Whitesnake • UK Tour 2011 (update 1)

Whitesnake UK Tour 2011

Whitesnake’s UK shows provoked some mixed reviews. I gave up on seeing them live a long time ago, so it was interesting to see what people thought. Mind you I was tempted when we heard Bernie would be popping along, but then this turned out to be just at a few shows, so you weren’t sure if you’d strike lucky or not! More reviews at http://www.deep-purple.net

coverdale and marsden 2011

Latest review • London • It was great to see David Coverdale again, 30 years after the last time I saw him here. Sure he is older but with his new teeth and hair he looked great and he did a some his trademark mic stand play which sent us right back to 81.
The band were great and someone was definitely helping Dave with the vocals but we won’t begrudge him that. The “Here’s a song for ya!” catchphrase was greeted with applause but the tit letching was a bit odd coming from a 60 something man but I quite liked the defiant unreconstructedness of it all.
The music was virtually all American style hard rock which is a shame considering Coverdale’s bluesy roots.  He used to be quite soulful too but he seems to have forgotten that. He was in a band with Glenn Hughes and he might have taken something from that although I understand there was “friction”.
I’m not sure how much longer he can keep his cred with this act. He should think of the Robert Plant exit perhaps. A bluesy soul reconstruction would be a great way for David to spend his dotage. What about a Northwinds 2 or something along those lines?  He could get Marsden, Galley, Paicey  et al on it because being old would be part of the act.  Coming from an old bluesman at the other end of his career it would be great and more dignified than this spectacle.
Aint no love in the Heart of the City was a highlight for us older fans but there were other less fond memories. In the old days we used to go for a pint/piss/shag (all three at Reading) when Micky Moody came on for his boring solos and sure enough the opportunity arouse again when it was absolutely everyone’s solo time. I’m quite surprised the keyboard bloke didn’t get one actually. Not being Jon Lord might explain it. The guitar interplay was flash but dull and the drum solo was the same as the one by the drummer from the Scorpions et al. What a shame Tommy Aldridge has retired. I only ever saw him with Pat Travers but at least he had distinctive style. These boom boom drummers are all the same.
After David had his lie down and we had a slash and another beer it all got going again. An official interval would have been easier. Bernie Marsden’s return was an emotional moment and it was great to see him. He obviously has not had as much “work” done as DC but was clearly enjoying himself and got over being kicked out for what looked like a Motley Crue tribute band.  Anyway, finishing off with a solo Soldier of Fortune was brilliant. I suppose Mistreated or Blindman are not on any more but this was a lovely vocal touch.
I probably won’t go to see Whitesnake again but I would go to see David Coverdale and friends do a cool blues/soul act. Come on Dave, be like the rest of us. Let your hair go a bit grey, get some stubble and start looking more like Willie Nelson and less like Sly Stallone’s skinny brother or even worse, his Mum. Remember Northwinds? The time has come again.
Jim Kent

Wolverhampton • Bit of a mixed bag last night, some excellent Forevermore tracks in the set and DC was ever the professional front man and crowd pleaser but there is something fundamentally wrong with the set.
First of all the good news, great voice, excellent musicians and actually the support act were very good (The Union), great use of the new songs, although I am sure one or two songs were dropped from the set as DC went along. I was on the second row and sang my heart out and enjoyed most of it, apart from the fact that for 25 minutes in the middle of the set Doug and Reb show began.  Now I appreciate the fact they are good guitarists and they want their own space, but surely with 33 years of songs to choose from they could each have two 5 minutes solos within or introducing a song. I am not saying they should do Mistreated or Lovehunter etc. as there are plenty of modern WS songs to choose from (which) can be stretched out to accommodate longer solos (may I suggest on the acoustic “One of These Days” “Love is Blind” “Summer Rain” or more powerful “Good To Be Bad”) even doing a solo and then breaking into an old classic like Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues, would still mean they get their spotlight, but this 25 minutes really upsets the rhythm of the show.
Speaking of a classic the tremendous Forevermore (title track) has to be an instant WS classic; it is brilliant on the CD and even better live. Well worth the night out, hope the WS band keeps rocking and rolling on.
Philip Bradbury

Hammersmith 20 June 2011 • A mixed evening – a promising start, awful middle and grande finale. Great to see Bernie Marsden warmly welcomed back into the WS fold!
Despite the awful sound, DC seemed in pretty good voice. I wondered whether he could still do Still Of The Night for example but he knocked it off (so to speak) with apparent ease. While his voice is not what it was, he’s 60 for Christ’s sake, he wasn’t too shabby at all (to use Coverdale vernacular!)
The first 7 tracks were good, of which Steal your heart away may have been the highlight. Then in true WS tradition songs gave way to ‘solo’ spots. The guitar solos were truly awful – overlong at 20 minutes or so, followed by a 10 minute drum solo – totally pointless, other than to give DC a rest…..
I am a guitarist myself and don’t mind a bit o’ widdling, but this was ridiculous, no structure or finesse. This being my first WS since they reformed in 2003 I reckon Reb and Doug are totally wrong for the band. I like Forevermore a lot and both those guys might look the part but musically to my mind DC needs players with more feel, less shredding…..a Bonamassa style player for example.
The closing four numbers were strong, Ain’t No Love, Fool, then Bernie joining for Here I Go and Still Of The Night , it was heart warming to see Bernie and DC bonding after all this time.  DC treated us to a solo version of Soldier of Fortune which was well received and a fitting end to proceedings. So matters ended on a high note but so much was time wasted on solos… perhaps one of the other guys or Bernie, who all appear to have strong voices, could have done something like Young blood, Medicine Man or some other classic from the vaults to give DC a break hey?

Set list: Best years/Give me all your love/Love ain’t no stranger/Is this love/Steal your heart away/Forevermore/Love will set you free/Reb/Doug guitar solos/Evil Ways/Drum solo/Aint no love/Fool for your loving/Here I go again/Still of the night

Peter Mair

Hammersmith • Haven’t seen Whitesnake for a few years and Coverdale’s voice has certainly reduced in range, shame about having to scream the songs out, take it down a bit David and your voice was not too bad at all. The only downside was the over the top Guitar duelling and Drum Solo, but I guess David can’t do it for nearly two hours.   Highlights of the evening were Forevermore and Bernie Marsden making an appearance.  Looked like he had a ball!  All in all I left smiling: Mr Covernote still has it.
 Danny Fox

Jesper Almen took the photo of DC and BM

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