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Status Quo – Live at the BIC (09.12.16)

So, to resurrect this blog, I’m going to review Status Quo’s performance at the BIC on their ‘Last Night of the Electrics’ tour. This was advertised as Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt’s swansong tour but, following Parfitt’s ill health, Rossi is now the sole face of Quo, leading the band into the acoustic age.

Having a fair journey from work to Bournemouth, we missed almost all of ‘The Lounge Kittens’ so I’ll let others comment on them. They were singing a Queen medley as we arrived. It didn’t sound bad but that’s about all I can say.

Following on were REO Speedwagon. I’m guessing they’re a band that appeared to match up well to a standard Quo fit. Plenty of classic rock poses and a loud rock sound seemed to go down well. I must admit I drew a blank for most of the set until ‘Keep On Loving You’ was played which I did know. All in all, not bad but I’m not sure that I’d rush back for round two.

Following on from Speedwagon, was of course the main event: The Quo.

First up was of course the main issue: Quo’s last tour sees them down to one ‘original’ member in Francis Rossi. Although what Andy Bown has to do to qualify, I’m not quite sure. So, was Rick missed? In a word: Yes. It wasn’t the same. I’m not old enough to remember the days of Lancaster et al and I wasn’t sure that I could understand all the feelings that went on. What I do know is that I did miss Rick. There was a point in the gig, during The Oriental, where it appeared that Rossi was talking to or dancing with an invisible Rick. And, many other Quo trademarks – the dancing in Rain and Whatever You Want, for example, was missing. The largest part, Rick’s rocking presence and pose – down on the edge of the stage, was also a huge gap.

This brings me nicely on to Richie. Am I anti then? No. Richie is clearly a talented guitarist and plays well. He’s sympathetic to the Quo sound and did his very best. It was clear that he gets on well with the band and got more of an intro than Matt Letley got a send-off from Francis. He wasn’t Rick – and couldn’t be – but he clearly did his best and has the talent. Rain was the one song I noticed that really didn’t have the Rick sound but generally a well done. Plenty of us would love to be invited to join the band on stage so enjoy!

Then, onto the set. I’ve never complained about the set before but this is the first time that I’ve been to see a set where I’d seen every song before. I enjoyed it and it’s only a minor gripe but I did spend the whole gig just hoping that there’d be one treat. Even something like ‘Break The Rules’ which hasn’t made the electric set for a few years would have made my night complete. As a note, Rhino and Andy shared out most of Rick’s vocals and did much better than I thought. Having heard Rhino on YouTube and Andy on the Hyde Park vid, I was unconvinced but, in the flesh, both rocked out well. Perhaps live is more forgiving than video.

Overall, the band seemed to be having fun and I enjoyed the gig. There were lots of laughs on stage – especially around the medley- and the band was as tight and professional as ever. It was sad that Rick wasn’t there and, if this does prove to be the last electric tour, than that’s a hole that will never be filled. Also, if the setlist is never to be changed than perhaps that’s the surest sign that the time for the end has come – let’s rock out and move on. Acoustic next year anyone?

Status Quo – Live at the BIC – 7/10

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