darker than blue

In Concert 2017

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Well that was a fairly good, grownup, “elder statesmen of rock” type performance. [Update – a couple of lucky folk who were there have posted stories in the comments section below]. I do wonder if people tuning in who didn’t know the band thought they’d found a new prog rock outfit at times, and the BBC audio (as least on the red button) was pretty flat and unbalanced which dulled the edge, but the filming was more complex than I expected; the last In Concert I watched (Blondie) was a few years back and most of the cameras were static. This was much more professional. Very strange to actually be watching live as it happens Deep Purple on a UK TV too, I struggle to recall the last time, possibly 1968 when they did the David Frost Show? Lovely looking venue too, all art deco, really worked well with the lighting.
That parpy ELP sound in Uncommon Man still drives me to distraction and All I Got Is You off the new album  is no substitute for Hip Boots, but other than that it was good to have an hour set with so much reunion material (and kicking off with Time For Bedlam from Infinite), and a small but dedicated audience which understood and appreciated it all. The two strongest tracks off Infinite sounded good and it’ll be great to hear these in a concert venue (I guess this show acts as a sort of amuse bouche for the UK tour.) A few bum notes here and there, but mostly they came across pretty well. I liked the way Steve got grungier as the set wore on too. Indeed it was all zipping along and I was quite surprised when they suddenly kicked in to Smoke and realised it was coming to an end! [Update, I checked and it was scheduled for two hours, even the band were confused.] The encore of Hush probably over-ran the radio slot, but otherwise the timing was spot on.  Ian Gillan looked a bit nervy at times – hardly surprising if so –  but his new lyric stand was a smart addition and kept him up to speed. Other rock singers have been doing this lately and wonder if it might become a permanent option?
As far as we can work these things out the show will be viewable now via the BBC iPlayer app for 30 days. Quite why the BBC don’t show these on BBC4 TV in HD is beyond me, seeing as how most nights it’s all repeats!

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