Status Quo is at Middlesbrough Town Hall – I can’t quite believe it! The mega rock stars played the Town Hall tonight prior to a whole series of summer festival dates. And if this was a warm-up for those shows, then it certainly didn’t appear so.
As the world-renowned outfit walk on stage, the capacity crowd greeted them with a roar fit only for long lost friends. And as the opening notes of ‘Caroline’ fly out of the PA, it’s clear this is going to be a joyful, singalong, jump along night of instantly recognisable rock ‘n’ roll tunes.
With only two songs from this century played – ‘Beginning Of The End’ and ‘The Oriental’ – Status Quo drove the night along with over a dozen songs that are now 40+ years old; yet despite a significant proportion of the audience being under this age, the whole place lapped it up.
Classics known and loved (perhaps secretly) by all present were played including ‘Down Down’, ‘In The Army Now’, ‘Something ‘Bout You Baby I Like’, and ‘Whatever You Want’. And glancing at the crowd from the front, all that could be seen were grins with people who, whatever was going on in their lives, had forgotten about everything and were living completely in the moment for 90 minutes.
With the exception 0f ‘Army’ and ‘Something ‘Bout You’ – and the two 21st Century songs mentioned – this was a celebration of classic 70’s Quo. ‘Rain’, ‘Little Lady’, ‘Backwater’, and ‘Mystery Song’ were all played and an encore of ‘Don’t Waste My Time’ and ‘Bye Bye Johnny’ were all delivered by a band playing with the energy of musicians half their age.
Francis Rossi doesn’t change and together with Andrew Brown, John Edwards and the youngster Richie Malone, there are plenty of classic guitar licks and poses as they bounce around the stage. Quo might never be the same after the death of Rick Parfitt but they can certainly come damn close.