Deep Purple - Harrogate International Centre ,
8th February 2002

Bang on 8.30pm, Ian Paice takes his place behind his kit and the rest of the band take the stage for Woman From Toyko. It seems really early in the night and there are a few empty seats near the front as people are clearly taken by surprise but they power through the song and instantly engage the crowd.

Steve Morse was high in the mix and at times we were struggling to hear Jon Lord. During Mary Long, a drunkard ran to the front of the stage and grabbed Ian Gillan's mike stand base. Ian was far from pleased and following a very public "warning", nodded to the security guards who escorted him out of the hall.

The set list was the same as Grimsby and we were disappointed by the lack of new songs or reworking of older, more unusual material. We genuinely thought that we would be treated to three or four new songs, but alas it was not to be. Gillan and Morse were in fine form throughout and really driving others forward. Ian Paice's one handed drum solo was a treat and Roger is as reliable and steady as ever. We were however, really concerned about our hero Jon Lord. This is the first time since we can remember when didn't have a solo spot and at times he looked tired on stage. He disappeared off stage for a while at the end of Speed King during the High School Hop diversion but reappeared in time to close the song. However, during Hush he restored our confidence and delivered a fantastic solo. Perhaps he was having a slightly off night overall. To sum up, a good night of music. Let's hope they work in some different material for when we see them again in Manchester next Thursday.

review: Meurig Thomas
pics: Michael Richards

Highpoints : more of a night for individual flashes of excitement. Ann felt that Steve Morse played a blinder, suggesting that he liked the American amphitheatre style venue perhaps? His teasers before Smoke continue to amaze and delight the crowds. Jon Lord got a number of great solos in. Fools worked for me at last, excellent version. Perfect Strangers has become another highlight. Getting a drum stick off Martin Ashberry (Martin seems to attract these - perhaps Ian paice is trying to tell him something?). Morse asking on the guitar "where are you" when Gillan got lost backstage and they were wanting to get on! Overall not quite the killer that Nottingham had been but a good solid show which the sold out crowd absolutely loved.
Lowpoints : Mainly the venue which might be fine for corporate bosses to rally the troops once a year but is devoid of atmosphere. Seeing some of the merchandise prices leaping for the third night in a row. Still not enough improv work! Well Dressed Guitar is WAY too short. That buffoon down the front who spent half an hour trying to get Gillan to whack him with the mike stand, and came within an inch of succeeding. Banging my head on the ceiling of the B&B!


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