Status Quo – Official Archive Series, Vol. 1: Live In Amsterdam


In the first of what promises to be a succession of live releases that raid the deep Status Quo treasure trove, Official Archive Series, Vol. 1 gets off to a particularly bright start with a gig recorded in Amsterdam. Tuesday 19th October 2010 was the date, Heineken Hall was the venue, and the Quo were joined by a rowdy crowd for the bands Pictures Exposed World Tour. Compiling a set that encompassed 40 years of hits, the band couldn’t really go wrong, and if any proof were needed to the band’s unrivalled live prowess, then this is it.

A Status Quo gig is always more than just a concert; it is the celebration of a band who’ve quickly become a national institution, it’s a social event and, most importantly, it is a ruddy good time. Nothing gets the blood pumping like Quo’s 1973 hit ‘Caroline’, and after a brief intro, it hits the crowd like an uppercut from a heavyweight boxer. The crowd sound well up for it, and you can almost see the beer flying as the band get their collective heads down and do what they do best. Perhaps it is because of their perceived simplicity, but the twin guitar attack of Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt never get the same kudos as other combos, yet the rhythmic nature of ‘Caroline’ hypnotises the crowd, not so much with a pocket watch, but wrecking ball. The chemistry they display verges on telepathy, no surprise given the time they’ve played together, and it makes a solid foundation which makes the band ever dependable, no matter what turns up. Case in point being ‘Something ‘Bout You Baby I Like’, when Francis misses a vocal line towards the end of the song, the band jump back on the horse as if nothing happened. However, it is such moments that makes gigs special (live renditions shouldn’t be mere facsimiles; we have albums for that) and by extension, it makes this disc sparkle too.

As befitting such a tour, Quo stop along all points of their career with the couplet of ‘Mean Girl’ and ‘Softer Ride’ showing why they’re masters of high-octane rhythm and blues. Despite the years that separate these cuts, they flow together exceptionally well. It’s great to hear lesser played tracks such as ‘Big Fat Mama’ (replete with harmonica) and ‘Red Sky’ thrown into ‘The Proposal Melody’, the crowd eat it up with a spoon, and you can almost feel the waves of affection radiating towards the stage, then shot right back again. Quo deliver a set that ebbs and flows perfectly with ‘Living On An Island’ and ‘In The Army Now’ offering a respite, of sorts, before the band come bouncing back with ‘Roll Over Lay Down’ and an explosive ‘Down Down’. The great thing about Status Quo is that they give fans exactly what they want, you know they won’t try to slip in a ballad or anything, and a greatest hits set goes down extremely well and turns an already rabid crowd insane. ‘Rockin’ All Over The World’ brings things to a raucous conclusion, but of course they return for well-earned encores, including a pounding version of Steamhammer’s ‘Junior’s Wailing’ before bleeding Chuck Berry’s ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Music’ into ‘Bye Bye Johnny’.

There’s plenty on this set that’ll have long term fans salivating in anticipation, whilst the curious and newbie will be attracted by the career-spanning set. But most importantly, if you want to know why Status Quo were (and still are) such a hot ticket, Official Archive Series Vol. 1: Live In Amsterdam is the answer.

Track List:


  1. Intro
  2. Caroline
  3. Something ‘Bout You Baby I Like
  4. Rain
  5. Don’t Drive My Car
  6. Mean Girl
  7. Softer Ride
  8. Beginning Of The End
  9. Hold You Back
  10. The Proposing Melody
  11. The Oriental
  12. Creeping Up On You


  1. Living On An Island
  2. In The Army Now
  3. Drum Solo
  4. Roll Over Lay Down
  5. Down Down
  6. Whatever You Want
  7. Rockin’ All Over The World
  8. Junior’s Wailing
  9. Rock ‘N’ Roll Music/Bye Bye Johnny