Blackmore's Night

Tyne Theatre, Newcastle

28 June 2013

To be honest, I wasn't feeling this gig the way I should do. Nothing wrong with the music—the band was as good as ever—but there wasn't the spark of excitement that should be there.

I didn't have a great seat, it was as uncomfortable as hell and the crowd around me was very restless and talkative, which I always find bloody annoying. The guitar was too low in the mix again, and there were too many long awkward silences from the stage while old bossy-tights was working out what to play next.

They mixed up the set a lot, with at least a third of it different from Dunfermline, and more new material. So I was enjoying the music on a sort of detached level, but wasn't emotionally involved. Even a beautiful Soldier of Fortune (not enough guitar!) didn't do the job.

It was about a third of the way through that it clicked, and oddly enough it wasn't a musical moment that did it. It was when Ritchie shouted "Ronnie James Dio" and lifted his beer in a toast, followed by "Jon Lord" and another toast (and a little later, "Cozy Powell"). And I teared up, and... suddenly felt the emotion that you're supposed to feel at the best gig you've ever seen, and after that everything felt better, the band all seeming more relaxed and silly, Candice singing more beautifully (in the encores she's just stunning), and Ritchie...

...Ritchie played the Strat on two songs (Lorelei and Journeyman, followed by a short solo that teased us with Black Night.

And not just because of the Strat, everything was perfect from then on. The acoustic solo in Fires at Midnight was stunning and went on forever (forever wouldn't have been long enough), the Midwinter's Night/Dandelion Wine encore was beautiful, and the last song was a heart-breaking First of May with just Ritche and Candice on the stage.

The only thing I really missed was The Clock Ticked On, because it meant we didn't get a hurgy gurdy solo. Hmm... trading the hurdy gurdy for the Strat... tough choice isn't it?... What? ARE YOU INASANE???? :-D

[Site Home Page] Home
[Review Index Page] Review Index