I suppose you can always rely on 'Ritchie' to do the unexpected such as putting together a band of little know artists to re-create Rainbow. Many would have at least expected a well known singer, but no, plucked from semi obscurity Ronnie Romero, originally from Chile and now fronting Spanish metal band Lords of Black. Described as a cross between Freddie Mercury and Ronnie James Dio he had a lot to live up to. At 71 there were those posing the question whether Ritchie could still cut it ? The Man in Black, The man who plays by his own rules. , with a band that has never played live before. But hey Rainbow never recorded two albums in a row with the same line-up such was his penchant for firing those deemed not up to the task. Back in 1993 he even refused to take the stage and when he eventually did go on launched a water bottle at a cameraman
. When the details of the tour were announced at the back end of 2015 only three shows were announced. ‘Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow’ but featuring a new line-up, with songs from both Rainbow and Deep Purple. Two shows were in Germany, with the Birmingham NEC being the other and sold out immediately. There is a chance that more could follow but the priority is with Blackmores Night. The rest of the band is made up of, Stratovarius keyboardist Jens Johansson drummer David Keith (from Blackmores Night, and bassist Bob Nouveau (formerly of Blackmores Night). A rather low key promotional photo was issued and that was about it until the music started up.
Before the review of the songs I must mention support band 'Mostly Autumn'. I have seen a couple of times previously in their own right and have been mightily impressed. They put out a great set in front of an audience who most would have been unfamiliar with their music. We sat to the right of the stage and had a good view as the atmosphere rose to the anthemic 'Land of Hope and Glory' followed by the clip from Wizard of Oz and 'Over the Rainbow' pure theatre folks!
My only criticisms would be we never did get the solo in 'Since you've been gone.. also it would have been lovely if 'Kill the King' had been squeezed in somewhere perhaps at the expense of one of the 'Purple' songs? For me the show was more about celebrating Blackmores legacy and music rather than watching a new incarnation of the band. From rock staples like 'Highway Star' , 'Burn' and 'Smoke On the Water' , to melodic ballads like 'Catch the Rainbow' , 'Solider Of Fortune' , to epics like 'Stargazer' and 'Child In Time' , its astonishing to think that they were all written at least over 40 years ago!
Finally thanks to Ant May and Michael Dewsnap for use of additional photos , much appreciated.
Highway Star (Deep Purple song)
Mistreated (Deep Purple song)
Since You've Been Gone
Man On A Silver Mountain
Soldier Of Fortune (Deep Purple song)
Difficult To Cure
Catch The Rainbow
Perfect Strangers (Deep Purple song)
Long Live Rock 'N Roll
Child In Time (Deep purple song)
Black Night (Deep Purple song)
Burn (Deep Purple song)
Smoke On The Water (Deep Purple song)