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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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Status Quo – Heavy Traffic

www.statusquo.co.uk

Having recently purchased a copy of this album that is fast approaching its decade anniversary, I thought it time I gave Heavy Traffic by Status Quo a review. The album marked Bob Young’s return to song writing duties for the band for the first time in approx. 22 yearsThis fact is significant as Young has held the joint pen for some of Quo’s great classics, such as “Caroline”.

Overall, the album is viewed amongst Quo fans as being one of, if not the, best album that Quo has released since the reformation of the band in 1986; the close competitors being Under the Influence (1999) and Quid Pro Quo (2011). Allmusic.com claims that the album is the band’s finest since Blue For You (1976) (http://www.allmusic.com/album/heavy-traffic-r609450).

The album is noted for being recorded with all the members of the band playing together in the studio, ‘traditional’ style for the rhythm sections. Using modern studio techniques (and overdubbing, such as Rick’s guitar parts ) the sound quality of the album has not suffered for its live input and it sounds tight and well balanced with the dual tele’s leading the trademark Quo rhythms. Other instruments – notably Bown’s keyboards and organ are spread over the guitars delicately so as not to knock them off of front-and-centre. Both Parfitt and Rossi supply top-notch vocals across the album.

Track List

“Blues and Rhythm” (Bown, Rossi) – A heavy boogie track that must have had the hardcore smiling in 2002! The song is a semi-autobiographical look at someone starting out in a rock band. The song contains a nod towards Quo, with the Marshall Stack and Fender Tele mentioned, and also a nod towards the band’s inspirations; namely ‘that Brown Eyed Handsome Man’: Chuck Berry.

“All Stand Up (Never Say Never)” (Rossi, Young) – Bob Young’s first writing contribution on the album gives rise to a song designed to be concert crowd pleaser. A fast paced boogie-shuffle, the track is a celebration of the weekend and the need to live to party! The song is fast paced and keeps the Quo tradition. The lyrics are light-hearted in nature which perhaps reduces the songs appeal to the hardcore but I say that it is a pleasant enough listen and a track I can enjoy.

“The Oriental” (Edwards, Rossi) – A quirky Quo number that is built around a superb riff created by Francis Rossi and expanded on by John Edwards. Edwards, the bass player for Quo since ’86, claims that this is one of his favourite self-penned songs as it keeps true to the Quo shuffle whilst not being ‘Quo-by-numbers’. This track is awesome live as its open feel, starting with just a bass drum and guitar, helps it to rock and sound different. The lyrics are highly questionable – the song’s downside – and must be tounge-in-cheek. This song is a rocker live and, with hindsight, the studio recording doesn’t manage to live up to the track live.

“Creepin’ Up On You” (Edwards, Parfitt) – “Creepin” is a firm favourite amongst fans – I’ve heard quotes saying that it’s one of tracks that sits best along the band’s output at their peak in the 1970s. The song is a slower shuffle over a bluesy key. The lyrics state how the singer is creeping on the girl who is bound to be his love. For me, this song is a grower, initially I wasn’t keen on the opening riff or the bluesy key, but, as time has gone on, the track has grown on me and I’d now give it 3/5.

“Heavy Traffic” (Edwards, Rossi, Young) -The title track of the album and my personal favourite here also. This song is another boogie-shuffle at a more moderate pace. The lyrics are on fairly central ground, they’re not as a light as “All Stand Up” and not as heavy as others, such as “Creepin Up On You”. This mid-set pace, middle lyrics and an incredibly catchy chorus makes this song my favourite – it’s just a shame that it hasn’t made the live set since 2003!

“Solid Gold” (Rossi, Young) – A ‘Quo-by-numbers’ track that features Bown prominently on harmonica. The track is solid enough (pardon the pun) but nothing special. The lyrics are the singer almost pleading the potential partner to go with them ‘on a wing and a prayer’. I’m not that keen on this track overall as it has a slightly darker feel but I can see it being a favourite among many of the ‘hardcore’.

“Green” (Bown) – An interesting number penned by Andy Bown, the multi-talented member of Status Quo. The song is led by Bown’s Hammond Organ and by acoustic guitars – a marked difference from the usual Quo sound. It reminds me both of “Gerundula” and of Bown’s solo album released nine years later. The lyrics have an environmental concern and speaks of how humankind is turning where we live into ‘a hole in the ground’. This song is definitely a grower and the more I hear it, the more I like it!

“Jam Side Down” (Britten, Dore) – This cut was the publicised single for the album and featured a promotional video filmed aboard HMS Ark Royal. The track itself is at the lighter end of the album – a poppier sounding cut picked as a single to try and please as many potential fans across different genres as possible I guess. I don’t mind this song, I wouldn’t call it a classic Quo track by any stretch but it has a catchy guitar riff and a generally upbeat feel which I like. The lyrics are nothing to write home about though and sound very contrived in places – ‘My bread keeps landing jam side down, say you’ll be there to spread love around’. This is in no small part due to the fact that boogie-rock is not the natural field for Britten and Dore who are more recognised as writing for artists such as Tina Turner and Cliff Richard.

“Diggin’ Burt Bacharach” (Rossi, Young) – A shorter song that has two different tempos within it. The verses have a slower, more open feel and the song kicks into another gear for the choruses. This song I first heard on Francis Rossi’s solo tour and have been a fan ever since. I don’t think it’s custom-made for the Quo faithful but it it’s a good chance for Rossi and Young to show their talents.

“Do It Again” (Bown, Edwards) – An mid-tempo track that argues life is for living and that, if you find something you like you should “Do It Again”! The song is not a highlight of the album for me; it’s not a bad song per se but just nothing special and one I don’t find myself searching for very often.

“Another Day” (Rossi, Young) – The topic of this song is the singer arguing that he needs ‘another day’ to save a relationship that the partner is arguing should be dispensed with. The song is tightly performed and the chorus is catchy. I’d put the track firmly in the middle of the album – not one of my picks but not a song that I’ve taken a dislike to. A song inspired by Francis Rossi telling the Quo manager at the time, David Walker, that he needed ‘another day’ to finish the album.

“I Don’t Remember Anymore” (Bown) – I fun track that is truly belted out by Rick Parfitt! The song speaks of a booze-fueled night out that the singer can no longer remember much about. The lyrics are mostly fun and light hearted although perhaps one could read a darker hint at the Quo singer’s reputation for wild living across his career.

“Money Don’t Matter” (Bonus) (Rossi, Young) – A gentler track that spins out far more choruses than it does verses! The style and songwriting remind of that that Rossi and Young later put towards Rossi’s solo album One Step At A Time.

“Rhythm Of Life” (Rossi, Young) – A slower, bluesy track to see out the album. The lyrics aren’t clear but certainly lamenting in style and lend themselves well to the bluesy feel of the song. A well played track, I don’t know the source of pain for the lyrics – some may argue that they come from points of regret as Rossi looks back across his life – I simply don’t know!

Overall I can fully understand and sympathize with those who argue that Heavy Traffic represents a return to top-form for Status Quo. Right from the opening riffs of “Rhythm and Blues” it’s clear that Quo are on form and intending to rock the way that the fans want them to!

There are plenty of highlights on this album, tracks such as “All Stand Up”, “I Don’t Remember Anymore” and the title track are all what I want to be hearing from the Quo. There has been a lot of talk on the official Quo message boards that the band should consider playing an album in full. I know that, in all reality, the album is not one of the 70s highlights and so wouldn’t register as a possibility – but- if the band ever took this route they’d do worse than to look at Heavy Traffic; and that is some of the best praise I can give.

Status Quo – Heavy Traffic 9/10

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What does 2012 hold?

I thought in this post I would ponder what 2012 holds for some of the bands and individuals that I’ve followed over the course of the year. These are in no particular order so feel free to browse through and comment your opinions and predications.

Status Quo

The mighty Quo had an eventful 2011 with the release of the critically acclaimed album Quid Pro Quo. Reaching the top 10 in the UK and having a run of singles making the BBC Radio 2 A-playlist marks a significant success for the British group.

The clamour round the band seems to suggest that 2012 could be just as notable for the band as it celebrates its 50th year (in various forms) and 35 years since the release of the iconic Rockin’ All Over The World. A film, entitled Hello Quo is planned for release for Autumn 2012. This film, involving all the original members of the band, known as ‘The Frantic Four’, has given rise to the rumour that a series of reunion gigs involving John Coglan and Alan Lancaster could be taking place across the course of the year. When asked whether this likely to happen, current bassist, John ‘Rhino’ Edwards said he did know something about it but wouldn’t say what he knew! This possible event is sure to keep the appetite of Quo fans whetted through 2012.

Brian Setzer / Lee Rocker / Slim Jim Phantom

In the year 2011 Brian Setzer released his first all-instrumental album: Setzer Goes Instru-Mental!. This was supported by the Rockabilly Riot tour that covered Europe and the US, with fellow Stray Cat, Slim Jim Phantom, in tow. Lee Rocker made his mark on broadway in 2011, playing as part of the cast of Million Doller Quartet for a select series of shows.

Lee Rocker has announced two albums for 2012. The first is a debut to CD of his 1985 album, Phantom, Rocker & Slick. The second is a new release entitled Night Train To Memphis.  This could be the long-mentioned Rocker record of rockabilly classics and his own stamped versions of some of the Stray Cats cuts. This album, containing ‘Twenty-Flight Rock’ and ‘Night Train To Memphis’ is slated for release in Feb. 2012.

Brian Setzer has announced that his next album will be recorded with the Rockabilly Riot Squad, with some tracks possible including the double rhythm section that marked the conclusion of the gigs. Whether this will be completed in 2012 or include Slim Jim Phantom we are yet to see.

Duane Eddy

With the release of his first album in 25 years, Road Trip, Duane Eddy seems set to hit the big time on the rockabilly music scene again. Working with Richard Hawley, 2012 promises a UK tour for Eddy, in support of his Sheffield inspired and recorded album of 2011. Although dates are yet to be confirmed we look forward to see Duane following on from his handful of UK dates from the festival season of 2011.

Jerry Lee Lewis

2012 promises a European tour and new live record for The Killer. The tour currently takes in Bucharest, Paris and Cannes in June. The record is called Live At Third Man Records. The album, produced by White Stripes guitarist, Jack White, is to be released. It is only available on vinyl to those that were there to begin with but will be released on CD later in the year.

This is a general cover-all of action I know is upcoming for some of the rock rockabilly groups I like. I’m sure others will have a busy year – I’d be stunned if there wasn’t more from Imelda May (with the re release of No Turning Back)  and Roger Taylor, of Queen, has already claimed he has a busy year in store. Brian May is set to hit the road once again with Kerry Ellis. If you know some more please feel free to add it in!

One To Watch –  As a final note I thought I’d add that I found Jamie N Commons on the BBC Sound of 2012 website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/soundof/2012/artists/jamiencommons/#p00m9nsc). With an interesting, late-Johnny Cash-esque sound shown in his track ‘The Preacher’, he could be one to watch in 2012.

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Status Quo – Quid Pro Quo

Quid Pro Quo ends the longest wait for a new Quo album since the legendary band’s first hit in1969, following on four years after 2007’s In Search Of The Fourth Chord. It marks a return to Quo recording duties for frontman, Francis Rossi, after his solo album One Step At A Time. Prior to the album’s release a charity single, In The Army Now 2010, and a free download, Rock ‘n’ roll ‘n’ you, were released with the latter generating much interest in the Quo community. Over the years since the reformation of the band in 1986 (and quite possibly prior to that!) there has been much consternation in the Quo fan community about the quality of the band’s output and various debates have raged regarding the sorts of tracks the band has laid down and whether some members of the band are up to the job. Therefore, watching the debates that raged about whether this album was the long-awaited ‘return to form’ did not surprise me. The going rumour prior to release was that this would be the most rocking Status Quo album in years.

The album, when it arrived, did not disappoint on its promise. There is rock in abundance here! The overall sound is generally what you’d expect from Quo. In comparing it to In Search Of The Fourth Chord I notice that is a little more of a echo soak here but this may just be taking the edge off of the years on vocal. However, as a counter to that, it should be noted that in terms of vocal performance this albums blows its predecessor out of the water. It feel like Rossi and Parfitt had more fun recording this album and some of Parfitt’s vocals in particular are top class.

Two Way Traffic – A fast paced standard rock song and one that has proved popular with many on the message boards since the album’s release. The chorus is quite catchy but the song as a whole isn’t really my thing – I like the Quo boogie shuffle or pop happy sounds and this isn’t really that.

Rock ‘n’ Roll ‘n’ You – This track, released for free download prior to release, is an archetypal Quo track, with the unmistakable rhythm of boogie-shuffle. The track is likeable if not spectacular, the lyrics are nothing to write home about and the solo is a tad short but generally the track is OK and I have often found myself humming the chorus under my breath.

Dust To Gold – Very popular among many of the fans but this track does very little for me. It starts off with an almost psychedelic return but overall this echo covered song just doesn’t move me – I’ll admit that I just don’t ‘get’ this one.

Let’s Rock – This song marks the first single from Rick Parfitt since 1980’s “Don’t Drive My Car”. This track really belts along well and, even if the lyrics aren’t anything too special, the vocals from RP are absolutely stonkin’! A highlight on the album and a real feel-good track – you can’t be down listening to this!

Can’t See For Looking – A nice little track about persuading a girl that the singer is the man she “Can’t See For Looking”. Some of the lyrics are a tad stretched but I don’t go to Quo for the deep and meaningful as a rule!

Better Than That – If there is one thing this album specialises in, it’s catchy choruses! This track delivers the same! I don’t think it’s one I’ll listen to much as around the chorus the rest of the track doesn’t really appeal.

Movin On – This kicks off with a killer riff – one of the best on the album. This is a fast paced rocker with a hint of shuffle in the guitar. I really enjoy the country-rock choruses in this one. A good track that has grown on me the more  I listen to it.

Leave A Little Light On – An absolute favourite on the album for me and definitely one of the most listened to since I’ve got my hands on the album. The chorus is insanely simple but also insanely catchy! Rick’s tracks are storming on the album and it sounds like both Rick and Francis had much more fun on Quid Pro Quo than they did on In Search Of The Fourth Chord.

Any Way You Like It– A mid-paced Rossi light rocker. This has the lighter Rodney Crowell/ John Fogerty feel in the verses. Some fans love this sort of stuff, some don’t. I’m take-it-or-leave-it on this track. It’s not bad but it’s not my favourite on the album by some length.

Frozen Hero – This is an interesting track with a very 1980s feel to it for me. This includes the huge intro and fast guitar picking bringing the track. Another more general rocker rather than the trade-mark Quo shuffle – an interesting track and perhaps Quo’s chance to step outside the stereotype in a slightly different direction.

Reality Cheque – A slow boogie-shuffle sung by Rick Parfitt, the subject is having a “Reality Cheque” on a relationship that’s going downfall. This track gives a nice change of pace on the album and partly for that reason this is a definite hit with me.

The Winner – A Rossi track that stands out for its chorus (notice that before!) and also a ‘da-da-da’ ending in a similar vein to “Hey Jude”. This could be a real winner (pardon the pun!) played live with the ‘Loyal Family’ joining in the chorus and the ‘da-da-da’s!

It’s All About You – Another track that’s growing on me. This has the boogie shuffle and light sprinkling of Andy Bown’s harmonica thrown in for good measure. The solo itself is pretty good but the riff after some of the choruses I’m not too keen on.

My Old Ways – A fast paced boogie shuffle. This track is quite quirky but it really appeals to me! It’s generally upbeat and I like that in Quo music and this could rapidly build to be a favourite for me.

In The Army Now (2010) – A recut of the Quo classic from 1986 with some more pro-army lyrics! Recorded as a charity track for the Help The Heroes campaign.

Overall I like this album. It’s an interesting comparison to In Search Of The Fourth Chord. On that album there are fewer tracks that I liked but those I did, such as “Beginning Of The End”, I thought were outstanding. On Quid Pro Quo there are fewer tracks that I think are outstanding but I like the album in general more. Quid Pro Quo is a range of tracks aimed at pleasing a substantial portion of the Quo fan base with its almost relentless rock. Something of  a ballad or a real slow blues number might have been good to vary the album further but overall this is a good album and can be put on to Quo away the day!

Status Quo Quid Pro Quo – 8/10

Article first published as Music Review: Status Quo – Quid Pro Quo on Blogcritics.

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Francis Rossi – Live at St Luke’s London

Francis Rossi - Live At St Luke's LondonAnnounced in May 2010, Francis Rossi – the longtime lead singer/ guitarist of Status Quo – released his second solo album, One Step At A Time. In support of the album Rossi launched his first solo tour, comprising six UK gigs and this special to-DVD performance, recorded in late 2010.

The set comprises an intermingling of songs from One Step At A Time and tracks that have been rarely, or never, played by Quo but are loved by Rossi (It’s interesting to note how many of these are from more recent, rather than earlier Quo records). This gives a good mix. The start point is Quo’s Caroline, re-recorded in a slower, shuffle style. Rossi was apparently inspired in this choice by hearing that Robert Plant had played a selection of Led Zeppelin tracks during a recent tour. From here, the album tracks and Quo tracks intertwine; the former gives us Crazy For You and Strike Like Lightening and the latter, All We Really Wanna Do and You’ll Come Round. I must say that I like the setlist, I think it has a lighter feel than your average Quo gig but Rossi is clearly enjoying these tracks and they make good variety, something the Quo set has been accused of lacking in recent years.

Throughout the gig the performances are strong. As a band, Status Quo are hugely under-rated for the quality of their live performances and Francis Rossi is in no mood to let that standard slip here. All of the tracks are tight and the guitar solos shared round with Rossi, his son, Nicholas Rossi and Freddie Edwards (son of Quo’s bass-player: Rhino), all trading superb licks. Edwards in particular has a real talent as his riffs add greatly to the performance. As ever, Francis Rossi enjoys some good banter with the audience, especially so in a setting as intimate as St Luke’s.

At this point I must mention the setting. The hall at St Luke’s is a stunning, classically-influenced, setting and gives a very characterful backdrop on which Rossi, sans his iconic waistcoat, excels. The lighting is subtle but appropriate, with the rig being controlled by the light man for Status Quo, who I only know as Patrick!

The sound production on the DVD is stellar, with the instruments all balanced well. My only preference would be for the piano to be ramped up slightly; it’s the only instrument that’s a little lost in the mix and it really shows on certain tracks, especially My Little Heartbreaker. The camera work is also good, it makes the most of the small venue: giving us the beauty of the building and not emphasising, but nor shying away from, the small audience: only 200 tickets were available for the gig.

Overall I really enjoyed this DVD. The extras are an interview with Rossi covering the One Step At A Time project and the video of the single: Faded Memory. The performances are superb and the new Francis Rossi Band are just as tight as Status Quo: an impressive feat. I recommend this DVD to give Francis Rossi a chance to step outside the shadow of the mighty Quo and show us the full range of his musical and song writing talents.

Francis Rossi – Live At St Luke’s London 7/10

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Status Quo – Live at Plymouth Pavillions (21.11.10)

On Sunday I headed down to Plymouth with a friend and some of his family for what would be my second Status Quo gig following the Plymouth gig on the Pictures Tour 09.

I hadn’t been a particular fan of Quo prior to that gig in 09 but knew most of the major songs. However that night left me a burning fan and I was desperate to see them again when I knew a bit more about the band: last Sunday was my chance!

Largely on my suggestion, we left Exeter early, about 5.30 and as a result got into the Pavilions about 40 mins before the doors opened. This gave us plenty of time to buy t-shirts and soak up the pre-gig atmosphere. When the doors opened at 7.oo we picked a spot towards the back of the standing as the group I was with didn’t really fancy joining the crush.

At 7.30 on the dot the supporting act, The Crave, came out. They were a young heavy rock band boasting the traditional two guitars, bass and drums and promoting their new album Breaking the Silence. They worked hard in their half hour slot, gaining fans in the crowd and showing off a high level of accomplishment on the guitars. However, I must admit they weren’t really to my taste, a bit too heavy for me and I wasn’t that keen on the modern vocal style. Also I found the sound levels a little out for them and struggled to make out any of the lyrics to the tracks.

After The Crave’s half hour set, the stage was cleared and black cloths removed to reveal the customary white of the Quo set-up. I must say at this point just how large Letley’s drumkit appeared to be under it’s blanket – my friend claimed that there must be some form of Dr Who monster under there!

Again on the dot, the drone began! At this point the growing crowd burst into life and the atmosphere went up the notch! Cheers resounded as Quo took to the stage and, following a quick bow, the opening riff to Caroline soon rang out! I don’t know if its just me but it maybe didn’t quite have the punch I expected, the performance was solid though and it was followed by a superb Something Bout You Baby I Like.

I won’t go through the set in detail as that can be found elsewhere so I’ll now give some general feelings on the gig. Firstly, I must congratulate Parfitt and Rossi on their excellent showmanship. Perhaps in many ways people would argue they have become cliches, but I really enjoyed all the traditional Quo moves from the band lined up in Softer Ride to the swinging guitars in Whatever You Want. Rossi’s banter with the crowd was excellent and lead to a surreal convo about Jelly Babies! I also really appreciate Rhino, headbanging through the entire set and always trying to make contact with the fans.

About the setlist, I know its been a bone of contention amongst Quo fans for years but I really enjoyed the choice of songs. As a newer fan there were some songs I wasn’t familiar with (and promptly bought!) such as Railroad and Rollin Home, both in the Mystery Medley. Also, I found I appreciated some songs that I really wasn’t a fan of before; primarily The Oriental, a song that I didn’t really like prior to the gig I found totally taken by when that drumbeat and the crowd handclapping, lead by Rhino, kicked in. Also I must say hats off to the band for what I thought was a cracking Paper Plane. Just prior to PP came a superb drum solo by Letley and everyone I spoke to after the gig mentioned it as a highlight.

Another pro for me was the sound. I’ve been to several gigs in the past (Stray Cats and Queen + PR) where I have found the sound to be a real letdown: the drums and bass were so loud that they wiped everything else out in a sea of rhythmic noise. Not so with Quo. They were loud, but not too loud, and most importantly of all the lead instruments were clear. I could make out the words to songs and each note of the guitar solos: my sonic heaven!

A final congratulation must go the light show! Impressive without being overbearing, it helped give a great atmosphere to the gig and I felt it was most effective during the start to Caroline and the drum solo. I’m sure there was another point where it impressed me but I can’t remember exactly where now!

Overall, the gig was fantastic, the band were tight and professional and showed their consummate ability as expert showmen. Both the sound and the lights were superb and really added to an all round excellent performance.

Status Quo – Live at Plymouth Pavilions: 8/10

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