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Europe 2008

"Secret Voyage in Poland"

Plock, 30th May 2008 (Review by Tim Rzasa) Plock, 30th May 2008 © Tim Rzasa

I just got back from Poland and what a wonderful trip! The flights went well, but I had some trouble finding the correct bus to Plock. I ended up taking an expensive taxi there. It was not wasted; I enjoyed the conversation with driver as he spoke about all the changes going on since the Soviet times.

Plock is a great little city with the typical old European town square. My hotel had a great view of the Vistula (Wisa) river - and probably where the band may have stayed as there was a big bus parked outside, but I did not see them go in or out.

The special concert was part of a local festival going on in the town.

It was free and was staged right at the beginning of the town square. The square was as with many in Europe is; such special place and I think serves as a great setting for the band.

I went there at around four, to get in line. There were a few people there already in garb. I saw Dave, Barry, Elizabeth, and the new Earl for a bit and wished them well. They said they may do some new songs so I was optimistic. I managed to get a quick hello to Carole as she was busy running back and forth making the final preparations.

We were treated to the sound check outside. The band (minus RB and CN) warmed up and played bits of “Locked within the Crystal Ball”. Then CN came on stage with her teacup in hand. Then they did multiple versions of Crystal Ball, which sounded great. Everyone standing around cheered. They spent some time resolving some buzzing from the microphone. Plock, 30th May 2008 © Tim Rzasa

Elizabeth was bit sore from all the schawm playing. After they finished and left the stage, others played the guitars. Ritchie may have played some also but was hidden behind the backdrops. I started to here some bits and pieces that were all Ritchie, but I never actually saw him so I cannot confirm.

After some more waiting, we were let in. I was lucky to get up front and be on the guest list- thanks Carole! All the front rows were filled with fans garb. It was nice to meet Alma and the rest of the Polish Fanclub.

First up, was a Polish City ceremony honoring those who had done a lot to help Plock and its people. I do not know the specifics, as I cannot understand Polish. It was a nice ceremony with people dressed up in traditional outfits and carrying banners. They even had a small group of musicians. It was a real shock when they fired the rifles as a salute to the people - very loud!

Blackmore's Night was next to appear. We heard over the PA many Geyers tunes and then the tape of “God Save the Keg”. All the media were lined up in front of the stage and the show began.

The show started with an awesome version of “Locked within the Crystal Ball”. This set the crowd on fire and people kept moving forward. Seats were not used for the rest of the night. It got a little tight up front.

The Polish crowds were very energetic from the start. Clapping, jumping, and screaming were the norms. Crystal sounded great and the crowd gave it a great response. Next saw the return of “Queen for Day” to the set, which was a nice surprise - Candice really takes you back in time, singing like a princess.

The show continues on with “Under a Violet Moon” etc and we even got treated to another new song “Toast to Tomorrow”. The crowd definitely was rocking. The quieter moment, fewer than in many other shows I have seen. Plock, 30th May 2008 © Tim Rzasa

In the “Fires at Midnight” acoustic solo it was getting quite loud and then the sound of a car horn went off - which Ritchie kindly responded by playing those sounds on his guitar! This had the crowd laughing. It got a little loud so the solo was then ended quickly. After that, no more really quiet times. Songs like “St Teresa”, “All for One”, and “Black Night” were played. The last one had to be done as the crowd was chanting incessantly after the main set ended. The show was very energetic and everyone played well.

Candice interacted well with the crowd all night and even spoke of some of her family coming from Poland. Ritchie gave out beer and even dragged a member of the Polish Fanclub on stage for a bit to request a song. At one point, Ritchie drank a little out of one and gave it to the crowd - they all went crazy trying to get a sip of it! Ritchie was constantly playing with the crowd. It was great way to start the tour. It was wonderful having a violinist back. Lady Elizabeth / Gypsy Rose played well and contributed some nice backup singing.

A few observations: Few instrumentals, heavy on GOAR material, and very rocking. Should be a great tour. Hoping for some USA dates!

Soundcheck:

Locked within the Crystal Ball (various versions without RB)

Set list: Plock, 30th May 2008 © Tim Rzasa

God Save the Keg - Intro Tape
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
Diamonds and Rust
Keyboard - Ariel
Loreley
Toast to Tomorrow
Fires at Midnight
Home Again
Drink song
Falderie...
Ghost of a Rose
Clock Ticks On

Difficult to Cure
St Teresa

All for One
Black Night


Tim Rzasa

http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BlackmoresNight_USAbyMoonlight
http://www.myspace.com/timr65


Stockholm, Sweden 3 June

It’s been a long time since Blackmore’s Night visited Sweden, four years to be exact, I should remember because I was part of the support act…Stockholm, 3 June 2008 © David Braic

Haven’t seen them since 2005 I did not know what to expect...

I saw the show in Gothenburg June 1:st as well, and that show was even a little better and it lasted 2 hours and 40 minutes! Some changes in songs Nur eine minute with a snippet from Woman from Tokyo!, Since you been gone, Wish you were here and ocean gypsy and Now and the were performed. See full set list below for the Gothenburg show as well.

However here’s my review on the Stockholm show
Gota Lejon, Stockholm, Sweden 3 June 2008

They opened with Locked within the crystal ball from the forthcoming album, a good song with a Cartouche feel to it. Next up one of my favourites Queen for day followed by the singa along tune Under a violet moon. Soldier of fortune, a must for fans with their worn out Deep purple T-shirts! Some discussions before entering the song, Candice always mentions David Coverdale, but Ritchie mentioned something about Tony Iommi!! However a good version.

Then it was time for the instrumentalist to show there skills, and David on keyboard and the new violinist surely delivered in Bach Haus. Diamonds and rust with a long introduction speech about Joan Baez was well sung by Candice (as always). The new up tempo gypsy rhythm song Toast to tomorrow from the new album ….. very much Hava Nagilah is really good.

Then it was time for one of my new favourite World of stone based on All Voll by the Geyers. The song works perfectly live and gives a dramatic and yet a heavy Gothic feel to it. Home again as always a crowd teaser, and this evening it was my task to act as “cheer leader” and believe me it worked, the somewhat sleepy Stockholm crowd got up on their feet and started to sing and dance…. The song included David’s “Drink, drink” and Candice’s Valleri, vallera…… Minstrel Hall my ever favourite performed excellently including the walking bunny, you could hear a pin drop. Stockholm, 3 June 2008 © David Braic

Then heavy keyboard intro and in came the strat delivering Ariel at high volume…, then Ritchie asks for requests, the crowd are asking for Temple.., Rainbow eyes, Stargazer!!, Ghost of rose, but we get Wind in the willows which is alright by me!. I still remember is majestic as always and it always reminds me of my dear late friend Rainer Duda.

Renaissance fair the ode to the people in costumes is performed in standard way and the crowd is dancing and singing. Fires at midnight is one of the highlights of the evening, Ritchie is playing with the enormous precision and feel, especially the flamenco parts which I personally fancy as well as the mellow middle part which I always refer to as chamber music for guitars. First of May followed by Times are changin’. Clock ticks on with Ritchie’s Hurdy Gurdy intro is always welcome. The song was assisted by Gothien in the end.

The encores included Village Lantern (the middle instrumental break is amazing!) Then Midwinter’s night and Dandelion wine followed. Last song out a surprisingly Lili Marlene !!!!

Other personal moments.

Got three beers and handshakes from Ritchie, Ritchie mentioning “there’s nothing wrong with Elvis”. Candice’s charisma and the new violinist and backing singer! Nice to talk to great friends Jim Mangaard and Barry Bostrom again as well as talking to old friends Micke Wiklund and Kettil about past memories through Ritchie’s career, and Micke Wiklund tops this as he was present at the DP MKIII show in march 1975 in Gothenburg. One can only admit that the time is flowing and the times are certainly changing!!!

What I missed
Ghost of a rose (personally the best BN song ever)

Set list:

Crystal BallStockholm, 3 June 2008 © David Braic
Queen for a day
Under a violet moon
Soldier of fortune
Bach Haus
New song
Diamonds and rust
World of stone
Home again
Minstrel Hall
Ariel
Wind in the willows
I still remember
Renaissance fair
Fires at midnight
First of May
Times are changing
Clocks ticks on

Encore:

Village lantern
Midwinter’s night
Dandelion wine
Lili Marlene

Time: approx 2 h 20 min

David Braic

Minstrel Spirit

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