Over much of the last 20 years, former Deep Purple guitarist and Rainbow mainstay Ritchie Blackmore has disappeared down a renaissance rock wormhole with his band Blackmore’s Night, but those beseeching cries of “Ritchie!” from the otherwise somewhat muted Hydro crowd were heeded as this aloof metal god, looking like he had just stepped off the set of Wolf Hall, unveiled his latest young guns line-up of 70s power rockers Rainbow.
Hydro, Glasgow ***
Chilean vocalist Ronnie Romero had the pipes to tackle soft rock anthems I Surrender and Since You’ve Been Gone and especially his bravura rendition of Stargazer, but not the presence of some of his predecessors, as demonstrated on the hoary hippy rocker Man on the Silver Mountain, offered up in tribute to original Rainbow frontman Ronnie James Dio.
This was pomp rock from the land that time forgot with fancy fretwork, suitably craggy soloing against a mountain backdrop on Sixteenth Century Greensleeves and a baroque’n’roll keyboard odyssey which far outstayed its welcome. Despite the undeniably muscular sound, the whole show was a little dwarfed by the venue, which is rarely a welcoming place when it’s only partially full.
However, a generous showing of Deep Purple tunes kept the fans onside, including acoustic power ballad Soldier of Fortune, a moody Child In Time and the overwrought chest-beating Mistreated, a song which does not take rejection well, before they boogied into the sunset with Burn, Black Night and Smoke On The Water.