Blackmore’s Night – “A Knight In York”

Blackmore’s Night – “A Knight In York” DVD / CD (UDR / EMI)

The legend of Ritchie Blackmore knows no bounds: Deep Purple, Rainbow and more recently, his renaissance music project in Blackmore’s Night. Essentially a medieval folk rock band, it flies in the face of convention and the wider rock world in general, very much like the man himself. Partnered by his wife, lyricist, and multi instrumentalist vocalist Candice Night, Blackmore’s Night is not just atypical to some, but an enigma to others with its select, almost exclusive approach from playing castles to the audience themselves wearing period costumes to match their onstage musical minstrels – complete with eccentric names like Squire Malcolm of Lumley! Steeped in ancient heritage itself, the medieval English city of York formed the perfect setting for this 3rd live DVD which superbly captures a Blackmore’s Night show. Right from the off, the costumed audience is seated and clap, very much as at theatre, rather than at a rock concert and the contrast is even more pronounced between Candice, resplendent in white, to the man still in black himself, complete with his trademark white Strat. Despite the seeming fire n ice approach, what immediately comes across is the light hearted jesting and humor between Blackmore and Night and even more so, the warmth and engaging interaction between the band and audience, almost as if they are playing to old friends than a fare paying public – quite refreshing if I might say so! When they bring out their daughter Autumn during ‘World Of Stone’ while Candice sings and plays the woodwind pipe, it tells me that Ritchie has opted out of being an arena rock god and instead returned to the intimacy and embrace of the audience. However, his guitar work continues to remain top notch be it on Strat or mandolin judging by the likes of ‘The Circle’ or ‘Fires At Midnight’, being the perfect match to Candice’s beautiful voice as demonstrated on the delicate ballad of ‘Barbara Allen’. All in all a true eye opener for me, “A Knight In York” not only captures the passion, pageantry and merry jest of the man in black, but proves that he has found his own world and the peace that goes with it. And for that I certainly envy him.

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