My better half entered a competition on Planet Rock radio back in 2007 to win two tickets to a Status Quo concert – and was lucky enough to win! It was her first ever rock concert. I, by contrast, had been to a few. In fact this was the fourteenth time I’d been to see Quo themselves.
We took ourselves off to the Colston Hall in Bristol on the appointed date in December of that year, and settled down to experience support act Bernadette & The North – a Canadian group led by Francis Rossi’s daughter, Bernadette. Truthfully, we were a little underwhelmed by the group, and I cannot recall anything specific about their performance or their music.
So, after the interval, on to the main event – “The number one rock ‘n’ roll band in the land – the magnificent Status Quo!” (as they were introduced on their classic “Live!” album in the late 70s)
Following the introductory “drone” it’s headlong into “Caroline”, and regardless of who you are or how you feel, it must surely be hard not to get straight into the good time fun spirit of the whole thing.
Classic singles come and go, with a shortened version of the classic “Forty Five Hundred Times” (oh, for the full length version of that and “Roadhouse Blues” that they were performing in the 80s!) in between, and then we’re into two tracks from the new album – “Beginning Of The End” and “Gravy Train”. Of these, it’s the latter that seems to work best live.
The oddity that is “Gerdundula” followed. Not only is it unusual in terms of structure for a Quo song, but by now the band had been performing part of the song with Francis Rossi and John “Rhino” Edwards playing two guitars between them (one hand on each guitar!) and Rick Parfitt and Andy Bown doing likewise. A visually impressive trick for sure.
As always, the whole band seemed to really enjoy what they do, with lots of smiles and joking around, and Rossi was a funny and engaging frontman.
From there on it’s classic after classic until the final strains of “Bye Bye Johnny” bring events to a close. A brilliant show, without question.
1. Caroline / 2. Something ‘Bout You Baby I Like / 3. Don’t Waste My Time / 4. Forty Five Hundred Times / 5. Rain / 6. Paper Plane / 7. Beginning Of The End / 8. Gravy Train / 9. All Stand Up (Never Say Never) / 10. The Oriental / 11. Creepin’ Up On You / 12. Medley : a. What You’re Proposin’ / b. Down The Dustpipe / c. Little Lady / d. Red Sky / e. Dear John / 13. Big Fat Mama / 14. Gerdundula / 15. Drum Solo / 16. Roll Over Lay Down / 17. Down Down / 18. Whatever You Want / 19. Burning Bridges / 20. In The Army Now / 21. Rockin’ All Over The World / 22. Bye Bye Johnny
1, 4 and 16 originally from “Hello!” (1973) / 2 originally from “Never Too Late” (1981) / 3, 6 and 13 originally from “Piledriver” (1972) / 5 originally from “Blue For You” (1976) / 7 and 8 originally from “In Search Of The Fourth Chord” (2007) / 9, 10 and 11 originally from “Heavy Traffic” (2002) / 12a originally from “Just Supposin’…” (1980) / 12b originally a single release (1970) / 12c, 17 and 22 originally from “On The Level” (1975) / 12d and 20 originally from “In The Army Now” (1986) / 12e originally from “1+9+8+2” (1982) / 14 originally a b-side (1970) / 18 originally from “Whatever You Want” (1979) / 19 originally from “Ain’t Complaining” (1988) / 21 originally from “Rockin’ All Over The World” (1977)