Saturday evening around 1930: just when I’d usually be heading for an armchair with a mug of cocoa, instead it’s off up the A1. Heading north towards Newark, then west towards Mansfield – deep into unfamiliar Nottinghamshire. The roads are spookily quiet – possibly due to a certain song contest ?
90 minutes and 80 miles later daughter L and I have made it to The Diamond, Sutton-in Ashfield. To see Rainbow Rising, a tribute band following after Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. This was a successful outing: wonderful venue, brilliant band, enthusiastic and knowledgeable crowd, fantastic set.
They played Stargazer (8 minutes 26 seconds).
They played A Light In The Black (8 minutes 12 seconds).
One followed by the other, as per side B of Rainbow Rising (the album). Without a shadow of doubt: rock’s finest moment. A rare and sublime moment when one would be quite happy for proceedings to continue forever.
All too soon we were in to the final number: a rousing version of Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll. This took us to midnight (way past my bedtime). Did I mention they were loud ? On going outside, I felt as if wrapped in cotton wool. Then a two-hour run home, accompanied by all things Eurovision on radio 2.