Purple - Grimsby
Auditorium, 6th February 2002
The band look good, relaxed and there's those big grins. Wallop, before you know it, it's Mary Long and if you've heard the rumours of various members ready to quit, then you certainly wouldn't be able to tell it from the energy and enthusiasm on stage. The whole unit is functioning much tighter, but the new soundman (I think, certainly it didn't look like Moray McMillan who's been doing the sound for a couple of years) has lent a much better balance to the sound, Jon sounds thick and warm again, rather than the tinny, reedy sound that has been overshadowed on recent tours by Morse's soupy guitar tone. No, it sounds much more like a five piece again.
Child In Time was unexpected as I thought I'd hate it, but no. It has been an awful long time since I saw this live, but Gillan's voice was more than a match for it (though it was only the second date of the tour.....) and it's always nice when they chop and change the set around. The Aviator sounded great, a nice new vocal arrangement keeping me listening hard. The excitement dipped for Well Dressed Guitar, a sort of neo-classical battle between Jon and Steve which really just doesn't work for me. The guy is talented, sure, but it's not really a song and sat uncomfortably in the set- ditch it and get Cisco back in there! Fools was sublime and new song Up The Wall had a great hook to it, one that reminds me of hearing Seventh Heaven for the first time on the boot of the same title four years (!!!!) ago. The set rolled on in predictable though still exciting fashion, Speed King was great and Highway Star is the perfect closer to the set.
uk tour news