wise man pointed me towards the guitar solo in 'Stargazer' and
to the first half of 'Still I'm Sad', both of which appear on
Disc 2 of this latest archive release (the latter of which, the
studio version I loathe). The dirty bandit. A day later and it
took a big bag of Munchies, a Girls Aloud calendar and a bottle
of Barrs Red Kola to prise the headphones from my, um, head. Knowing
my lust for the guitar work of Ritchie Blackmore at his peak,
it's like taking a Glasgow jakey to Buckfast Abbey and locking
a mere two nights after the already released 'Live In Cologne',
this is, remarkably, even better. The mix seems clearer and the
band performances seem to have notched up a degree. In particular,
the often maligned keyboards of Tony Carey seem more integral.
on to the stars of the show. Ronnie James Dio is in fine fettle,
especially on what is my new favourite version of 'Catch The Rainbow'
, Cozy Powell demonstrates that he was the greatest rock drummer
ever (rebuttals on a postcard to someone who cares - for goodness
sake, listen to 'Man On The Silver Mountain' for proof) and the
workmanlike bass of Jimmy Bain is never less than workmanlike!
then there's Ritchie. Now I've probably heard thousands of hours
of his playing including (whisper) boots of this tour but, cleaned
up and polished, I'm convinced this was when he peaked. Back in
the box Purpleheads, this was when the line between genius and
Xmas carols was straddled with most applomb.
as the Cozy 1812 Overture crashes through my head again, I doff
my syrup to Mr Blackmore one more time. We shall never see his
like again. Absolutely essential for fans of the man, this is
an hour and a half you will want to relive over and over.
Stuart A Hamilton, Zeitgeist, PO Box 13499, Edinburgh EH6 8YL,