Last year, Ritchie Blackmore made a long awaited return to rock after years of only playing folky medieval music with his band Blackmore’s night. He played a tiny handful of gigs in Europe and none elsewhere, with a new Rainbow lineup that featured an unknown singer, Ronnie Romero on vocals. The only UK date was in Birmingham on 25th June.
After the tour, a DVD was released from the German dates (you can read our review of the DVD of the German show here – http://planetmosh.com/ritchie-blackmores-rainbow-memories-rock-live-germany/), and most of the songs on that were the songs they played in the UK, but there were some differences – the German shows included “16th century greensleeves” which wasn’t played in the UK, and the UK show included “Burn” and “Soldier of fortune” that didn’t get played in Germany, so till now fans who weren’t at the Birmingham date haven’t heard the new lineup play those songs.
Happily, ahead of the new tour dates announced for this month, a new live album is being released via Eagle records –“Live in Birmingham 2016”. As the name suggests, it’s the Birmingham show, and so fans can hear those two missing songs. More importantly, for those fans who were at the show it’s a chance for us to enjoy the show again and again.
The sound quality is excellent, the setlist is a great mix of Deep Purple and Rainbow songs, and Blackmore shows that despite his advanced age he hasn’t lost any of his guitar playing skills. The band sound great and I think Ronnie Romero does an excellent job of covering songs originally sung by some of the best vocalists in rock – such as Ian Gillan, Ronnie James Dio, and David Coverdale. That’s a tough list of singers to try and follow but he does a great job.
A set that includes Deep Purple classics such as Highway star, Soldier of fortune, Perfect strangers, Child in Time, Black Night, Woman from Tokyo, Burn, and Smoke on the water was always going to appeal to Deep Purple fans, many of whom aren’t old enough to have seen Deep Purple with Blackmore still in the band, and when you add in the Rainbow hits there is even more to enjoy. The only criticism from some fans was that they’d have preferred to hear more Rainbow songs and less Deep Purple ones on the basis that Deep Purple still tour and play many of those songs (even if it is without Blackmore) whereas this was their only chance to hear the Rainbow songs played live. It’s a valid argument, and it’ll be interesting to see if the set list for the new shows changes to include more Rainbow material. Either way the setlist on this show has plenty to appeal to Rainbow fans and Deep Purple fans.
It’s a great album from a great show. Definitely one that’s worth buying.
1. Highway star
2. Spotlight kid
4. Since you been gone
5. Man on the silver mountain
6. Soldier of fortune
7. Difficult to cure (Beethoven’s ninth)
8. Catch the rainbow
1. Perfect strangers
2. Long live rock’n’roll
3. Child in time
5. Black night/woman from Tokyo
7. Smoke on the water