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'Darker Than Blue' magazine 55

PAGE TWO : Sheffield.....Manchester.....Liverpool.....Bournemouth.....Brighton...

February 12th, 2002. Sheffield City Hall.    'Rock Grandads Wow Sheffield' indeed...grrr...

Much better sound for me being down near the front this time, not so "muddy" as Nottingham. Steve's work in Fools blew me away. Jon seemed to steadily warm up as the show progressed producing some glorious keyboard breaks and his work in Hush was wonderful. Top for me was the shear power of the whole band hammering out the main theme of Child In Time, stunning....

Was that a half pint mug of tea old Jon was swigging from time to time? It amused me to think it might really have been tea in there (I could have done with a cup me'self at the time), though I guess likely not! And how does Martin Ashberry keep attracting all those drum sticks....... he got another one in Sheffield! Peter Judd

photo: © Michael Richards, click the pic to view a larger version!

The local Sheffield evening paper The Star had coverage of the Purple show. Small teaser on the front, half a page of photographs on page three (with the inevitable commentst about hair-lines and dinosaurs - and a fairly grown up review later on. The posters for the evening edition read "Rock Grandads Wow Sheffield". I forebore from stealing one but I notice the gig poster is still up at the hall so I may liberate that tonight... The weekly Sheffield Telegraph has a half page feature as well, based on an interview with Glover done in Dublin. Simon.

Click on the pic to the left to visit the Sheffield 2002 photo page in the DPAS Photo Gallery. (photos: © Nick Robinson)

February 14th, 2002. Ardwick Apollo, Manchester.              'Remember These Guys...?'

Hail Deep Purple, or The Steve Morse band, as they appear to be these days. Good gig, enjoyed it. Certainly nice not to have grumpy Ritchie there, but God I still miss him.

Ian Paice did his best solo in years, with a "Buddy Rich" one hand drum roll to boot, bloody marvellous. Morse was superb during "Blind Man", electric. Oh and The Planets, it was 3-1 to the Flautist with the Bass player coming in 2nd overall.
John Blackburn

The bad news is that Martin Ashberry's drumstick magnet is broken...... happily, his plectrum magnet is working better than ever. Hurrah!

BBC TV's 'South Today' had a short feature on the tour, advertising the shows in Bournemouth and Brighton next week. There was a very recent clip of Gillan singing 'Fools' live (accompanied by a 'Remember these guys..?' from the reporter), and then footage of The Planets!    DB

Rock Giants still perform. If this is John Lord's last tour with Deep Purple, then the world will be a sadder place for it! I was in the front row and the vocals were inaudiable, Ian is really struggling with a cold, but Steve Morse showed how comfortable he is and how well he fits in with the band. Ted was great ! CIT simply awesome and the Stairway to Heaven riff was excellent. Paice was the engine room, great solo and kept everything going, Roger again was a rock, but I have to say the main attraction for me is always Mr Lord. His skills have never been surpassed. Philip Bradbury

February 15th, 2002.  Liverpool Empire.                                     Fetch The Night Nurse!    
The show at Liverpool certainly stepped up a gear from Manchester, the band making up for Ian's problems with his voice, which was a shame as we've only seen two shows on this tour so have missed Ian being on top form. The highlights for me was hearing "Mary Long" live, amazing as it's nearly 30 years since I last heard that on a live tape. The band as always were superb, my only negative comment concerns Steve's solos in "Child In Time" and "Blindman" at Manchester. Both songs do need a somewhat more subtle approach, and more feeling, but apart from that his playing was incredible. The set is reasonably adventurous but could do with songs like "Strangeways", and "Anya" in there, and is sadly lacking material from "Abandon". Lets hope the next tour is not four years away and that Jon Lord is still in there. John Hassett

Jon did loads of Rockin' Robin before finally getting into the Black Night riff at the Pool! Brought the house down. ALSO he DIDN'T do the Coronation Street theme at Manchester, must be the first time ever... SR

February 16th, 2002.  Birmingham NEC         Postponed                   

This show has been cancelled due to that effing flu bug that's sweeping the UK. Check the mk7 news page for more details. DB

February 18th, 2002.  Bournemouth International Centre              Please Be Seated..

I'd been worried having heard that Birmingham had been called off, and was relieved that this went ahead. Ian Gillan was clearly struggling at times with his cold and was coughing off-mike, but his voice held out and the concert was still brillliant. No Child in Time, otherwise the set was as normal. Highlights for me were Mary Long, Fools and When A Blind Man Cries. I was surprised to find the venue was all seated. Nobody got out of there seats until the encore of Hush and Highway Star. Having said that the audience were appreciative throughout. Dave Whitwell

 Bournemouth Review

February 19th, 2002.  The Brighton Centre          Band On The Mend

Excellent show! No Child in Time, but we did get Black Night. Otherwise set list as same. Ian G. is still suffering from a cold, but his vocals held out. Steve was in particularly good form, especially his intro to Smoke..!. Missing out CIT was adequately made up for with a blistering vocal performance during When A Blind Man Cries. Post-gig moans in the bog centred around the Brighton Centre being all seated!. As I was at the front we only stood up at the stage for encores ( and to catch Ian's drum stick).Paul Jones

Brighton Reviews        'The Times' Brighton Review      Brighton Press Reaction

Paice on stunning form, as was Morse who worked really hard. Even Glover's solo worked for me which up until last night it had not. Strange to be staying in the same hotel as the band. All a long way from hanging around the stage door at the Manchester Apollo in 1979 trying to meet Lord and Paice at a Whitesnake show. Looking forward to Hammersmith on Friday, although I don't hold out much hope for a full recovery of Ian's voice. Hope I'm wrong. Andy Hardman

I can't add much to what has already been said about the Brighton gig, except that I think that what I saw was professionalism and musicianship of which 99.9 percent of today's bands could only dream. Highlights - Fools, Ian Paice's solo and Ian Gillan - how he kept going (and smiling), I'll never know. Lowlights - none worth mentioning. Ron H

February 20th, 2002.  Cardiff International Arena

A last minute decision to attend this gig meant I got a balcony seat. Initally I was a bit miffed, but in the end I had a terrific view (even if it was from left of stage) The main area was all standing and there didn't seem to be too much room down on the floor. Ian is still suffering with his cold and as a consequence Child in Time was dropped. The set was as previously reported with Black Night in place of Child In Time. Overall a great performance!

Highlights: Jon Lord's solo on Perfect Stangers, Black Night, Up the Wall (this song is definitely a grower), Fools.
Lowlights: 3 clowns invading the stage during Blind Man. 3 other clowns fighting in the stand below me. The acoustics of the CIA made it sound like an echo chamber. Mike McBain

February 22nd, 2002.  Hammersmith Apollo                  Voiceless In Hammersmith

Gillan was suffering at Hammersmith last night. The set was cut back even further with Blind Man being dropped. In fact he sounded worse than at Brighton. I was upstairs about halfway back where the sound was excellent but it really showed up how Ian was struggling. They filmed it but this will be useless in terms of any commercial release. On a more positive note the band were stunning and Paice in particular played a great show, he was so into it. Good response from the audience and Roger's mum (I believe) was upstairs and seemed to enjoy it. Whilst it would be a pain, a cancellation and rescheduling may be the best thing, as to see Ian suffering unable to hit those notes is not a pleasant experience and for me last night was the worst of the shows I saw.  Andy Hardman
ticket scan by Matthew Kean

Hello Deep Purple people. Well, I'm recovering from a great concert. Firstly, may I say that Ian Gillan did a fantastic job at keeping going when it was very clear that his voice was suffering. There were a couple of new numbers in the set which sounded really good, looking forward to the new album if they are anything to go by.

So, as always the boys did a fab job, though I think they were disappointed, believing they'd let the fans down with a less than perfect performance (because of Ian's voice). But we understood. Afterwards I met them at the door (having stood for 2 hours) and they all had time to chat. Little Ian said that Big Ian had a throat virus and that unfortunately concerts would have to be cancelled. When Ian GIllan came out I gave his arm a squeeze and told him I could make him better, unfortunately he couldn't answer me as he had lost his voice!! Thanks guys and get well soon Ian. Love from a fan of 30 years.  Annie Graham

Rest Of UK Tour Rescheduled..

See the mk7 news page and 2002 tour dates for more details of rescheduled shows


Ian Gillan Interview   'Sunday Post', Scotland, February 2002


deep purple reviews page