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.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

STATUS QUO, 10cc @LG Arena, Birmingham 7/2/13

As a very small boy RTM loved nothing more than making fake radio shows. At the age of five this usually entailed borrowing our mum and dad's records and playing them while we told the time to our action man figures (this surely is what DJing is - minus the action man figures, obviously)
One of the albums that our parents had was "Original Soundtrack" by 10CC.  We used to play "I'm Not In Love" then got a little older and got our own LPs and rather lost touch with Graham Gouldman and the boys. 

Strange then that RTM got the chance to reconnect with them tonight and our verdict is that they weren't bad at all. They do play "....Love" of course, and "Dreadlock Holiday" which is the one about loving cricket that every cricket ground thinks they have to play before a one-day game, but there is more to them than that. 

Opener "Wall St Shuffle" rocks in an understated Eagles type way, while "Good Morning Judge" and its funky baseline hits the spot. Best of all, however are the harmonies in "I'm Mandy Fly Me" and last song "Rubber Bullets" with its boogie guitars and sax solo. You know when something is way better than you thought it would be? Yeah, that.  

"You got your phones at the ready?" Enquires Francis Rossi. "I'm serious," says the Quo's venerable frontman. "There's a lot of old men on this stage and you'll need to film it if one of us dies, you can put it on wotsit tube.Welcome to the tongue in cheek world of Status Quo. 

These Christmas shows have become something of a fixture on the gig calendar in the last decade. This is the modern Quo, not the Fantastic Four version, so they play a couple of songs from brand new album "Bula Quo," the superb "Looking For Caroline" and "Go, Go, Go." The songs are basically a soundtrack for the film of the same name ("we feel we should apologise for it, but they gave us a lot of money," says Rossi) and form a quartet of new(ish) songs that are played, along with "Rock and Roll And You" and "End Of The Beginning" from the previous "Quid Pro Quo" opus. 

The band deserve credit for playing these songs. It would be easy for them to turn up, knock out the hits and go, but they don't. They look to be genuinely enjoying themselves, with Rossi in particular chatting to the crowd like he's with mates in the pub. 

There are plenty of classics from the Quo back catalogue, right from opener "Caroline" to main set closing "Rockin All Over The World" and listening to them, you realise what a phenomenal band they are. Like AC/DC, Thin Lizzy or Iron Maiden they have that signature twin guitar sound, that is at once familiar and yet could only be Status Quo.  

Underrated musicians too, both Rossi and Rick Parfitt are superb guitarists, while new drummer Leon Cave gets a solo spot and has seemingly fitted in well. 

Often Quo encore with Christmas songs at these shows, not tonight - although they do return with "Burning Bridges" which sounds incredibly like one anyway, before "Juniors Wailing" and  a medley "Rock n Roll Music" and "Bye Bye Johnny" end a brilliant night. 

With a slot at Download 2014 in the bag, it appears that the rock and metal world is again waking up to the fact that Status Quo are one of the very finest bands we have. There have been better gigs this year, but nothing has been more fun than this.

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