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Europe 2005

Pepsi Stage, Amsterdam, Holland 14 October

After 7 hours travelling on a Friday from Germany to Amsterdam we arrived in the district Pepsi stage. Outside look this venue little bit ugly and strange. Not really medieval. After a meeting with the band, we drove to Amstelveen to our friends from Netherlands.

Some other fans were also in Monique’s home. After some nice conversations, drinks and a great meal we were starting to the “strange” venue Pepsi stage. Inside we had an absolutely other impression. A great atmosphere and a really great feeling with a perfect sound. All things inside are in red velvet and gold. Very amazing!

After the Geyers support (Geyers in 3 man formation) the BN show started with an intro which sounds like Mandalay with shadow of the moon. The sound in this venue was really perfect and Ritchie and the band were in good mood. Between the songs Ritchie drunk his beer and Candice said to him: “but this is your last beer this night”.

An other story that Candice told the audience “soldier of fortune” is written by Eminem. Nobody was really laughing.

The set list (may be with mistakes??)

Shadow Of The Moon
Morning Star
Queen for a day
Under a violet moon
Soldier of Fortune
Past time with good company
Child in time/ Mond tanz
Streets of London
Home Again
Bach haus
Fires At Midnight
Renaissance Faire
Mr Peagram’s Morris & Sword
Ghost of a rose
The Clock Ticks on

Encore 1:
Ariel
All for One
Difficult To Cure
St.Theresa

Encore 2:
First May (Bee Gees – Christmas Song)
Midwinter’s Night
Dandelion Wine

Heiko Langner



Vega, Copenhagen, Denmark 18 October

Strolling around on a perfect sunny autumn day in October in Copenhagen and a meal at hard rock café was a nice overture to the evening’s concert…. The concert took place in Vega theatre. The venue held about 900 people and the show seemed to be sold out.

The Geyers featuring Albert and Thomas opened the show. The played amongst others “Tourdion” (Play minstrel Play), “Was wollen wir trinken” (All for one) and Thomas did a solo containing Bach’s Toccata & Fuga in D-minor.

Before the show the new BN songs Just call my name and Olde mill Inn was played through the PA. A little after the band entered the stage and played Waiting just for You (instrumental) as an intro. Then Morning star, Queen for a day and Under a violet moon followed as standard versions. Ritchie seemed to complain over most of his guitars, before Under a violet moon he said this is not my guitar I borrowed this guitar from “him” meaning me?! As I told you before Ritchie is a man of surprises (in Munchen earlier this year he called me the Swedish trouble maker?? Anyway now the first joke cracked... Candice introduces the next song as written by Ritchie and Eminem called soldier of fortune, but we got Temple of the king instead, a confused Candice started to sing Temple, and Ritchie said “just testing…” however we got a full version of Temple of the king and then came Soldier of fortune… Ritchie checked his guitar sound a few times by walking out to the PA speaker complaining about to much treble in the guitar sound…

Past time went on as a standard…Child in time/Mond tanz followed in a solid version, I really like the arrangement and the sisters of the moon does a great job on this one. Hopefully Child in time will be included in the forthcoming album…

Then it was time for Ralph Mctells “Streets of London” an old song I remembered playing during my guitar lessons 30 years ago, personally I like the song and I guess this song will be included on the new album as well. Home again was performed with many stops and interludes as usual. Ritchie said now its time for “Diamonds &Rust” then Candice started to introduce the song and get ready for this emotional song while Ritchie suddenly changed his mind and said “No” to the song to Candice’s amazement and confusion….So instead it was time for my favourite “Ghost of a rose” which came across very well, this song together with “Fires at midnight “ are the best BN songs I know as they involve much drama in terms of both music and words. Ritchie played a great intro to “Bach haus” including his great flamenco style playing. Bach haus was performed with good violin solos. Renaissance faire followed and then we got a moving “Still remember” and the last song in the first set was “Clock ticks on” with great hurdy gurdy intro and in the end the Geyers joined…

The second set contained electric guitar on all songs…

If I remember right the Purple Haze intro was played just before Ariel which is a good contribution to the live set, then into the sing-along “All for one” including the Geyers. Then a little surprise with a short “Blues” for a second my mind set back to Rainbow on stage from 1977…then Difficult to cure and Joan Osborne’s St Theresa was delivered at high volume. Last song to satisfy people with worn out Deep Purple T-shirts and perhaps others….was Black night, Candice sang first verse and Bob the second, Ritchie played some furious solos and then for a while we thought that yet another song would come... but I didn’t …after all we got 2 hours and 15 minutes of good music and many of my friends thought it was a great gig far beyond standard and I can not disagree but I missed Fires at midnight, Minstrel Hall and Mr Peagrams Morris& Sword…..

Set list:

Intro/Waiting just for You
Morning star
Queen for a day (pt I&II)
Under a violet moon
Temple of the king
Soldier of fortune
Past time with good company
Child in time/ Mond tanz
Streets of London
Home again
Ghost of a rose
Bach Haus
Renaissance faire
I still remember
The Clock ticks on incl. Hurdy Gurdy solo

Encore:
Ariel
All for one
Blues
Beethoven’s 9:th/St Theresa
Black Night

Time: approx 2 h 15 min

David Braic

Check out: www.mondocruiser.net


Sentrum Scene, Oslo, Norway 21 October

After about a 7 hour drive from south Sweden we arrived in a rainy Oslo the evening before the show. Checked in at our hotel and went out for dinner. They say Sweden’s expensive (and it is) but Norway beats Sweden by miles. Almost everything costs nearly twice the amount then in Sweden. However, the wages are very good in Norway so maybe one should try to get a job here.

After breakfast we tried to locate the venue which was just a 5-6 minutes walk from the hotel (very convenient). As we walked towards the venue we didn’t see any posters at all. (It was totally different in Copenhagen, the closer we got to the venue the more posters we saw). When we reached the venue we weren’t sure that this was it, since the venue had no poster at all to support tonight’s show, so we asked a by passer who assured us this was Sentrum Scene. This was very strange! The venue had several posters about various forthcoming attractions but not a single poster about Blackmore’s Night concert, which is (was) tonight. I wonder how many years the promoter studied marketing. Not that many it seems, if at all. Anyway, we run into some of the crew members who were loading the equipment and had a quick chat. After the brief chat we headed for a stroll of Oslo, which was by now sunny and quite beautiful in its own way.

Showtime approaching so we headed back towards the hotel, to the usual ritual of changing to medieval costumes. Every time I put the costume on I get very excited since I know I’m going to have a drink or two (well, it usually tends to be more), meet old friends, see the best band around and listen to some wonderful music. Just magic!

We arrived just as the band had started the soundcheck and were escorted to some seats at the back of the venue. What we heard was pure magic! Some great songs were played and I’ve promised not to tell so won’t mentioned anything, as it will be a surprise when and if some of the songs will ever be played live. To be able to witness the soundcheck was worth the trip alone. Thanks guys!

After the BN soundcheck it was time for Thomas & Albert (from the Geyers) to do their soundcheck and we were allowed to move freely, so we headed for the front row and took our seats. It was good to see Thomas & Albert again and after the soundcheck they asked if we would come along for some drinks after the show. Need I say we happily accepted.

If I remembered correctly two new BN songs was played through the PA before the band entered the stage (same as in Copenhagen). Just Call My Name and Olde Mill Inn. Finally the band enters the stage to fairly loud applauses. They opened with Morning Star which was followed by Queen For A Day. The band seemed to be in a very good spirits and several jokes were shared amongst the band members. The one that probably got more laughs and applauses were then Candice introduced a song and told a long story about its origin and background and all of a sudden Ritchie changed his mind and wanted to play another song. This is just one of many things that make Ritchie such a fascinated musician, the unpredictability. Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but always exciting.

The sisters and Candice sang beautifully in Child In Time. I think they’re doing a fantastic version of this old Purple classic. Fires At Midnight was performed amazingly well and since they didn’t play it in Copenhagen it was a bit of a surprise. Fires is probably the definitive Blackmore’s Night song. Since everything seemed to be working really well I was hoping for a 2,5 hour show. However, as the show went along Ritchie seemed to be distressed or unhappy about something. Don’t know what happened but I guess that he might be unhappy with the lack of audience participation. During Renaissance Faire not many was up dancing and singing, think it was only the first row. Perhaps the audience didn’t know what to aspect and how to react at a Blackmore’s Night show.

Anyway, I was very happy. Having attended the soundcheck and got two beers from Ritchie. What more could you ask for? Oh, yes, a rabbit of course. A rabbit at a Blackmore’s Night show now what’s this, I hear you say. We did get a rabbit. During Minstrel Hall Ritchie’s assistant dressed as a rabbit walk across the stage to very loud laughs from the audience. Later I found out that somebody had asked Ritchie why he had a rabbit walk on stage. He simply replayed, “Why not?”

Set list:

Morning star
Queen for a day (pt I&II)
Under a violet moon
Past time with good company
Child in time/ Mond tanz
Soldier of Fortune
Bach haus
Home Again
Renaissance Faire
Minstrel Hall (with rabbit walk on)
Fires At Midnight
Clock Ticks On
I Still Remember

Encore:
Keyboard solo
Ariel
Difficult To Cure
St Theresa

Showtime approx 1 h 50 min

Paul & Cecilia Deblond


Sentrum Scene, Oslo, Norway 21 October

Ritchie Blackmore used to be one of Rock’s greatest guitar players. During legendary years in Deep Purple and Rainbow, he took part in writing a huge number of immortal Rock classics, but that’s ages past. Blackmore left the Hard Rock scene years ago, and his last recordings have all concentrated on Medieval Folk Music.

So, when you go to see Blackmore’s Night live, you will not get much of the old compositions that once made his name famous. This event was, by some hundreds, to be witnessed in Oslo on the 21st of October. The fan club members in the reserved front rows did not seem to mind that Blackmore was neglecting the major parts of his career as much as he did. Dressed up in Middle Age clothes, they were nothing but happy about an evening with Robin Hood Polka. Concerning the rest of the audience, it would be safe to assume that quite a few were hoping they, to more than just a minor degree, would be treated with songs associated with the mid-70’s, rather than music associated with the middle parts of the last millennium.

Anyway, luckily enough for everybody, Candice Night sings very well, even when you are not considering all the reverb she was given from the mixing table. She’s also clever at communicating with the audience. Ritchie, on the other hand, did not share a single word from the stage the whole evening.

The band, beside Candice and Ritchie, consisted of a second guitar player, a keyboard player, a violinist, a drummer, and a couple of backing vocalists. They all were passionate about their Middle Age music, and tried their best to take the audience “back to simpler times”, as Candice put it (“Simpler times”… besides famines, plagues, and general low life expectancy, that is). From time to time, Blackmore’s guitar sound was drowning a bit in the mix, but during the show he managed to prove that he’s still one really fine guitar player.

Some songs were quite successful. “Shadow Of The Moon,” from their debut album, worked well as an opener, and both “Under A Violet Moon” and “Fires At Midnight” received great response from the crowd. “Home Again,” from the Fires After Midnight album, easily made the audience get up from their seats.

Still, not surprisingly, it was the two Deep Purple classics “Soldier Of Fortune” and “Child In Time” that got the biggest applause. These two were the only Purple-area compositions Blackmore would offer his fans this evening, and the latter was even a short version. Only one Rainbow tune was added to the evening’s set, a kind of strange but atmospheric version of “Ariel.” However, more oldies were spotted on the set list laying on the stage, but they never got played. Read on.

Communication problems within the band were obvious. Candice and the rest of the group never seemed to know for sure when Blackmore would change his mind on the order of the set list, or if he would leave any of the numbers out. One time Candice spent quite a while on introducing a song, telling about how they had discovered the tune, but before she got to finish the story, Blackmore had decided to play a different one.

After the main set, the band re-entered for the encores. At this point, Blackmore, disreputable for his mood swings, looked grumpy, and after the second extra number, he just left the stage without addressing any kind of farewell gesture to the audience. Candice and the band were left gaping, waiting for some seconds, looking if Ritchie would come back. When they realized he wouldn’t, they applauded the audience and themselves and left the stage too. At that point, the set list on the stage floor revealed that the classics “Black Night,” “Temple Of The King,” and “Sixteenth Century Greensleeves” originally were considered, but at the end left out. Sigh.


Per Olav Heimstad, Metal Express Radio



Queens Hall, Edinburgh, Scotland 25 October

Intro
Morning Star
Queen for a Day
Under a Violet Moon
Soldier of Fortune
Past Times with Good Company
Child in Time/Mond Tanz
Streets of London
Home Again
Fires at Midnight
Wind in the Willows
Mr.Peagrams’s Morris and Sword
Ghost of a Rose
Renaissance Faire
Clock Ticks On

Encore:
Ariel
All for One
Midwinter’s Night/ Dandelion Wine

Set list supplied by Mike, corrected by Kevin.

Show started a little slowly, but picked up after Queen for a Day. Under a Violet Moon was wonderful one of the best versions I have ever heard. Child in Time was well received and played really well. Home Again was played with a lot of humour, really getting the crowd going.Past Times had Waiting just for You added to it at the start. Fires at Midnight, superb solo from Ritchie, done on acoustic. Mr. Peagrams,not sure what was going on, but again lot of humour. Ghost of a Rose, Candice really put everything into it. Clock Ticks On had Des Geyers guesting at the end.

Encores, Ariel, words fail me. The solo was that good. Straight into All for One, which again had a solo or three or more. Again joined by Des Geyers at the end. Second encore and a nice acoustic quiet ending. Ritchie and Candice shaking hands with everone at the end. Very good show, a few dips but generally good quality.

And I forgot to mention the rabbit walking on at some point, and Ritchie letting Callum and me play the guitar.And at one point a loud voice from the crowd was answered in a loud shouting voice by Ritchie. Actually the whole band was in a great mood, lots of fun and jokes going on. Still not sure about the 6 foot tall bunny though, very weird.

Kevin Dixon



The Tyne Theatre, Newcastle, England 26 October

This was a night of pure minstrel magic. Two hours of great music played perfectly by a band of minstrels who were having a lot of fun on stage. Ritchie even handed out cups of beer to people in the audience and a rabbit sauntered across the stage during Minstrel Hall to abduct one of the Sisters of the Moon.(methinks the rabbit gag has been stolen from Jethro Tull but it was still good fun). Talking of Tull, Sir Robert reminded me a lot of their former bass man John Glascock.

For the first time ever in my experience of attending Blackmore's Night concerts the audience actually stood up. From the opening bars of Past Times the front rows got to their feet and crowded down to the stage area. The security staff seemed to be in a state of panic. This is not normally allowed at the Opera House, at least not since it changed hands to the Metro Radio Arena management and it was a pleasure to be part of the 'rebellion'. Sir Robert openly motioned for more people to come to the front. Good on yer Sir Robert !

Candice has reached a new level with her quality and clarity of singing most notably on Child in Time and the final song (the name of which I'm afraid I do not know - it contained references to Christmas trees and was a very quiet and beautiful song). What a beautiful voice.
Ritchie played some very intricate solos (particularly on Fires at Midnight) and Tudor Rose is a master of the violin. Some lovely touches of fun thrown in on Bach Haus when she segued into the Geordie anthem...Blaydon Races... and everybody joined in for the equally unexpected Rule Britannia at the end of Home Again. Superb!!

Absolutely the best that I have ever seen this band. Ritchie and Candice now have a seasoned and well oiled unit that runs mighty smoothly and with great spirit. Roll on the new album and please tour the UK again soon.

Set list:

Intro
Morning Star
Queen for a Day
Under a Violet Moon
Soldier of Fortune
Past Times with Good Company
Child in Time / Mond Tanz
Streets of London
Bach Haus (incl Blaydon Races)
Avalon
The Times They Are a Changing
Home Again (incl Rule Britannia)
Drink Drink Drink
I Still Remember You
Renaissance Fair
The Clock Ticks On
Ghost of a Rose

Encore:
Fires at Midnight
Wind in the Willows
The First Day of May

M.D.Hurst



Buxton Opera House, Buxton, England 28 October

Mandalay Intro
Morning Star
Queen for a day
Under a Violet Moon
Minstrel Hall
Soldier of Fortune
Past Times with good company
Child in Time/Mond tanz
Streets of London
Bach Haus
Home Again
Fires at Midnight
Wind in the Willows
Mr Peagram's Morris and Sword
Ghost of a Rose
Rennaissance faire
The Clock Ticks On

Encore:
Bard David keyboard solo
Ariel



Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton, England 30 October

Mandalay Intro
Morning Star
Queen for a Day
Under a Violet Moon
Minstrel Hall
Soldier of Fortune
Past Times with Good Company
Child in Time/Mond Tanz
Streets of London
Bach Haus
Home Again
I Still Remember
Renaissance Faire
Wish You Were Here
Ocean Gypsy
Wind in the Willows
The Clock Ticks On

Encore:
Bard David keyboard solo
Ariel
All for One
Difficult to Cure/St Theresa
Black Night



Civic Centre, Aylesbury, England 31 October

Mandalay Intro
Morning Star
Queen for a Day
Under a Violet Moon
Minstrel Hall
Soldier of Fortune
Past Times with Good Company
Child in Time/Mond Tanz
Streets of London
Bach Haus
Home Again
Fires at Midnight
Wind in the Willows
Diamonds and Rust
First Day of May
The Clock Ticks On

Encore:
Bard David keyboard solo
Ariel
All for One
Difficult to Cure/St Theresa


All photos © Heiko Langner, Amsterdam, Holland 2005

 





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