Nottingham, Oxford and London
6, 7, 10 & 22 Feb 2002
have to say 2002 has been a revelation in Deep Purple gigs.
I was lucky enough to get in early with tickets and get seats for
half a dozen of the shows within the first few rows. In the old days,
pre Internet, the task was a little easier as less people knew about
tickets going on sale. On the 1996 tour for the few seated shows I
managed front row tickets for most of them.
Musically the band kicked much harder than on the previous couple
of tours I've seen (US, Germany and UK 1998), seeming to have regained
some of the energy of the 1996 tour. The Albert Hall shows in 1999
were rather different in that they were supposed to be a one (then
two) off but eventually they idea expanded into a whole European tour.
With an orchestra and guest singers those shows were special without
the different choice of music played.
of music may be one of the reasons this tour seemed better to me.
Gone were the tracks from Abandon (not that many actually managed
to last until the UK leg of the '98 tour), an album I never really
warmed to. I actually played it earlier today (21 Mar 2002) and it
didn't see as bad a s I remembered but scanning the track list I'd
forgotten half the songs. What sort of a Purple fan have I become?
In fact since the premature end of the tour I've been delving into
some of the DVDs I bought in Germany last October. Over the last few
years I've played very little in the way of Purple music - I guess
I'd played some of the tracks too many times as well as been buying
CDs by a variety of new bands in the same period. It was nice to relive
some of those past gigs (Birmingham NEC in '93 (Come Hell or High
Water), the Concerto show and 3 tracks from the House of Blues in
Back to the music on the tour though. The setlist for my first show,
Grimsby, the second actual concert but the first on mainland Britain,
ran like this:
Ted The Mechanic
Child In Time
No One Came
Well Dressed Guitar
Up The Wall
Keyboard Solo leading into Perfect Strangers
When A Blind Man Cries
Smoke On The Water
The following evening Black Night was added as well.
set contained just six numbers that were played on the '98 tour and
reintroduced a batch of oldies, and not quite so oldies, some of which
had never been played in this country before. While it was nice to
hear Mary Long again, especially with both the 'inspirations' for
the song now having passed away, The Aviator was my particular favourite.
I know it had been played later in the '96 tour, well after the band
left these shores, but as it was one of my favourites from the Purpendicular
CD I was glad the boys decided to give it an airing.
As well as these familiar songs a couple of new tracks were played,
one just an instrumental, mainly guitar, Well Dressed Guitar, while
the other actually had some lyrics - Up the Wall. Considering it has
been almost 4 years since the last studio album, the aforementioned
Abandon, and that rumours and expectation were that these shows would
preview a number of new tunes, I and I'm sure others were a touch
disappointed. While new material may not have been abundant enthusiasm
and smiles certainly were. Gone were the workmanlike performances
of '98 and back came a spark that shone at each of the four shows
Jon Lord seemed to be quite high in the mix, rather a surprise at
first, which made a pleasant change to the last ten years. I understand
that the sound people are the same so quite why there should be as
obvious a change I don't know. The lack of volume was certainly a
common complaint from fans on previous tours. Whatever the reason
I think almost the entire audience was happy with the change.
best surprise of all had to be the fact that Ian Gillan seems to have
regained his voice - so much so that they even played Child in Time
for the first time in almost 10 years. Admittedly there was electronic
trickery afoot in a minor way but the voice really did soar. Obviously
keeping the song early in the set helped, as did a good cough before
the introduction, but it was a pleasure to see Mr Gillan attempting
such a hard song again. .
The down side of the return to vocal form was that when he catches
a cold he certainly catches a cold. I'd booked tickets for the early
part of the tour in the hope that they may have juggled the set around
as on the first few shows of the '96 tour. This was not to be but
it did mean that I saw some of the better shows. About a week after
my third show of the tour (and 50th overall) Ian caught a bad cold
and the Birmingham NEC show was postponed by a week. The following
shows were by all accounts below par vocally and this was still the
case at the Hammersmith Apollo (better known as the Hammy O to us
oldies) show which was being videoed. The second night, and the rest
of the tour, were postponed soon after they left the stage so those
poor people that had travelled from around the world for the Saturday
show were in for a nasty shock. In fact so was I as my sister had
flown down from Aberdeen to see the band and the first we knew of
the cancellation was when we turned up at the doors around 7pm. In
some ways I was glad as it meant we should see a better performance
but there was a darker side which I'll go into later.
If you think these pictures are good then wait to see the ones I use
with the reviews!
Should you nick these pictures for use on CDRs of the shows then please
have the decency to send me a copy - especially of the Oxford show.
Email me at the link below.
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January, 2002. Last updated:
22 March, 2002.