lokalkompass logoRitchie Blackmore: Guitar legend appearing at the Ruhr Congress in Bochum

Blackmore's Night is the unique renaissance / folk / rock project of the legendary, former guitarist of Deep Purple and Rainbow, Ritchie Blackmore, and his wife, singer Candice Night. The group plays Renaissance oriented music from the 15th and 16th centuries. Their traditional acoustic instrumentation is discreetly complemented with modern instruments.

On Wednesday, July 13th, this delightful journey can be experienced from 8 o'clock at the Ruhr Congress under the slogan "All our Yesterdays".

Blackmore has turned away from riff-based, hard rock to playing his guitar, mainly, in the classical style with the "Night". Accompanied by his wife and band, Blackmore's Night perform traditional and European folk music in a cloak of current pop-rock song structures with the addition of medieval sounds in a modern style. Occasionally they can be heard with electric guitar playing Deep Purple - or Rainbow classics. The melodious singing of Candice Night gives the whole affair a special colour. Inspired by centuries-old songs, Blackmore's Night also compose new passages and arrangements to give the original melody a new drive, still maintaining their romance, passion and connection to the Middle Ages. The band plays live exclusively with historic costume, the audience at the concerts also often appear in medieval clothes.  We have an exclusive interview, Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night:


Blackmore's Night has now existed for 20 years, Could you describe the musical development of the band from their first steps to the present?

Blackmore: In these 20 years, I have learned what instruments harmonize with other and which are mutually exclusive. For example, an organ blends nicely with a mandolin, but a Shawm conflicts with a synthesizer. Just little things like that. Take shawms for instance, it is not as easy as one might think because it slightly distorts certain notes - this is simply the nature of the instrument. Some producers want to correct the pitch, but that distorts it's natural organic sound. I have figured out some ways of tuning mandolins and other instruments that I did not know before. There is a big difference between the acoustic and electronic playing of instruments and also in the way of sound amplification.

Night: I think each CD was a snapshot of where we were as a band at that time. "Shadow of the Moon", our first CD, had very strong songs with a completely unadulterated innocence. I had never sung before an audience or on a CD, so we cannot capture that innocence again, not matter how hard we try. The second CD, "Under a Violet Moon" was written during our tour. We realized then that we need more oomph and songs with audience participation to entertain the people. With the third, "Fires at Midnight", more electric guitars were mixed with shawm which I played for the first time. "Ghost of a Rose", the fourth CD, had significantly more orchestral and dramatic effects - further evaluation of ourselves as people, musicians and spiritual beings. So as we went through our lives, it is also reflected on each CD, what we experienced every year.


You have made many recordings and played many concerts. What can we expect at the 2016 RuhrCongress concert?

Night: We will be there to put on the best show we can. It is a family show, we adapt and customize our set list every night to the venue and as the audience desires, so we never know which songs we will play until we are on stage. We encourage the audience to come dressed up so that it looks more like a local costume party than a concert. This results in a more personal and fun atmosphere. We always include some of the old songs by Ritchie. It's an eclectic mix of rock, Renaissance, ballads, pub music and instrumental pieces by our seven-piece band. We are always trying to give the audience a musical escape from the pressures of modern life.


Will we hear "Child in Time"? And perhaps it is a special treat for you, just to play this song, which is missing from the Deep Purple concerts since 2002? They say it is not played, because Ian Gillan's  voice suffers too much from screaming.

Blackmore: We will not play "Child in Time", which is just not fun anymore. There is always the possibility of playing "Moonlight Shadow" since it was on our last CD, or "Wish You Were Here" (the Rednex song, not the one by Pink Floyd.). We always ask the audience what to play. So it all depends on the night.


This year there is also a re-forming of your group Rainbow, with the others and  a concert at the Loreley Festival. Are you maybe interested to play more hard rock on stage?

Blackmore: I just do shows with great musicians, but that's all, and it is not full-time.

Marc Keiterling