Another day, another Live In Montreux! The 2006 film is certainly a lot more professional looking that the last DVD. Nice camera angles, plus a couple of those crane jobbies flying over the stage and crowd. It's sharply edited, and the image manages to keep up with what's going on - so if Roger has a short solo, the camera is on him. Lots of close-ups too, and some nice work of Roger and Steve in Too Much Fun near the end. For some reason the image looks an awful lot better on my Mac screen than on a large TV, I've no idea why that should be.
The performance is pretty hot, although Ian Gillan is a little hoarse at the start, but he loosens up, although nothing like the form he just showed on the UK tour. Rather like the performance there's a feel of by the book about the sound, all a bit - well, safe, but maybe it's better through 5.1 - if you have it. Of course for most fans, it's the new songs which are worth having. Rapture Of The Deep lacks the majesty of some shows I've heard, but Wrong Man kicks up a damn good riff, though Ian Gillan is struggling with it. Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye is the best of the bunch, and I noticed Purpendicular echoes in it which I'd missed before. Great build up towards the end which makes you wish they'd taken it on a bit further.
I can't say there are any absolute highlights, it all steams along in a tried and trusted fashion, no getting too close to the edge, but then perhaps this show isn't the place to do that (although Roger and Steve do start to have a bit of a play about at the start of Highway Star, which sees them getting more enthused. Equally there are no really duff moments either.
Ian Gillan brings Claude on for the harmonica work and a sort of vaguely improv track (written on a napkin the night before, natch!) called Too Much Fun, a paean to the joys of overindulgance, though it does rather stick out from the rest of the set.
The bonus show from the Hard Rock is a real contrast. A small club, cameras stuffed into awkward angles, and a much more exciting feel to it. The band are crammed onto a tiny stage, so an unusual look - with Don stage left and Steve in front. And it has to be said it kicks off in far more convincing fashion that Montreux, especially Paicey. Sadly the mix is pretty awful, but despite that I enjoyed watching it an awful lot more. It had a real authentic feel about it.
The audio of this has been out a few times, but it's much better with the vision and I think most fans will really prefer it. It does make you wish they'd do a few more shows like this.