live in Birmingham 1993
RCA BMG 74321 22443 9 : EU : April 2001
original video release did get somewhat overlooked in all the
recriminations of Blackmore jumping ship mid-tour, but BMG have
taken the controversial 1993 Birmingham NEC footage issued originally
on VHS and reauthored it for DVD.
There's no additional footage, so we're missing:
90 seconds of 'Highway Star' including a full verse and the organ
solo (at the tail of which Blackmore finally arrived on stage,
greeted with huge relief from an audience who were starting to
believe that he wasn't going to show up at all!)
All of the first encore, 'Hush'.
claim bonus interviews but these are the same as on the original
VHS. I thought at least here you'll be able to skip past them
as they didn't half break up the continuity but dpas member Steve
Richards (who confirms that the sound in awesome) tells me they've
not indexed them separately. An inessentail onscreen biography,
lyrics and a discography are thus the only 'extras'.
on the audio side of things they do reckon to have beefed up the
sound properly to take advantage of the 5.1 multi speaker systems
DVD can power. The picture quality is also superb. The disc comes
in a standard DVD plastic case and inlay, with the artwork as
per the video release.
NEC water throwing incident perpetrated by Blackmore during his
'Highway Star' guitar solo is still one of the most talked about
happenings of the reunion era, and recently Blackmore's roadie
Rob Fodder (who if I remember rightly used to be a DPAS member!)
decided to put his side of events:
"I went to tell Ritchie that the intro tape was playing and that
he had a couple of minutes, and he told me to get the cameras
offstage. I went back onstage and told a cameraman who was between
Roger and Jon that he'd better move offstage. He then proceeded
to break down his camera and move off. I went back to get Ritchie
and we walked to the stage. When we got there, we saw that the
cameraman is hadn't left at all. Ritchie calmly turned around
and walked back to the dressing room. I ran back onstage and told
the cameraman again that if he didn't get off, he'd be risking
the show (in not very friendly terms). Again I went to the dressing
room to let Ritchie know that there weren't any cameras on stage.
this time the band were well into "Highway Star". Ritchie walked
out on stage and joined the band. Then he noticed that the cameraman
had just moved in into the shadows behind Jon, he picked up the
water by the keyboard and threw it at the camera, not Gillan,
not Jon, or even the band members wives, but definitely at the
camera. Not many people know that in between "Highway Star" and
"Black Night", Ritchie ran behind the amps with a beer and soaked
the cameraman again as he was wiping his equipment.
blames Colin Hart for the whole thing, as he had stipulated that
there weren't to be any cameras onstage and it had been agreed
by management. In fact Ritchie had requested an earlier European
show be videoed as Gillan's voice would be fresher."
show still comes across as good, but certainly not great. The
editing cuts more of Blackmore's absences from stage, which does
lend the show more of a semblance of normality. However, anyone
who witnessed his fabulous display in Brixton the previous night
for instance (especially the incredible solo in 'Anya' ) would
be fully aware of the abruptly shortened solos in
the Birmingham recording. It is a shame that it is the only filmed
recording released from what was a generally a scorching tour.
(based on a review by Simon Robinson in Darker Than Blue 54)
A camera crew also had a run-in with Deep Purple at the 2002 Birmingham
show. Luckily, as in 1993 the performance was still fully filmed
despite earlier news to the contrary. More details in Darker Than