Cherga BG



In the late November afternoon large groups of people were walking towards the „Festivalna” hall. A great holiday was on its way. The event of the year in the cultural program of Bulgaria. Upon the invitation of BALKAN ENTERTAIMENT COMPANY and Z ROCK radio, it was the second time for Sofia to enjoy the British hard-rock giants DEEP PURPLE! The atmosphere was a kind of a magic, almost a ritual. It was about 6.30 PM when the doors of sacral place were opened and the most variable crowd I have ever seen, rushed in a great sound to take another doze of future warming up unique memories. By about 7.40 PM the great number of people, somehow managed to find place, intelligently listened the short 25-minute gig of the local rock veterans Konkurent. Then after about 30-40 minutes of rearranging the stage, and sound check … and yet before anyone could take a breath, the lights were off and a killing intro proclaimed the masterly and thunderous hurricane that would keep us captured in its magic in the next two hours! „The new one” in the band Don Airey /having worked with Rainbow, Black Sabbath, White Snake, Gary Moore, Jethro Tull, Ozzy Osborne, Quoter Mass, STLVER and may other/, lifted up on a kind of pedestal above the others and surrounded by his keyboards, emitted a kind of weird mixture of nobility, unpredictable aggression and a fine carelessness, but all of them balance in an amazing way. And the play of Mr. Airey with the Bulgarian folk music in his solo, brought him one of the loudest cheering I’ve ever heard on a concert in Bulgaria. The right part of the stage was occupied by the guitar wizard Steve Morse! Some think him for a genius, other consider him to be the ever substitute for the Man in Black /Ritchie/, but he found himself in these 12 years and according to me he is having the best moments in his career right now with PURPLE! Brilliant, both in the old songs and in his solos, Mr. Morse showed a sense of humor too, teasing with potpourri of Led Zepellin, AC/DC and G’N’R /!?!?/! And here came the time of the scamp old men, the triad left today from the original /МК 2/ band – the sweeping away and probably the best rhythm section in the rock: Roger Glover /in the beginning of “Black Night” he whirled a solo that envied by a number of guitar heroes/ and Jan Paice, being better and better as the years pass, and of course Jan Gillan the most important for the existence of DEEP PURPLE even now – 40 years after the band was established. And even though the years have taken their toll – the white, short hair, the wrinkles and the lack of the PURPLE’s, and solo Gillan’s, symbolic screams and walks through the highest levels of musical skills, Mr. Gillan is still one of the greatest voices on the world stage, and the freshness and the good spirit, accompanying the work of these honorable knights of the hard rock, is amazing and quite contagious! And if there were anyone doubting if they were on the same level as we used to listen and watched them during the years, I will answer this way: This was the best concert of PURPLE in Bulgaria and the best one ever in our country! Before we knew the time counted down two hours of bright emotions with the living pieces of the rock history – Fireball, Into the fire, Highway star, Pictures of home, and the newer Rapture of the Deep, Kiss tomorrow Good Bye, sounded even better than their studio records! The culmination was of course “Smoke on the water” where people from at least 4 – 5 different generations were singing, laughing and crying happy tears! And finally I would allow myself to use the words of a local TV host: „Ladies and gentlemen, please stand up and take a bow ………to DEEP PURPLE!
Text and photos: Ivan „Sir John” Apostolov

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