro, which
I admit I'd completely forgotten about! Unfortunately 'Somebody
Stole My Guitar' was already history by the time Deep Purple reached
plus point for the DVD, and one which came as something of a surprise,
is the interview material. It wasn't exactly pushed to the fore
of the pre-publicity, but would make for a worthwhile bonus release
on its own. The four interviews, with Gillan, Glover, Paice and
Morse, all date from 2004 (which explains Lord's absence), and
weigh in at 20-30 minutes each. All four give some interesting
answers, even making something of the occasional mandatory "what's
it like to be in Poland" types of enquiries. In the main
each interviewee is kept on his toes with questions posed by knowledgable
interviewers such as Roland Bury from the Polish DPAS. I particualrly
enjoyed Ian Paice's very straightforward responses. It's certainly
not the three or four minutes of standard TV questioning that
packaging has a very sparse merchandise release quality about
it (with 2001 era Purple adorning the cover), and lacks details
such as the sound options on the DVD, and if it is PAL or NTSC
(mine turned out to be NTSC). The card and case are less flimsy
than some earlier efforts however.
All in all 'Live
Encounters' is a good 1996 era show, bulked out by two hours of
enjoyable interview material. Good value for money as long as you
don't expect much in the way of picture quality in particular.
The Deep Purple 'Live Encounters' DVD is available to buy
version reviewed is the
slimline DVD + double CD set.
disc is Region 0 (all regions)
sound is 2.0 or 5.1,
though there are no details on the package. Image ratio
is letterbox throughout.