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Deep Purple - Live 2011
Slupsk, Polen, Dolina Charlotty, 24.07.2011

by Joanna Ostrowiecka

Deep Purple with a violonist

If I knew my brother would be nearby, I'd buy him a ticket, all the more so as he gave us the lift to Dolina Charlotty. He assured me it wasn't necessary, but since he's a Deep Purple fan, he must have wanted to see the band live. I even wanted to buy him the ticket at the venue, but they were already sold out. Well, the band played there for the first time... By the way, it's my brother who let me know about that show before I found it at the Higwaystar website.

He warned us of mosquitoes, so I took an insect repellent along. And... we didn't see mosquitoes, maybe two ones only. He also lent us a blanket because it gets cold in the evening there. And yes, it was very useful- to make the bench we were sitting at more comfortable. :D The weather was excellent, no rain or cold.

We arrived to Dolina Charlotty before eight. We hit the bull's eye, half an hour later and my brother wouldn't find a place for his car. By the way, I must praise the organizers of the gig: they were working without reproach.

When me and my larger half entered the venue, we heard a supergig of Aerosmith- from the player. An excellent intro to the show! And I found I prefer amphitheatres to stadia. The seats are closer to the scene. But if you want, you can stand near artists. I didn't it, as when Deep Purple entered the stage, everybody wanted to be close up to them. Well, I couldn't come up closer becasue of crowd, but I could see even the artists' hands playing, thanks to two big screens above the stage. A very good idea, you can learn to play! :)

The band was to play at ten, but the gig began much earlier. The announcer was a professionalist, he spoke concisely to the point and without affectation. But before he announced the support, he threw us some peaked caps with a logo of Polskie Radio. My husband managed to catch one! It will be ideal for holidays at the seaside.

The announcer was absolutely right. Kruk is a great band indeed. One of our best rock groups. Doogie White features on their latest CD. Of course I bought the album a few days later. An excellent repertoire. All musicians were in great form, the frontman's voice, pure and strong, drove us crazy. Fantastic.

We met a few mates, but we couldn't have a talk because of crowd. What's more, the public was fidgetting relentlessly. And just before the Deep Purple show there was no place to swing a cat...

The band began at ten exactly, as scheduled. Their first song, "Highway star", came out quite nice, the keyboardist was speeding just like Jon Lord in "In rock". But a while later... something wrong: the singer not only behaved unnaturally, but also had much trouble with his voice. "Hard lovin' man" was too slow, also "Rapture" where the chorus was sung in a key too low. Any trouble with high keys? "Maybe I'm a Leo", with a nice solo of piano, would come out better if its ending wasn't so poor. But "Strange kind of woman" was a bit better. "Woman from Tokyo" began quite well, but in the middle... oooh! How out of tune! "Knockin' at your back door" missed a few phrases...

Happily not everything was spoiled. When the singer had a rest during Steve's solo in "Lazy", he began singing better. Generally the band didn't disappointed us. These solos form Steve! These keys parts from Don, including an amusing staccato! These bass solos from Roger! Don was so nice to play our As-major polonaise much longer. I guess he did it on the occasion of the Chopin's Year in 2010. And his "Star wars" nearly smashed the keyboard. Also his frantic solo in "Hush". Ian Paice's drum solo there, very long, made me forgive him a too short one in "Space truckin' ".

And a big surprise: the band invited a violinist! So far I've heard only "Smoke" with violin, on the "Journey in RocK" DVD. This time we didn't heard it, but "Contact lost" with a beautiful solo of this instrument, also "The well dressed guitar", "When a blind man cries" and "Lazy" with an intriguing "country" solo. It was a great idea indeed to invite the violinist!

What song came out the best? I think "No one came", althoughh "Perfect strangers" was cool, too. In general the show was a success, especially the part of Deep Purple where the singer was relaxed. I was dancing, everybody was dancing, the benches weren't an obstacle. Dolina Charlotty is a first-rate venue.

One hour with Kruk, two hours with Deep Purple, oh yes, it was my best evening this year. I only wish I could chase some autographs, but my brother was waiting for us. Unfortunately it was so dark that we were looking for his car for a long time. But it was no use hurrying because he couldn't leave the car-park. He had to wait half an hour until the exit got unblocked. We weren't bored, he had a tape player, so listening to Deep Purple again, and Led Zeppelin, we had a good time. Also one lady in a car nearby.

My brother couldn't be at the gig, but he heard everything. He was completely surprised by the set of songs. He hadn't expected so many pieces he loves so much. It could be seen he liked the concert a lot, although he couldn't see it. As he's a difficult fan to please, he confirmed my opinion Deep Purple keeps high standards.

Many thanks to him for giving us a lift! Thanks to it we didn't need to go on foot to Slupsk. It was really kind of you, Mr Ostrowiecki!

-Joanna Ostrowiecka