Live Gig Review by Mark Dean (Journalist/Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine
My first concert was Status Quo in my local Antrim Forum Leisure Centre in 1982. Who would have thought that 31 yrs later, they would still be going!! (especially after their End of the Road tour in 1984) . After losing count literally of how many times I’ve seen them live, 20+ anyway I’m off this evening to “stroke city”(Londonderry) tonight to witness the Quo yet again. I recall one particular tour “Rock Till you Drop”when I attended all 5 gigs in N.Ireland plus Dublin!! Ahhh the follies of youth…. The hair may have departed Francis and Rick but you still both play a mean live guitar…See ya down the front !!!
Londonderry this year has attained”city of culture”status the first of its kind in the UK .- This is a designation given to a city in the United Kingdom for a period of one year. The aim of the initiative, which is administered by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, is to “build on the success of Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture 2008, which had significant social and economic benefits for the area”The concert itself was part of those city celebrations,put on in conjunction with Rockers Reunion.
First time at the venue, and I was very impressed. Both from the efficiency of the staff throughout the evening, and also the full range of facilities available to the Quo denim army.
One thing I have noticed while attending many Quo gigs over the years is the fervor and passion of their fans. Many think nothing of attending multiple gigs (at least)on each tour, and travelling from country to country. It was therefore no surprise to encounter many die hards who had traversed the miles, and even oceans in some cases for the show..Two local supports for the show and in Sandstone, and Triggerman they served up a tasty appetizer for the main course that was to come. Both supports unfortunately suffered from a significant lack of volume power from the sound engineer. While I do recognize that this is a byproduct of a support slot, it was significantly at a low level throughout their sets. After connecting with some old friends, in their usual front barrier spots we swapped tales of former Quo gigs shared over the years.
Lights down, at half past nine, anticipation and noise levels rising and then we were off and running with classic set opener “Caroline”. Status Quo have altered their opener a few times over the recent years. Personally I always prefer this start to one of their show, as it goes back to the first time that I saw them in 1982. First sight for me of new drummer Leon Cave who has joined the denim ranks this year, and he adequately fulfilled his role as backbone and rhythm to the twin guitars of Rossi And Parfitt. The set seemed to fly by in an instant with classic following classic. One thing that resonated was the natural enthusiasm that came over from the 2 senior members of the band. Messers Rossi and Parfitt are true legends in their own lifetime, but they still give 100% on stage even while playing songs they have played many thousands of times before. With their powerful musical legacy each song was rapturously greeted like a returning friend. Crowd reaction was both passionate,and adoring. Many stalwarts commenting to me that it was one of the best live Quo performances that they had ever witnessed . There was a natural chemistry on stage and a true and genuine audience connection. Quo concerts are not a visual and hi tech experience, they play it simple and just focus on delivering the music. Only grumble was at a set list just lasting one and a half hours , I felt it was too short.However that’s just speaking as a purist and long-standing fan.I could listen to them all night but recognize the obvious physical limitations that age does bring.My passion for the band which had slightly diminished in recent years with a deterioration in recorded product,was rekindled. I’ve said it before and will say it again the Quo still,and always deliver in a live setting.Three chord boogie served up with a wink and a smile.
Caroline,Paper Plane,Hold you back,Rain,Proposing Medley( included What your proposin, Wild side of life, Again and Again and Big Fat Mama) Oriental,Creeping up on you,In the army now,Drum solo, Roll over lay down,Down Down,Whatever you want,Rockin all over the world,Rock n Roll music, Bye Bye Johnny.