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Blackmore's Night - Castles And Dreams CD (album) cover


Blackmore's Night


Prog Folk

4.21 | 37 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars The times they are a changin'.. Ritchie's happy!

Candice Night is undoubtedly the best thing to happen to Ritchie Blackmore, and this DVD demonstrates that even more powerfully than the half a dozen albums they have released together. "Castles and dreams" is a wonderful double DVD presentation of Blackmore's Night live in concert, together with a wealth of additional material including videos documentaries, behind the scenes footage etc.

The gig itself, filmed in a castle in Germany, lasts for 2 hours. There is a feel good atmosphere throughout, due in no small part to the charming beauty of songstress Candice Night. The band are of course dressed in renaissance garb, as are the concert goers towards the front of the audience (a band policy). The 20 plus songs are taken from the vast catalogue built up over a number of years now. Candice makes it clear in an interview that it is Ritchie who chooses the set list, which changes night by night. Throughout though, the folk roots of the project are very much to the fore.

A couple of Deep Purple songs make guest appearances. "Soldier of fortune" co-written by Ritchie with David Coverdale is the first, with Night delivering a fine vocal on what for me is the best of the Coverdale/Hughes era material. While introducing the song, Night comments that Coverdale is in the audience, jokingly inviting him to come up and sing it. Blackmore does not seem so enthusiastic about this, while Coverdale remains out of sight of the camera!

One of the encores, there seem to be about half a dozen in all, is a rendition of "Black night" which actually works rather well and induces Ritchie to switch to lead guitar. The stage becomes rather crowded at times, especially when the supplementary musicians join in to swell the sound. Ritchie though is clearly in his element, thoroughly enjoying the party atmosphere which is palpable even on the DVD.

The concert occupies the bulk of the first disc, the second disc containing the rest of the material. The interviews here are interesting, with Ritchie maintaining that he is proud of his musical heritage, but came to feel that what he was doing had become "contrived". He needed to do something which he felt totally at ease with.

Candice is also the perfect foil for Blackmore; on stage she teases him, on one occasion jokingly observing that he "has power but he doesn't have tuning", on another she mutters "show off" after a burst of virtuoso playing by the legend. The fact that she also has a remarkable voice makes the pairing a match made in heaven.

The presentation of this DVD set is lavish and tasteful. For those who enjoy the music of Blackmore's Night, this is nothing short of an essential purchase.

Easy Livin | 5/5 |


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