Review and photos by Mark Lloyd
If anyone out there hadn’t noticed that Christmas was just around the corner then there was one sure fire way of telling, the Quo were in town. So it was time to don the double denim and practice your best ‘Dad dancing’ in preparation.
But before we get to Status Quo there’s the little matter of the support group. However, in this case not so little, as art rockers 10cc were tasked with warming this slightly chilly Birmingham crowd up.
Right from the off they were in fine form, belting out all the old favourites, ‘Wall Street Shuffle’, ‘The Things We Do For Love’ and ‘Good Morning Judge’ made for a great start to the party atmosphere. For anyone there who didn’t already know the story behind ‘Life is a Minestrone’, founder member and bassist Graham Gouldman was on hand to regale the origins of how it got its name. Other highlights included a haunting guitar solo by Rick Fenn at the end of ‘Art for Art’s Sake’ and even a fitting lyric change during ‘Dreadlock Holiday’ to “I don’t like Birmingham, I love it!”
The crowd favourite definitely had to be the acapella version of ‘Donna’ which not only saw all the 10cc members take centre stage below a single spotlight but silenced the LG Arena crowd as they sat or stood to appreciate the flawless harmonies. A top performance all round from the guys which left the crowd singing and humming as they waited for the main act of the evening.
First to take his place behind the keys, was keyboardist Andy Bown, followed by Parfitt, Rossi and Edwards as they nonchalantly strolled out on stage giving the eagerly awaiting crowd a wave. Then it was straight down to business, Quo style.
Within the first few bars of ‘Caroline’ the audience were already on their feet and rockin’ along. ‘Paper Plane’ and ‘Hold you Back’ followed back to back. Quo’s set list is tried and tested and is crammed with a plethora of hits. In fact there’s barely time to take a swig of over priced beer before another crowd pleaser is unleashed. Even new drummer Leon Cave looked perfectly at home and as if he’d always been part of the Quo furniture.
Despite most of the night being a musical trip down memory lane for most, there was still enough time for the guys to squeeze in ‘Looking out for Caroline’ and ‘Go Go Go’ off their 2013 album ‘Bula Quo’. ‘In the Army Now’, ‘Whatever you Want’ and ‘Rockin’ All Over the World’ seemed to push the already hyper crowd over the edge, that and probably a little bit of the Christmas cheer. I even spied the odd security guard twisting their hips in a Quo fashion.
As the guys left the stage the thunderous applause soon gave way to the even louder sound of a stampede, which for any seasoned Quo fan signifies the encore. Yet despite Rossi’s jokes about age and exhaustion they still managed to keep the energy and momentum going until the end. ‘Burning Bridges’, ‘Junior’s Wailing’ and the Chuck Berry Medley of ‘Rock and Roll Music’ and ‘Bye Bye Johhny’ signified the end of what had been a very rock and roll night.
Sure the majority of the audience were a bit more mature these days but it’s also good to see some youngsters in the crowd enjoying themselves. Their parents obviously have great taste in music!
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