Deep Purple

Manchester Nynex Arena

October 18, 1998

This was


concert I have ever seen.


What more can I write? Everything I have said about the last three shows, and more and more and better and better.

Fifth row seats tonight in a hall that was sadly only two thirds full I think (they should have curtained off the rear blocks, as at Wembley and the NEC). And an audience that seemed a bit apathetic at times.

But the band... they were at their best. Their best ever. Ever. Same set as Wembley/Glasgow, just over two hours, with more solos, more jamming, more of all the good stuff. A perfect sound (maybe not enough organ), very loud where I sat (my ears are just a tiny bit numb right now) but perfect clarity.


No, I can't do it. I can't pick highlights out of it. It was all so good.

Roger banging his bass against a cabinet to produce odd sounds...

Ian drumming louder and faster and longer than ever before...

Steve just being Steve and just so damn happy all the time...

Requests shouted from all over the audience. Jon shouts something back. Ian: "You tell them, Jon". Jon: "Alright, we'll do all those first".

Ian Gillan wears a Viking helmet, complete with horns (no, I don't know why).

Roger perfects his pick-throwing technique and hurls them several rows back (and I still didn't get one, damn it all to hell).

Ian introduces Speed King as a "Lithuanian Polka", and while he rambles on about lullabies, Roger starts playing some sort of polka on the bass. Steve joins in, then the rest of the band, much to Ian's bemusement. I don't know what they play, maybe it starts as a polka but Steve has other ideas and it just turns into a five minute instrumental jam before finally settling into Speed King.

And at age 50-something, after a year of touring, four dates this week alone, and two hours of 110% singing tonight, Ian is still able to sing all the guitar parts to Highway Star, even the fastest parts.

And it ends. And it's too short and I am barely able to think coherently any more. I've bruised my hands, strained my voice, I have never felt so tired and so awake. I wish it would never end and I would do it all again tomorrow. I don't know how I can wait another two years.

Thanks to the band for four incredible nights, thanks to Mike for driving tonight, thanks to everyone on amd-p for putting up with all this rubbish and for being a group I can finally share all this with. And that's it. Goodnight.