Deep Purple

St George's Market, Belfast, Northern Ireland
June 28th 2010

"Well the day finally arrived - Deep Purple in Belfast.

As previous reviews state the gig was moved to an indoor Victorian market which has only recently started to be used for some gigs - depending on promoter. The building has a clear perspex ceiling and with the early evening sun it made me think of what the early evening shows the band played in Japan back in 1972 might have been like.

I was very apprehensive about the sound but it was a lot better than I expected. Support band Sweet Savage are still rocking as they did in the 80's. I saw them a couple of times supporting Motorhead in the early 80's and again supporting Motorhead last December. Basically same songs, same banter every time I've seen them. The bass player (Raymie) really showed his credentials as a big DP by recalling the time Purple played in Belfast at the Ulster Hall back in 1970!!!!! - need I say more.

Anyway 9pm struck and the band we came to see hit the stage. I was with my son Conor and brother Ciarán. We got a good standing area in front of Steve about 4 rows from the front. It was obvious from the start that there were sound problems and technical problems with Steve's guitar. Whether it was out of tune or just not sounding right I'm not sure but he changed guitar early on in the song and needed to change mid song on at least another two occasions during the night.

After about 4 songs the sound came together quite well but I'm not sure the band found it to their liking as IG kept moving in behind the backline and singing from behind Steve's speakers. From where we were standing we could see this but anyone in the crowd from the centre over to the left couldn't have and were probably wondering what was happening.

Ian kept the shades on all night and Roger kept the smile on his face all night. Steve posed for those taking pictures of him and all in all we had a really great night listening to what was a pretty predictable set list. Personal favs for me were Mary Long and Lazy but I really was disappointed that there was no solo from Paicey. Unlike most people I enjoy a good drum solo and Ian's are the absolute best .

The band seemed to be enjoying themselves in spite of the technical problems and at 10.45 they left the stage and left behind a very happy and satisfied audience.

It's been a long wait for a Belfast gig and despite sound and venue problems it was definitely worth the wait. Me and the boy are heading to Cork for their second Irish date and after Monday's gig I'm really looking forward to seeing and hearing them again - but hope the support band has changed (sorry fellas)."

review: Aodán Cunningham

"Well well, finally Deep Purple made it to Belfast after 42 years, and, judging by the crowd's reaction it was well worth the wait. Opening for them was an old favourite from these shores, Sweet Savage. With a tenuous Deep Purple connection (one of the original members was erstwhile 'Snake axeman Viv Campbell) they got the place warmed up nicely.

Deep Purple arrived on stage to a warm welcome but all was not well. Steve Morse's guitar seemed to be out of tune for Highway Star and Ian Gillan seemed to spend more time either at the back of the stage or off stage altogether! He may have had a problem with his eyes as he wore sunglasses all night.

By Strange Kind of Woman things came together and the band began to get into the swing of things. From then on the band and the crowd fed off each other brilliantly. A blasting version of Lazy was particularly well received. All the biggies were present and correct and someone looking like me tore my t-shirt off during Smoke On The Water and hurled it on stage were it remained for the rest of the gig! Hush and a superb Black Night rounded off proceedings nicely.

We were all glad the gig was moved indoors (thanks Belfast City Council) as for the first time in weeks we had heavy rain in Belfast. (Rain in Nortehern Ireland? Never!!) Oh, and both my son Aaron and I met the band in the afternoon after abandoning our van doors open and engine running in the centre of Belfast as we saw them arrive just as we happened to be passing the venue! Thank God for peace, as ten years ago we would have come back to a big smokey hole in the road where the van used to be..."

review: Keith Livingstone

Deep Purple live reviews, UK 2010