Burnley Mechanics
June 12th 2004

My second time with M3, and a sizeable and appreciative audience turned out for this “future DVD” performance of the band, with cameras left, right and centre.

In general I would say that the band are very tight indeed, certainly Marsden, Moody and Murry, along with the brilliant Jimmy Copley on drums and Mark Stanway on keyboards, have merged into a superb unit and provided an ace backing for the singers. So what of the singers…?

Early on the performance Bernie Marsden explained that the band was suffering, and had always suffered from LSD – Lead Singer Disease, however he explained that to get around this they had two lead singers for the night, former company of snakes man Stephan Berggren and ex- Rainbow man Doogie White (as usual with Deep Purple offshoots, you can imagine Pete Frame grabbing his protractor). Stephan has a wonderful blues voice as demonstrated on the Company of Snakes “Burst the Bubble” CD, perfect for Whitesnake. Doogie sounds less like Whitesnake, but his stage presence and personality (and good rock style singing) brings a welcome change and in some respects felt more like the original whitesnake (ie: there was another ego on stage!). Doogie mentioned that he had first seen Whitesnake at Glasgow Apollo back in 1982, and now here he was singing with the band, 22 years later. I felt very old, as I had seen them first in 1979!

Moody and Marsden were on great form, both soloists putting on a great show. As usual Neil Murrey did a Blackmore (circa 85) and stayed alongside the drum riser but played a blinder, an amazing bass player. I have to mention Jimmy Copley on drums again, because he played each track as if his life depended on it, and it’s great to watch. I managed to get to the encore without even thinking about Ain't No Love.. but the two singers came on stage together for a resounding (if rather under-rehearsed) version of the Whitesnake theme. At the end Doogie tempted Stephan into something of a “duel” of vocal talent, which was very entertaining. I’m not sure who won, you’ll have to judge this on the DVD but it was great fun, and Doogie deserves much credit for cranking it up a bit.

They finished after two hours, with Here I Go Again. Just for the record, my wife (her first Whitesnake or M3 gig) says that Stephan was jolly good looking and sang much better than Doogie, so there you have it! In case you were wondering, I haven’t bothered to buy tickets for Whitesnake this year (DC’s bunch, although I gather tickets have been selling very well indeed). I’ll wait for M3 to return. Soon please.

review: John Blackburn

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