Blackmore’s Night York Opera House 30 Sep 2011

Blackmore’s Night York Opera House 30 Sep 2011
I saw the classic Deep Purple Mark 2 lineup several times in the 70s, and if you’d have told me that 40 years later I would be going to see Richie Blackmore dressed in medieval gear, and playing elizabethan folk music on a lute, I would have thought you were crazy. But there I was on Friday in York Opera House seeing Blackmore’s night for the second time in six years. Last time (at Newcastle Opera House) I went along largely out of curiosity, but in the event I enjoyed the show; this time I was really looking forward to it.
The Opera House is a lovely old venue in the heart of the city of York; this was my first visit. As soon a I arrived I sensed this was going to be good. There were, as usual, many people dressed in costume and notices on the doors told us that the evening was to be recorded for future DVD release.
Support came from a guy in costume playing a selection of medieval bagpipes (trust me, this was better than it sounds), then after a short break Blackmore’s Night came on stage at around 8.30pm. I was surprised to recognise a number of the songs; the crowd certainly knew many of them and sang along. The current set features only one Purple Song (Soldier of Fortune), but that actually seemed ok to me. Richie still takes some solos, and uses a Strat on a few of the songs. Stand outs for me were Under a Violet Moon; Soldier of Fortune; Greensleeves; and Home Again. Richie doesn’t speak to the crowd (but then he never did as I recall); he speaks in mumbles to Candice, who tells us what he is doing and saying. At one point they bring their small daughter onto the stage; she’s lovely but seems pretty bemused by the whole thing. The set was long, but the time went quickly; by the time 11pm came the staff were reminding Richie and Co to leave the stage. They still, however, came back to do a couple of encores, the last being their beautiful cover of the Bee Gees First of May, which features just Candice on vocals and Richie on guitar. I remember that they finished with that the last time I saw them; it was a highlight of the evening.
Setlist: Locked Within the Crystal Ball; Queen for a Day; Under a Violet Moon; Soldier of Fortune; Durch den Wald zum Bach Haus; World of Stone; All the Fun of the Fayre; The Clock Ticks On; Barbara Allen; Keyboard Solo / Carmina Burana / Drum Solo; Journeyman (Vandraren); Highland; The Circle; Toast to Tomorrow; Gilded Cage; Fires at Midnight; Wind in the Willows; Darkness; Greensleeves; Home Again Play; Midwinter’s Night / Dandelion Wine; First of May
Blackmore’s Night website

I still hate printed tickets


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