Wednesday, 28 June 2017


25th June 2017

Glasgow Hydro

I really don’t think many of us expected this:  Ritchie returning to rock, after two decades of pastoral lute and domra noodling with Blackmore’s Night.  But here he was, a sprightly be-wigged and pencil-moustachioed septuagenarian, churning out those well-loved riffs and solos like a good 'un.

It all could have been a bit of a train smash though, had it not been for the vocal prowess of Chilean born singer Ronnie Romero - who generally coped admirably I felt with the daunting task of having to, if not quite replicate, then certainly interpret, the original performances of, if my arithmetic is correct, five (Gillan, Coverdale, Dio, Bonnet, Turner) predecessors.  His work on the Ronnie James Dio tunes Man on the Silver Mountain, Sixteenth Century Greensleeves and Temple of the King was particularly impressive.

The Stormbringer track Soldier of Fortune was given an airing midway through the set, and although Romero did just fine, I felt RB could have got his wife Candice Night to sing this one.  She and her co-backing singer mate spent the evening jiggling away at the back, any vocal contributions they made being utterly lost in the decibels.

Romero also enjoyed a passable stab at Ian Gillan's trademark scream on Child in Time, but didn't quite hit the mark I felt; the exertions of attempting to do so perhaps affecting his subsequent performances, as there were distinct wobbles on both Stargazer and Burn.  Not that I minded too much – these are both such Blackmore masterpieces, I am sure the guitarist could have got away with performing them as instrumentals.

The only low point of the evening was Jens Johansson's lengthy keyboard solo during Difficult to Cure which, after opening with some pleasing noises that sounded not unlike that World in Action TV theme, just meandered on and on and on, killing the atmosphere inside the venue.  I am all for tolerating a little interlude midway through a show to allow musicians off for a pee break (particularly those of a certain vintage, whose bladder control may not be what it once was), but this was (ahem) just taking the piss.

The final song was, inevitably, Smoke on the Water.  That riff truly does deserve the adjective “iconic”, but this really was such a perfunctory run through that I am sure Mr Blackmore – like myself – probably regards the tune these days as a bit too much of a Spinal Tap-esque cliché.  I should have much preferred Highway Star, Gillan's gumby lyrics and all, but Hey ho.

Rainbow - Glasgow 2017

Acoustic strumming and a seat during Soldier of Fortune.

This was not Burn, but rather Child in Time...
...this was Burn

RB and drummer David Keith.

I don't recall RB having his guitar slung so high back in the day.
A consequence of his Blackmore's Night days, perhaps.

Rainbow - Glasgow 2017

Set list

Spotlight Kid
I Surrender
Since You've Been Gone
Man on the Silver Mountain
Sixteenth Century Greensleeves
Soldier of Fortune
Perfect Strangers
Difficult to Cure
All Night Long
Child in Time
Long Live Rock 'n' Roll

Black Night

Temple of the King
Smoke on the Water

Support act were the Proggy/Folkie/Rocky Mostly Autumn.
They were really rather entertaining, particularly their show closing epic Heroes Never Die
Olivia Sparnenn

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