‘The true highlight of the first part of the evening was – as always – the second movement. Those moments of musical understanding between band and orchestra, the quiet and almost playful transition to the first verse of the vocals, all of it moved me to tears, and I am not ashamed to say so. And what a wonderful addition the third verse is! This short piece brings in my humble opinion the movement to perfection.’
Monika Schwarz reviews Jon Lord’s concertbin Siegen, Germany on October 23. She continues:
‘After 6 hours of sitting in a car, we felt a certain need for some workout, so we decided to have a walk to the venue. We were lucky enough to meet Bernd Martin, the singer of Demon’s Eye, and Andreas König, the keyboard player of the band.
Funny how both of them seemed quite surprised about my asking for an autograph. After all, without them there would have been a certain emptiness on stage later on, and probably the ‘Concerto’ might have missed something too ;-).
Then the evening came, we entered the venue, found our seats (2nd row, straight in front of Jon’s Hammond) and enjoyed the feeling of anticipation before a show. When the lights went out, first the orchestra, then the band and last of all Jon Lord entered the stage, all of them with a big applause.
Jon did – as mostly – the announcements, in his usual charming and humorous way as only he can do. He told us a few words about his ‘baby’, the ‘Concerto for Group and Orchestra’, which we were going to witness during the first part of the concert.
And then the first notes… It seemed that the orchestra was playing the first movement a little slower than the other performances I was hearing so far, which was quite a good thing, as it gave more time for indulging.
Their playing was in general very precise and with much care – I got the impression that they really were enthusiastic about this evening. Same with the conductor, who had everything under control – even the band, at least as long as they were playing with the orchestra.
After an intermission of 30 minutes, the concert continued with ‘Pictures Of Home’, again announced as a song about a hangover (one day I must learn the story behind that…), followed by ‘The Sun Will Shine Again’, sung by the lovely and very talented Kasia Laska. Then it was time again for a livelier piece, the ‘Bourrée’ from the album ‘Sarabande’.
The introduction to the next song, ‘Pictured Within’ was also very moving, as Jon Lord told the audience that he had almost lost his ‘mojo’ as a composer, but had found it again with the making of the album of the same name. But not much time for sentimentality, ‘The Telemann Experiment’ raised spirits again, and I am absolutely sure that Georg Philipp Telemann was smiling again somewhere in Heaven.
‘Wait A While’ is for me the showcase for Kasia Laska, where she demonstrates how movingly this song can be interpreted.
‘Gigue’, again from the ‘Sarabande’ album, closed the regular setlist of this night. Standing ovations – almost a regular feature at Jon Lord’s concerts, and most deserved too – accompanied the protagonists on their way down from the stage.
It didn’t take long and they all came back for the encores, and to my great pleasure the first of them was ‘Soldier Of Fortune’, a song I don’t think that I have heard live ever before.
And then the ‘grande finale’ – ‘Child In Time’! Again it was goosebumps time, as the band sounded so close to the original, and Jon Lord was obviously enjoying himself, same as orchestra and audience. The two singers, Kasia Laska and Bernd Martin were sharing vocal duties.
Mentioning the band – they were the real surprise for me that night. I mean, of course I had heard about them a couple of times, but nothing could have prepared me for what I was going to experience. The singer was excellent, same as the bass player.
Naturally we didn’t hear too much from the keyboard player, but the drummer was truly outstanding, and even more so the guitar player. Demon’s Eye are making a point of getting their sound as similar to Deep Purple in the seventies as possible, which means even using the same equipment.
But Mark Zyk, the guitar player, didn’t only use the equipment, he sounded almost scaringly like Ritchie Blackmore, even imitating his stage antics. His solo during ‘Child In Time’ could have been taken straight from an original record.
Which brings me back to Jon Lord. His playing was brilliant, moving, inspired (and inspiring, notwithstanding the fact that I don’t play any instrument). He manages somehow to always play the solos differently, he demonstrates his love for music with every touch of the keys, whether the Hammond or the piano. All of this is still only one facet of the whole.
Photos by Ralph Pondman.
Concerto For Group and Orchestra – Movement I
Concerto For Group and Orchestra – Movement II
Concerto For Group and Orchestra – Movement III
Pictures of Home
The Sun Will Shine Again
The Teleman Experiment
Wait A While
Soldier Of Fortune
Child In Time