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Europe 2004

Stockholm | Helsinki | St Petersburg | Kiev | Istanbul | Budapest | Neuhaus | Dinkelsbuhl | St Goar

Esslingen
| Abenberg

Chinese Theatre, Stockholm, Sweden 8 June

The very first show on Blackmore’s Night’s European spring/summer tour 2004 took place in the capital of Sweden, Stockholm. A rather cold day for being in early June and also a very cold day for Ritchie’s new guitar technician whom we all soon will (unfortunately) be aware of. Well, first things first.

My friend David and his Minstrel Spirit are tonight’s support band. I’ve actually never heard or seen David live (I think) so this is going to be exiting. Minstrel Spirit played for about 25 minutes and they were very good. David is a great guitar player and obviously he’s very inspired by Ritchie, but he has developed his own style.

Now we were all waiting for Blackmore’s Night and the usual Geyers intro. All of a sudden Ritchie just walks out alone on stage. I was talking to my wife and waiting for the Geyers intro and as I just turned my head towards the stage, Ritchie just stands there alone. I was very surprised, this is not the usual proceedings as you all very well know. Maybe he was eager to perform and decided to skip the usual intro? Anyway, they started of with Cartouche and got the crowd clapping right away. Maybe they were eager too? I certainly was! I thought to myself this is going to be a great show. Ritchie seemed to be in an extremely good mood.

Unfortunately through out the show Ritchie had to tune his guitar between (almost) every song. The guitar tech tried to work it out but to no avail. Ritchie got tired of the tech’s incompetence and finally waved him away. When Ritchie started to tune up for Under A Violet Moon Candice said “This one’s called tuning up”, the audience were laughing and cheering. Everybody on and off stage seemed to have a good time and enjoying themselves despite all the technical problems. Since the technical problems continued through out the show we got some jokes and little chats from stage, which was great and spontaneous.

When it was time for Durch Den Wald Zum Bach Haus Candice introduced the song by saying “This one is actually something that Ritchie wrote while we were at this beautiful castle in Germany”. “In Sweden!” Ritchie shouted and turned to me and asked me how to pronounce Bach Haus in Swedish, “Bachs Hus” I replied and Candice announced the song in remarkable good Swedish, much to the audience amusement.

When the Child In Time theme came during Mond Tanz I got goose bumps. This was a great surprise and they did an amazing version of it and Candice sung it beautifully. Time for Home Again and once again Candice introduced the song in almost perfect Swedish, great! They paid homage to Sweden by playing Abba’s monster hit Dancing Queen during Home Again. Upon the band’s request Bard David sang a short verse in Dancing Queen. Bard David has become more relaxed during performances, great as he gets more involved in the jamming and the fun bits.
I remember last year when he was very anonymous, barely audible and visible. Ritchie reached down to David from Minstrel Spirit, who also was sitting on the first row, and let him play a bit on his guitar during Home Again. David was very happy about that experience, who wouldn’t?

Unfortunately we only got one encore, All For One and it was also sadly the only song which Ritchie played on the strat. Damn that guitar tech! Well, apparently he was (rightfully) fired after the show. A lot of hand shaking though and Ritchie actually sort of apologized to me for the technical problems and said something like “These things happens”, I replied “Go for it anyway”, but Ritchie responded “When you have to go you have to go”. I must say Ritchie was in a very good spirit even with all this technical inconveniences going on, he even came out after the show and happily signed some autographs.

Set list:Stockholm 2004 © Paul Deblond

Cartouche
Play Minstrel Play
Minstrel Hall
Under A Violet Moon
Past Time With Good Company
Soldier Of Fortune
Mr. Peagram's Morris And Sword
Diamonds And Rust
Durch Den Wald Zum Bach Haus
Fires At Midnight
Wind In The Willows
Mond Tanz
Child In Time
Ghost Of A Rose
I Still Remember
Home Again (incl Dancing Queen)
Renaissance Faire
Hanging Tree

Encore:
All For One

Showtime approx: 1 h 50 min.

Paul & Cecilia Deblond


An odd but yet a brilliant show...

First show on the European leg of the tour made the show to an odd but yet a brilliant show. First it was problems to get the sound right with the PA system, second Ritchie’s guitar tech could not manage to tune Ritchie’s guitars properly so this became a disaster during the show. (Note that the guitar tech was looking for the guitar tuner!! during Minstrel Spirits sound check). The most significant thing was that Ritchie’s guitar during Play Minstrel Play was completely tuned in an other key!! this meant that Ritchie could not play half the song.., the out of tune thing followed the show more or less, on the other hand the band did much talks and jokes on stage. At one point even Ritchie spoke and said ”now we are going to play a song that’s called Tuning Up” now that was funny although with a serious meaning...

Ritchie was amazing this evening as he often performed amazing flamenco style playing, he’s got a brilliant light touch to his playing. We only got All For One on the strat due to buzz/noises, Ritchie wanted to play more but the tuning and buzz/noise situation made it unbearable…

Pre concert
Sound check was great!!
Ivory Tower and 16th Century Greensleeves with extended solos was performed.

Surprises of the evening
Home Again including Abba’s Dancing Queen
Mond Tanz including “Child In Time”
Nur Eine Minute was performed!!! First time ever?? Great!!

Highlights
Minstrel Hall
Fires At Midnight
Ghost Of A Rose
Nur Eine Minute
Great flamenco style playing in and in between songs!

Disappointments
We only got All For One as encore

Memorable personal moments
Guess who got to play along on Ritchie’s guitar during “Home Again”
Guess who was offered the Guitar tech job!

David Braic


House of Culture, Helsinki, Finland 10 June

After 20 minutes walk through sunny and warm Helsinki I arrived at the venue in the afternoon. It was nice meeting everybody of BN before the show for having a little chat, as for once there was not the usual ‘fan-family’ around. The opening act was done by a Finish 5-piece medieval band playing for half an hour. They even sang ‘Herori Matori’, a German song some of you might have already heard performed by the Geyers.

At about 8.55 Blackmore’s Night started the evening with ‘Cartouche’. Ritchie did not play the guitar synth ‘Mandalay’ intro, but the opener managed to get the crowd clapping wildly. Ritchie had a new guitar technician, as the one he used in Stockholm was given a permanent vacation as an appraisal for his superior lack of quality. The new chap seemed a bit nervous, but did a good job. Only the percussive intro into ‘Past Time’ was elongated due to problems with the guitar, but this might not have been the tech’s fault, the way things looked.

Temple of the king came as a bit of a surprise (especially for the band) and sure was well received by the crowd. Renaissance faire was introduced with the bridge of the song, which was rather unusual (and not necessarily intentional???), Fires and 16th Century Greensleeves featured long and excellent guitar solos, Bach Haus a glimpse of the abilities of new violin player Tudor Rose, who still seems a bit shy, but otherwise did a great job. Mond Tanz was done as a medley with Child in time as the middle part, with the sisters of the moon taking over on the higher screams. Both had been changed, with Candice taking over the melody part of Mond Tanz on her shawms and adjusting child in time to the style of Blackmore’s Night.

All together a show the BN camp considered the best so far, a good audience and a surprising ‘Pavarotti’ stint of Bard David at the end of Past Time…they were all having a laugh about that one after the show. At two hours 20 minutes not as long as some of last year’s German shows, but still longer than most artists are willing to play nowadays. Then Richard Beatty and I hit the pubs…with the Finish summer leaving at daylight was no real problem. Now another month’s wait for the other shows…

Set list:Stockholm 2004 © Paul Deblond

Cartouche
Queen For A Day (part 1 & 2)
Under A Violet Moon
Past Time With Good Company
Minstrel Hall
Soldier Of Fortune
The Temple Of The King
Mr. Peagram's Morris And Sword
Diamonds And Rust
Durch Den Wald Zum Bach Haus
Fires At Midnight
Home Again
Wind In The Willows
I Still Remember
Ghost Of A Rose
Renaissance Faire
Mond Tanz/Child In Time

Encore 1:
Since You Been Gone
All For One
Difficult To Cure/Self Portrait
Sixteenth Century Greensleeves
Writing On The Wall

Encore 2:
Now And Then

Rainer Klos


The Temple In Helsinki

We arrived to the House of Culture in Helsinki at 7.20 PM. The warm-up band was a Finnish medieval band (forgot the name) and they started to play at 8 PM. They played nicely and they even played ‘Play Minstrel Play’ instrumentally. The band finished around 8.30 PM and there was a 20-minute break before BN.

Then the music stopped and out came BN leaded by Ritchie Blackmore! They started to play 8.55 PM and the first song was ‘Cartouche’. The opening act was very good and the crowd was real in to it. Next followed ‘Queen For A Day’ and ‘Under A Violet Moon’ from which the second one surprised us. For ‘Past Times With Good Company’, which was played next, there seemed to be a little problem with Ritchie’s guitar but everything went well after all. ‘Minstrel Hall’ and ‘Soldier Of Fortune’ were expected but after them, Ritchie started to play ‘Temple Of The King’ what was a total surprise to the crowd and to the band.

Next was a very nice instrumental called ‘Mr. Peagram’s Morris And Sword’ followed by a superb ‘Diamonds And Rust’, which delighted the crowd very much. Another instrumental played called ‘Durch Den Wald Zum Bach Haus’. ‘Fires At Midnight’ was excellent with a nice and long guitar solo from Ritchie Blackmore. Next followed ‘Home Again’ with the crowd singing along. The next song was a request from the crowd called ‘Wind and the Willows’. ‘I Still Remember’ and ‘Ghost Of A Rose’ were played perfectly and they sounded great. ‘Renaissance Fair’ played next and after that came the one that surprised us all, a ‘Mond Tanz’ and ‘Child in Time (!)’ medley, which was one of the highlights of the night.

Then next we thought that was it, no Stratocaster for us Finns but then Ritchie picked up his white Custom Shop Stratocaster and surprised everyone with a Rainbow hit song, ‘Since You Been Gone’. ‘All for One’ followed and then ‘Difficult to Cure’ played perfectly by Ritchie. ‘Self Portrait’, ‘16th Century Greensleeves’ and ‘Writing on the Wall’ played greatly with the crowd really into them. The last song ‘Now and Then’, what was a perfect ending to a perfect day, sounded magnificent. The concert ended 23.15 PM.

This was the first time we saw Blackmore’s Night live and it was great! They sounded perfect in live and we hope they will come to Finland next year!

Perttu Huovila and Sebastian Martin, Finland


Oktyabrskiy Concert Hall, St Petersburg, Russia 13 June

Set list:Stockholm 2004 © Paul Deblond

Waiting Just For You
Cartouche
Queen For A Day (Part 1 & 2)
Under A Violet Moon
Minstrel Hall
Past Time With Good Company
Soldier of Fortune
The Temple Of The King
16th Century Greensleeves
Diamonds And Rust
Mr. Peagram's Morris And Sword
Durch Den Wald Zum Bach Haus
Violin solo of Tudor Rose
Village On The Sand
All For One
Keyboard solo of Bard David
Highway Star\Speed King riff of Ritchie
Writing On The Wall
Mond Tanz/Child In Time
Memmingen
Home Again
Gone With The Wind (inst.)

Encore 1:
Wind In The Willows

Encore 2:
Difficult To Cure/Self Portrait

Encore 3:
Black Night (Candice + Sir Robert)



Palace Kiev, Kiev, Ukraine 17 June

Set list:Stockholm 2004 © Paul Deblond

Cartouche
Queen For A Day
Under A Violet Moon
Minstrel Hall
Past Time With Good Company
Soldier Of Fortune.
Possum's Last Dance
Diamonds And Rust
Mr. Peagram's Morris And Sword
Wind In The Willows
16th Century Greensleeves
Fires At Midnight
Home Again
Ghost Of A Rose
Village On The Sand


Encore:
All For One
Difficult To Cure/Self Portrait
Mond Tanz/Child In Time

 

Yedikulezindanlari, Istanbul, Turkey 11 July

Set list:Stockholm 2004 © Paul Deblond

Cartouche
Queen For A Day (Part 1 & 2)
Minstrel Hall
Under A Violet Moon
Soldier Of Fortune
16th Century Greensleeves
Diamonds And Rust
Mr. Peagram's Morris And Sword
Village On The Sand
Durch Den Wald Zum Bach Haus
Fires At Midnight
Home Again
Mond Tanz/Child In Time
I Still Remember
The Clock Ticks On

Encores:
All For One
Writing On The Wall (incl. Burn riff)
Black Night (incl. Woman From Tokyo)
Smoke On The Water


Margaret Island Open Air Theater, Budapest, Hungary 18 July

Okay, this was my third Blackmore's Night concert, and definitely the last one...without the renaissance garb! After the concert my friend Dario and I made that pledge, because we realized as long as Ritchie, Candice and their band of minstrels continue to make such great shows in the vicinity of Croatia, we will be attending and we want front seats! This time we took good seats in the third row of the beautiful Open Air Theatre which is located on the Margaret Island on Danube river, a really nice venue.

After the good performance by the Geyers, (this was my first time to meet them...not bad, but I actually liked La Zag better), the band started with the expected: Cartouche, followed by the Queen For A Day. After that, Candice announced Under A Violet Moon, but there were some problems with tuning up the guitar which took several minutes, during which Candice tried her best to entertain us and she almost got Sir Robert to play a simple tune for us. But right then the tuning was done and the show continued. After a few classics, Tudor Rose was introduced as a new violinist. She is all right, but I sorely miss Lord Marnen :(

Then, to our great surprise, Candice announced the brand new song called "Once In A Million Years" which is supposed to appear on the upcoming compilation album. The song was really nice and I think I might grow to like it very soon. After the song, Candice said it was time for our requests. Now, before anybody else realized what was going on, I shouted "Spanish Nights!!", but Candice just said "Oh!..." like she was surprised and I think she would continue to explain that it wasn't possible, but then the others woke up from the shock and started shouting their requests, ranging from "16th Century Greensleeves", "Now And Then", "Ghost Of A Rose", "Self Portrait"...Candice then said there were many Fires At Midnight requests (which I have to admit, haven't heard). Then she started to tell the story of how the song was conceived in Spain, which got my heart banging since I had hoped she was referring to Spanish Nights after all, but no, it was about Fires.
I really don't understand what's with the Spanish Nights, my favourite song (and I'm sure not only mine) that it cannot be played live? So Ritchie started the fantastic guitar intro, however the remaining of the song wasn't as powerful as I have experienced on previous concerts (Friedrichshafen and Graz '03), because Ritchie had decided to use the classical instead of the electric guitar. It was interesting, yes, but not quite as powerful as this song is supposed to be at concerts. So that was a tiny disappointment, but it was compensated immediately with a stunning version of "Ghost Of A Rose". The beginning was nothing out of the ordinary, but later the song transformed into the best thing of the whole concert! A very long, powerful and brilliant performance, definitely not to be forgotten.

After few more songs (with a few more surprises, like "Child In Time" featuring Sisters of the Moon, or "The Clock Ticks On"), it was time for the first encore, during which people had finally gotten up from their seats and crowded in front of the stage. We managed to get the great position right in the middle and very close to the stage. It was a completely different experience after that, being just a few meters from the band. Magical. Unfortunately, Ritchie had decided there were going to be only two encores, so after another surprise (Mid Winter's Night), came the last song - Dandelion Wine. A perfect ending, after which we left with some fair memories to cherish....

Set list:Budapest 2004 © Igor Vukomanovic

Cartouche
Queen For A Day (pt 1 & 2)
Under A Violet Moon
Minstrel Hall
Past Times With Good Company
Soldier Of Fortune
Mr. Peagram's Morris And Sword
Home Again
Durch Den Wald Zum Bach Haus
Once In A Million Years
Fires At Midnight
Ghost Of A Rose
Child In Time
Renaissance Faire
The Clock Ticks On
I Still Remember

Encore 1:
Loreley
All For One

Encore 2:
Mid Winter's Night
Dandelion Wine

Showtime approx: 2 h 15 min.

Igor Vukomanovic

Burg Veldenstein, Neuhaus, Germany 20 July

Pouring rain in the afternoon but sunshine does always come after rain! And so it did this special evening. Again a beautiful place for a BN concert. Prior to the show a medieval fair was held so you could wander around and check out medieval clothing, souvenirs etc. or grab something to eat and also have a drink or two, you could even buy mead. All in all a great atmosphere.

There were several cameras present so the show was to be professionally filmed for a forthcoming DVD. The Geyers (all four) opened the show to the audiences cheer. Blackmore’s Night performed an overall excellent performance, but due to filming of the show, the concert also went “by the book” with no extras. Surprises were of course the new song “Once in a million years” and for the first time I heard Loreley live!

For me Queen for a day parts 1 & 2 has become a favourite and it also seems to be an integral part of a BN show now. Candice voice is amazing, Ritchie’s and the minstrels’ skills comes to their own right during the instrumental part. Sir Robert also does a great job when he is playing guitar in order to blend in with Ritchie’s phenomenal instrumental passages. Tudor Rose blends in well with the band, she’s an excellent instrumentalist… Sisters of the moon are professional as ever and Malcolm does his job very well, the band is now at a very high musical level, lets hope that it will stay that way...

Set list: (maybe not in complete order)Burg Abenberg 2004 © David Braic

Cartouche
Queen For A Day pt 1 & 2
Under A Violet Moon
Minstrel Hall
Past Time With Good Company
Mr Peagram’s Morris & Sword
Soldier Of Fortune
Once In A Million Years
Bach Haus
Home Again
Mond Tanz/Child In Time
Ghost Of A Rose
Renaissance Faire
Clock Ticks On
Village On The Sand
Loreley
Wind In The Willows
All For One
Black Night
Mid Winter’s Night
Dandelion Wine

Concert time approx 2 h 10 minutes.

David Braic

After show!!

Life is sometimes full of surprises and this night it certainly was… 12 people were invited to an after show event…..including myself and my daughter Jannike. Ritchie, Candice and complete band with the Geyers sat around a table and the twelve of us sat to the next table. The camera crew was present so they interviewed Ritchie and then they played Hangin Tree, March the hero’s home, and further the played Times are changin’ and Renaissance faire. On the two last tracks we had to sing along on the choruses, all this was filmed so hopefully something of this will turn up on the forthcoming DVD.

When the camera crew left more songs were played, these are the one’s I remember: I still remember, Wulli Bulli? (not sure about the spelling) and a stunning version of Tourdion (Play Minstrel Play) with the Geyers after a while Ritchie hands over his Lakewood guitar to me and says “now You play” Ritchie as always a man full of surprises... After a while me and my daughter had a great chat with Ritchie discussing soccer, music, Croatia, Minstrel Spirit, cultural and Medieval places, guitar tunings, song keys etc...later on Candice joined in, Ritchie also introduced me to his guitar technician Jim (a great friend) the evening ended with photographs and autographs.

For me it’s an honour that Ritchie remembered our performance (Minstrel Spirit) as opening act in Stockholm 8 June and it’s an honour that he likes our CD Enter the woods…

A great evening indeed…now our minds were set for Dinkelsbuhl...

David Braic


Platz am Segringer Tor, Dinkelsbuhl, Germany 22 July

Many people from the Blackmore’s Night family arrived the 21st so this was an excellent opportunity to have a party with friends and indeed we had some rounds in the local pubs in the beautiful town of Dinkelsbuhl. The town is similar to Rothenburg ob der Tauber but smaller… Jannike and me and Andy Krauss played some songs at a local pub and everyone was in great spirit including Ritchie’s guitar tech Jim and Barry from the BN crew…it was great!!

Concert day the 22nd…

The day started with enormous heat, which is better than rain… The sound check could be heard all over the town. After the Veldenstein show the expectations were high for this show but regrettably this show became under average due to many technical problems… A disturbing buzz could be heard throughout the concert, you could tell from the beginning that Ritchie became irritated which seemed to loose his interest in playing at top level, he clearly complained about the noise over and over again, at one time he stopped playing and there was a stop for at least five minutes… then he said the buzz seems to have the key in “G” what song can we play in the key of “G” Avalon was mentioned and so he started the intro for Avalon but stopped after a while again…

Candice also looked confused during the first songs and she later explained that her ear monitor was not working properly, so again we had a stop for a couple of minutes… The show lost it’s tempo because of the problems but some songs worked out very well anyway. They surprisingly opened with “Morning Star”. The highlight of the evening was “I still remember” which was dedicated to our dear late friend Rainer Duda, while they performed the song you could feel that Rainer Duda’s spirit was among us all. “Once in a million years” also worked out well. But neither Fires at midnight nor Ghost of a rose were performed this evening so this tells You something about the performance… After all the show must go on...

Set list:Burg Abenberg 2004 © Åse Carlsen

Morning Star
Queen For A Day pt 1 & 2
Under A Violet Moon
Minstrel Hall
Past Time With Good Company
Diamonds And Rust
Buzz… Avalon for 20 seconds….
Mr Peagram’s Morris & Sword
Soldier Of Fortune
Once In A Million Years
Mond Tanz/Child In Time
Bach Haus
Home Again
Wind In The Willows
I Still Remember (dedicated to Rainer Duda)
Renaissance Faire
Loreley
All For One
Mid Winter’s Night
Dandelion Wine

Concert time approx 2 hours.

David Braic


St Goar (near Loreley), Germany 23 July

Special concert intended for the press and for 40 attending fans.

A beautiful Castle hotel with an amazing overlook on the river Rhine and a special acoustic performance performed in an amazing candle lit cave… During the day press people were arriving in helicopters…

After opening of the castle door we were led downstairs to an amazing candle lit cave… Free drinks were offered until show time… A huge white screen was placed in front of the little stage. Five DVD tracks were shown from the Solingen show in July 2002 in DTS sound.
Written in the stars (intro), Morning star, Play minstrel play, Minstrel Hall, Under a violet moon. These tracks will be a bonus on the forthcoming compilation album “Beyond the sunset”

After this we saw Ritchie and Candice and the minstrels wandering about in front of the cave in order to be filmed from a helicopter…, after this all attending people had chats with the band members (minus Ritchie & Candice). About 8.30 PM the band came downstairs to the cave with great cheers from the small audience. We got an amazing overall acoustic performance…

Ritchie even played “Fayre thee well” (!!) which is one of my favourite instrumentals. The peak of the performance was Fires at midnight and especially the flabbergasting middle part solo, Ritchie never stops to surprise you... I think of this middle part as a guitar passage written for chamber music, absolutely amazing, you could also tell that Ritchie was pleased with the song as he started to make Rainbow/Purple guitar poses after the song.

In the middle of the set Sisters of the moon performed an excellent acapella opera piece alone, During this Ritchie sat down beside Rainer Klos and Candice sat behind Susanne. At one point Ritchie left the little stage and started to wander around in the cave and began to knock on the walls, he surely let us know that he liked the place… A most memorable enchanted evening…

Set list: (as I remember it and not in order)St Goar 2004 © David Braic

Cartouche
Queen For A Day pt 1 & 2
Avalon
Minstrel Hall
Memmingen (only a glimpse)
Fayre Thee Well
Fires At Midnight
Home Again
Opera piece by Sisters of the moon
Past Time With Good Company
Bach Haus
Nur Eine Minute
Once In A Million Years
Renaissance faire
Loreley

Time: approx. 1 hour 25 minutes.

David Braic

 

Burg Esslingen, Esslingen, Germany 25 July

For some time, we had been considering taking a short summer holiday in Germany. The fact that we are both avid fans of Blackmore’s Night and had not yet seen them on one of their highly acclaimed annual Germany Castle tours was very much influencing factors in our choices of date.

Esslingen 2004 © Paul DeblondWe arrived in Kempten on 22nd July at 10.15pm and booked into a beautiful hotel near to the castle. The next day, we found out that the Burghalde gig there had been cancelled due to the band’s DVD filming schedule. We of course had some other sightseeing plans but hoped that the Burg Esslingen gig would go ahead. Fortunately, we met two Blackmore’s Night fans in particular, Tim Bourne and Rainer Klos, who were very friendly and helpful and assured us that everything would be okay on the 25th.

We arrived in Esslingen on the afternoon of the 25th and climbed what seemed a hundred steps to get to the Burg venue at the top. The scene that greeted us there very much looked like a summer festival; there were lots of families with children.

It seemed to us that the band didn’t arrive till 5pm, to make preparations. They had of course been appearing on the ZDF television show that day but we heard that that had been a little confusing for the fans tuning in, as the band had gone on at 11.45am; not at 1.10pm as advertised?

The stage scenery that was being assembled before us, seemed slightly simplified compared to when we had seen them last at Buxton (4th November 2003, England). The stage had a black background, onto which we later saw projected a moon, plus an occasional revolving field of stars; the latter being a lighting effect used on the 2003 UK tour. The other scenery consisted of simple panels that each looked like walls with two square windows. There was some foliage placed on the microphone stands of both Candice Night and The Sisters of the Moon. Some potted plants were positioned around the sides and the back of the stage. Hay bails were on the right and left of the stage; the monitors being covered by light brown sacking. We also spotted a "possum puppet" on the drum kit.

We were not too sure on how to interpret the support band. They appeared to be a father and son duo who performed Blackmore’s Night tunes. Were these tunes the original versions or were they playing their own re-interpretations of them? We would have preferred to hear them play different tunes and songs, preferably of their own composition, as they clearly had the talent to do this. Perhaps they had decided to "play safe" and present only what they knew the audience would be familiar with?

When the band came on stage, Ritchie could be seen wearing the black clothes and tan-coloured boots that has presently become his on-stage trademark. The male backing members of the band were wearing their distinctive waistcoats and lace-up shirts. New violinist Tudor Rose seemed mainly to stand in the background, wearing full-length dark clothing. Candice herself was dressed more like a gypsy dancer. She also wore a black top with deep sleeves that hung down like on a princess’s dress. Her hair seemed to look very blonde and her make-up seemed to be in the style used on the "Ghost of a Rose" CD photographs. She also wore what resembled a Turkish dancer’s gold belt. The Sister of the Moon seemed to wear identical belts over their medieval dresses.

Esslingen 2004 © Paul DeblondThe band started the concert with Cartouche. Though we are not sure of the song running order, we think we also remember them playing Diamonds and Rust, Soldier of Fortune, Fires at Midnight, Ghost of a Rose, Child in Time, Renaissance Faire, I Still Remember, Queen for a Day, Home Again, The Clock Ticks On, Wind In The Willows, Minstrel Hall, Mr. Peagram’s Morris and Sword, All for One and One in a Million and Loreley.

The new song One in a Million is a ballad and can only be described by us as "absolutely amazing". When they performed Child in Time, Candice sang the verses, leaving The Sisters of the Moon at the front left-hand side of the stage to sing the high-pitched harmonies, which together with Ritchie’s mandolin playing provided the new instrumental section in the middle part of this re-interpreted song.

When Candice sang songs like Soldier of Fortune, Diamonds and Rust or Ghost of a Rose, she had the audience in the palm of her hand. It seemed that the band had slowed down the songs so that Candice could make the vocals more emotive. The audience listened in awed silence, and then exploded into applause at the end.

During this concert, Ritchie could definitely be seen to be in a relaxed and humorous mood. At one point, he gave his guitar to another band member to play for a couple of verses. During the violin solo, he sat on a hay bail and kept gesturing for Tudor Rose to keep extending her solo. The concert finally ended with a superb "rocked up version" of Loreley.

Throughout the concert, we couldn’t help noticing (in comparison to English audiences) how much the crowd went "absolutely barmy with adoration". We remember one person playing air guitar to The Clock Ticks On and two rock fans head-banging to All for One.

We can say without doubt that this concert turned out to be very much the highlight of our summer holiday that we expected it would.

Steve and Carol Pearson (Southrey, Lincolnshire)

 

Burg Abenberg, Abenberg, Germany 3 August

A small village called Abenberg near Nurnberg was the place for the special fans appreciation night. A lot of fans were already present 2nd August, the afternoon kicked off with a soccer game. Later in the evening many friends and fans as well as members from Blackmore’s Night were present at the castle hotel terrace, all consuming food and drinks. Later on Ritchie and Candice also came to the terrace for a meal.

Concert day

While eating lunch at the castle terrace the minstrels of Blackmore’s Night were dressed up in order to do a video shoot, then Candice came out from the castle tower, and now we of course thought that Ritchie should appear but that man as I said before is full of surprises, he did show up but in shorts and T-shirt in order to take a stroll around the village of Abenberg, so no video shoot for Ritchie…

Around 6.30 PM all people dressed up in medieval costumes were let in to the halls of the castle were the buffet was set. The buffet contained good food and people were in good spirits…

The stage was set in a nice sort of a green park with trees just outside the castle walls. A nice panorama view of Abenberg surroundings could be seen from here…indeed beautiful. Several cameras were present so even this show was to be filmed… Albert and Thomas from The Geyers opened and played great including “Tourdion” and the funny expressive song about itching flees which made us all laugh… BN band were present at the side of the little stage waiting for the tapeintro to end and so once again Ritchie and Candice and the minstrels entered the stage...just at twilight on this beautiful summer night…

Surprisingly they opened with Shadow of the moon followed by Cartouche. Many jokes were thrown during the concert as well as chats with the audience, poor sir Bob got blamed for everything this evening, requests from the audience led to the song Avalon.

Candice did a perfect version of Diamonds and rust, you could tell by the people giving her standing ovations, during this song the Abenberg church clock struck at a right moment in the song and even in the right key ??!, can you believe this…amazing… even Ritchie was amazed by this. At one moment Candice made us aware of the wonderful violet moon behind us. Home again was fun, choruses were repeated over and over again… At one time the band came into a western like groove, and they were going “jiha…” Candice started to dance western style… Very funny… Fires at midnight, again a splendid version although Ritchie had to start the song two times because Candice couldn’t find here shawm, Ritchie clearly told her that the song can’t be played without the shawm….

Another surprise was that they played the instrumental Praetorious Courante!! After the song Ritchie mentioned that when he plays something wrong he always blames somebody else…so Bob got blamed again… Ritchie also started to complain about the buzz in the PA system why he said “we are playing acoustic and get disturbed by electric buzz, how come?”

We got introduced with two new songs that were great melody wise but didn’t fit in title wise…Christmas Eve (great tune !) and I think it’s gonna rain today. During the concert Felix (former owner of Castle Rabenstein) was blowing fire flames at several occasions.

Set list:Esslingen 2004 © Paul Deblond

Shadow Of The Moon
Cartouche
Queen For A Day pt 1 & 2
Under A Violet Moon
Minstrel Hall
Praetorius Courante
Past Time With Good Company
Soldier Of Fortune
Avalon
Diamonds And Rust
Bach Haus
Mr Peagram’s Morris And Sword
Home Again
Fires At Midnight
Renaissance Faire
I Still Remember
Mond Tanz/Child In Time
Clock Ticks On
Once In A Million Years
Christmas Eve
Wish You Were Here/Ocean Gypsy
Times Are Changin’
I think It’s Gonna Rain Today

Time approx: 2 h 35 minutes.

After the show the audience was asked to join in at a bonfire! The bonfire was set within the castle walls in a green park. First there was a video shoot for the new song Christmas Eve so everyone had to mime through two playbacks of the song including the audience on the choruses.

After the camera crew left, Ritchie and Candice posed for many photographs and wrote as many autographs, it became somewhat chaotic but Ritchie and Candice handled the situation very good and they were very polite and nice to everyone. After a while it got more relaxed and Albert and Thomas started to play and Ritchie kept on playing a drum all the time and he started to crack jokes in between. Ritchie also requested the song about the flees and he really laughed through this song… It was fun…

After many songs Ritchie picked up a guitar and so he and Candice sat down on a park bench and started to play…absolutely great! Songs I remember were: Hanging Tree, Where do we go from here, Lili Marlene, Dandelion Wine but more songs were played, and lots of talking and joking in between and after songs. After this Ritchie and Candice stayed for a little while longer for chats and by 5.15 in the morning proceedings finally came to an end.

Lots of good byes among friends in the Blackmore’s Night family were exchanged and so the European tour had its graceful ending. Now one can hope that we will get a great Blackmore’s Night DVD in time for Christmas THIS YEAR (hence the video shoot for Christmas Eve).

David Braic



 



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