I was in Glasgow to see Deep Purple and the orchestra perform this show, the first time I have seen them since Steve Morse joined. I knew that there was no way we were going to get Made in Japan II, but as a fan of their more recent albums I was interested to see what they sounded like.
I needn't have worried - sure Ian Gillan can't hit the high notes any more (and sensibly didn't try), there was no drum solo and the wilder excesses of the Blackmore/Lord double act were nowhere to be seen, but what a show. The orchestra filled out and enhanced the sound, Roger Glover and Ian Paice are surely the greatest rhythm section in rock history, and the 'new' boys Steve Morse and Don Airey sure can play.
The set list was a bit light on the new stuff for my liking, but it was billed as the 'Songs that Built Rock' tour so it pretty much delivered on that. I was delighted to hear Hard Lovin' Man and No One Came, and to open the encore with Hush was just a sheer joy.
At their prime? Possibly not. A band comfortable with each other, playing classic songs fantastically well and having a great time? You betcha.