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Blackmore's Night - Paris Moon CD (album) cover


Blackmore's Night


Prog Folk

3.78 | 23 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars I have never been a fan of this band. I was very unimpressed by their first couple of studio albums and then I gave up on them altogether. But when I saw this DVD I thought that I was going to give them one more chance. The primary reason for this was that I found in the set list a Jethro Tull song(!), a Deep Purple song and a Rainbow song, as well as Diamonds And Rust, which I used to think was a Judas Priest song (but is actually by American Folk singer Joan Baez, though covered by Judas Priest on their Sin After Sin album from 1977). This led me to believe that perhaps Blackmore's Night is a rockier band live than they are in the studio. This turned out to be partly correct. At least we are spared the glossy and very pop-oriented production of the studio albums, and the electric guitar is brought out a bit more here.

Still, this is primarily a rather light weight (too much so for my taste) renaissance and Folk rock (of both the British and the American type) concert with only occasional and slight influences from Classical music, Blues and Heavy Metal. Despite being very eclectic music, this is hardly progressive. The bulk of the set list consists of Folk rock covers and traditional medieval and renaissance material re-arranged and re-interpreted. The most interesting pieces from a Prog perspective are probably the instrumental sections of the show, with keyboard, bass and acoustic and electric guitar solos.

Candice Night is a very charismatic front woman, which is more than you can say about Ritchie whose stage presence is rather low key throughout. Candice constantly pokes fun at him but he does not look particularly amused, neither does he ever defend himself. There is also a moment where Candice encourages Ritchie to talk to the audience, but despite lots of cheering from the auditorium, he refuses to open his mouth! Yet, there is a very warm and positive feeling about the whole show. Ritchie may be laid back or even a bit shy maybe, but he is certainly not pissed off, as he used to be in Deep Purple (particularly at Ian Gillan) in the 90's. No, Ritchie and Candice are clearly very happy together, and it shows through in the music, I think.

Deep Purple and Rainbow gets one song each, which I think is way too little. But it is understandable that they want to concentrate on their new stuff (which is mostly really old stuff from a dim and distant past long before Purple and Rainbow). When I heard the voice of Candice Night for the first time, I didn't like it. But when I heard her sing the Deep Purple classic Soldier Of Fortune I was converted! It is a beautiful version.

Ariel is a great song and a big surprise selection to represent Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow. Here Ritchie brings out his Strat and we get some heavy riffs for the first (and sadly last) time on this concert. We also get a bit of electric Beethoven's Ninth (or Difficult To Cure as it was called when he performed it with Rainbow). And the audience chants Black Night while calling the band back for the encore.

The Jethro Tull song performed here is a rather obscure one, not appearing on any album except as a bonus track to the War Child CD. I think it is a great song and it should have been on the War Child album. Candice sings it very well. There is yet another Tull connection here with Play Minstrel Play, on which Ian Anderson played on the studio version. But who is playing the flute on Play Minstrel Play in this performance? Anderson is clearly not there and I cannot see anyone playing the flute. Is it keyboards?

The keyboard player here is really good and he is even allowed a solo spot which contains some classical pieces. He is even allowed to sing a little number of his own! Obviously, we do not talk about Moog synthesisers here, but only some nice piano, organ and discrete symphonic synthesisers.

Blackmore's Night is certainly not an essential band for the Prog fan. But if you want to check them out, the best way to enjoy them is probably in a live environment. I am thinking about seeing them live if they come around these parts. I might even dress for the occasion! (I think this is a bit silly, but my girlfriend likes that kind of stuff so I might go along with it). But in anticipation of that, this DVD might be the best way to go. Good, but non-essential.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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