Blackmore’s Night Newcastle Tyne Theatre 2005
I saw the classic Deep Purple Mark 2 lineup several times in the 70s, and if you’d have told me that 30 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 so it is; its curious how things change and develop over time. I first saw Blackmore’s night at the Newcastle Tyne Opera House in 2005, with my son David. We went largely out of curiosity, but came away having really enjoyed the experience. If you go with an open mind you will enjoy the show, I’m sure. If you go expecting to see the old Deep Purple Ritchie, you are likely to be disappointed. Blackmore’s Night is a completely different experience to seeing Deep Purple. Heavy rock it is not, but great music it is. Think medieval folk, lutes, Greensleeves, knights and damsels, and you are getting there. I guess there were hints of this in Blackmore’s Rainbow in the form of Sixteenth Century Greensleeves. Blackmore’s wife Candice Night is the exquisitely beautiful singer, and the rest of the band are minstrels of the highest order. If you wear medieval dress you can get cheap tickets for the front couple of rows, and people do! The set was largely new material, but did feature a copy Purple tracks in medieval style, and a few covers. The encore was the Bee Gees First of Mat which was just beautiful and has to be heard and seen to be believed. David and I both enjoyed it. If you go along and see them you will too; trust me! Setlist: Morning Star; Queen for a Day; Under a Violet Moon; Soldier of Fortune; Past Time With Good Company; Mond Tanz / Child in Time; Streets of London; Durch den Wald zum Bach Haus; (incl. Blaydon Races for the Newcastle crowd); Avalon; The Times They Are A-Changin’; Home Again (incl. Rule Britannia); Drink Drink Drink; I Still Remember; Renaissance Faire; The Clock Ticks On; Ghost of a Rose. Encore: Fires at Midnight; Wind in the Willows; First of May
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Blackmore’s Night Newcastle Tyne Theatre 2005
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