With the onset of February we are getting a little busier. 2nd, Protest The Hero, 6th Del Amitri, 9th Molly Hatchet, 14th Monster Magnet, 15th Dream Theater, 19th, Sons Of Icarus, 20th Skyclad, 25th Soulfly, 26th Cadillac Three

And maybe a couple more to be added.

Monday, 24 December 2012

STATUS QUO @LG ARENA, Birmingham 17/12/12

Whilst we know that Status Quo are one of the great institutions of UK music. Every Christmas they embark on this trek around the country and everyone who has seen it says how excellent it is.  RTM has previously been skeptical and has avoided such things. However, this year we caved in and decided to go and see what the fuss was about.

Where we do draw the line, though, is in watching Bonnie Tyler, who is the chief support for this evening. Frustratingly this means we miss Eddie And The Hot Rods too, but some things are a price worth paying.

When we do enter the arena, we find the dynamics of the crowd quite interesting. And happily we are far from out of place clad in a Thin Lizzy t-shirt. There are some people who seem to be waiting for the local Am Dram Society to murder some pantomime, but mostly it is music fans that know their way around a Marshall stack that greet us.

If that means portents are good, any lingering doubts are swept away just about the second that the opening riff to “Caroline” starts up. Immediately it becomes clear that what Quo are providing is a boogie rock masterclass, that is part Chas and Dave and part Thunder. Francis Rossi exudes cheeky chappy charm, Rick Parfitt shooting the crowd with his guitar a la Steve Harris, while both are backed superbly by bass man John Edwards, keyboard player Andy Brown – who also appears on guitar – and drummer Matt Letley, on his last tour with the group.

As you would expect the hits are here and all present and correct, but there is more than a smattering of tunes to keep the people who don’t think a gig is just a jukebox happy. There is a medley with a different take on some of their songs and an outing for “Rock N Roll And You” from last years “Quid Pro Quo” album – which largely convinced us to check the band out in the first place – which proves that they have much to offer still.

Indeed, the real massive hits are saved for the end of a captivating hour and three quarters. There can be no one who has ever heard music who doesn’t know “Down Down,” “Whatever You Want” and “Rockin’ All Over The World.” This triumvirate would have been a suitable – and stunning – way to finish this off. As it is we get a Christmas medley and “Burning Bridges” by way of closure. And yes, I know its festive but that doesn’t make a Christmas medley any better.

There is one other quibble. “Margarita Time” is just awful. It is as awful now as when we first heard it all those years ago, but that doesn’t detract from the inescapable fact that this was just about the most fun you could have possibly had and will appear in the best gigs of the year list.

Tonight was the night we finally got the appeal of the Quo.

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