Burn Like A Candle (Boleskine House Records BHRCD-2)
Esbjerg, Esbjerg Festival, Festpladsen, Denmark – May 31, 1997
(51:16) SE, Over The Rainbow, Spotlight Kid, Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll, Black Knight, Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll, Mistreated, Wolf To The Moon, Difficult To Cure, Keyboard Solo, Still I’m Sad, Bass Solo, Drum Solo, Band Introduction, Man On The Silver Mountain
(43:00) Temple Of The King, Black Masquerade, Ariel, Blues, Since You Been Gone, Perfect Strangers, Band Introduction, Encore: Improvisation, Burn, Maybe Next Time, Festival Ending MC
The new release from Boleskine House captures the final performance of Rainbow from an open air festival in Denmark. The show has been out before on a CD-R label “Maybe No Next Time” on Lost And Found. LAF 887/888/889 and to my knowledge this is the first silver release of the show. The recording is just a step below excellent, being an out door show there are times the music fluctuates either due to people moving around the recorder or wind.
There is a bit of crowd chatter between songs and in the quiet passages of some of the songs although is does not detract from the experience, if anything it gives you the feeling of being amongst the crowd. The band starts with the Over The Rainbow intro and Ritchie starts the opening riff of Spotlight Kid. From some concert reviews I read it was a chilly evening but Ritchie’s solo in the song is very good, in fact his playing is ON all night. A good version of LLRNR is next that has a Glasgow drinking song just before a quick version of Deep Purple’s Black Knight, funny to hear the crowd singing the oh oh’s in time with the music. Doogie White’s intro to Mistreated is “eventually every man kills the thing he loves” a good version of the song, definitely not as intense as the 76-78 versions.
Blackmore’s solo is more surreal and morose and while well played it does not get to you the way older versions did, when Doogie hits some of the high notes he sounds uncannily like Glenn Hughes. His vocals are good through the entire show, he reminds me a lot of Tony Martin in regards to his ability to interpret material sung by three different vocals and do a very good job.The first new song of the night, Wolf To The Moon is up next, one of the better songs from the Stranger In Us All record, it flows effortlessly into Difficult To Cure and one could claim that it is an extension of its musical theme.
I must say I am not a huge fan of the updated versions Still I’m Sad, a little faster tempo and solid playing but it just does not get me going and is just a vehicle for Ritchie to take a break for a bass and drum solo. A trio of new tracks starts with an excellent Temple Of The King, simply put a beautiful rendition, with the Glenn Hughes tinged vocals and a superb solo by Blackmore this song really delivers and gets a nice applause. Again Blackmore is on fire and a smoking rendition of Black Masquerade follows, the pace has been set with the entire band rising to meet the challenge and again the crowd responds wildly at its conclusion.
A strong rendition of Ariel is next, with an heavy metal riff and mid evil sounding keybords the track also has some nice backing vocals from Candice Night. A nice slow blues is played and leads into a short, only a minute, version of Since I’ve Been Gone that leads into the Purple classic Perfect Strangers that finishes off the main set. The band is back with a quick two minute jam that leads directly into a great version of Burn, again well sung By Doogie the only thing that really got me about this was Paul Morris at times played his part with too much Synthesizers that really don’t fit, when he sticks with more of an organ sound it suits the song much better but in overall I still dug it. The crowd refuses to let the band go and they return with a great version of the Difficult To Cure Track Maybe Next Time.
Obviously Blackmore knew this was to be the last Rainbow gig since it was circulating in papers the next day that the tour manager had broke the news. A great show, a retrospective look at the genius who left his stamp as a brilliant writer, guitar player, and performer. The packaging is a single sleeve with a great take on the Williams Stout artwork used many of the Led Zeppelin bootlegs titles of the same name, this time done by one MRS Stout. This title is recommended to fans of the later era Rainbow and also to fans of Rainbow because of its historical significance combined with simple but effective packaging, fantastic playing and a great recording. Get it while you can, it is limited to 300 numbered copies.