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On stage: Status Quo

- Status Quo & Joe Brown - Dec. 2010 - Birmingham (GB) -

- Status Quo & Joe Brown -
- December 4th 2010 - Birmingham (GB), LG Arena -

After arriving at the venue late, the reviewer took her seat in shame. Joe Brown was already playing by this point, and near the end of his set. Unfamiliar with the majority of his music, it was a nice surprise for the reviewer. Playing good old fashioned rock and roll, Joe was a good opener for Status Quo - neither too intricate nor too showy, but not a bad musician. The majority of the audience were...let's just say 'from an older generation', so Joe's music seemed to appeal to them. Although Joe Brown's performance was nothing that shall be set in this reviewer's mind for all time, the performance was certainly up to scratch, and was definitely worth the brief look-in. The only regret would be not getting there sooner to see more of the set - maybe then a better judgement could have been made. Nevertheless, the journey was made for the one, the only...

...Status Quo. How long have they being going now? Over 40 years? Brilliant...and they still have it! Although their setlist apparently hasn't changed much for years now, for a first time witness of Quo live, that is totally irrelevant. The wonderful thing about Status Quo is that they don't take themselves too seriously, to say the least - take a look at their 2007 album, In Search Of The Fourth Chord, for example. They opened their set with would appear to be their 'status quo'. They steadily rocked their way through classics such as Something 'Bout You Baby I Like, Break The Rules, Mean Girl and Softer Ride, and played with accuracy and precision throughout. Next on their 'to play' list were 4,500 Times, Rain and Beginning Of The End. After that there was the delightful Mystery Song, an anomaly in the usually predictable Quo setlist - shock-horror! Don't worry though, they soon got back on the right track. The Oriental, Creepin' Up On You, For You and In The Army Now were all played with ease, and please don't point out the fact that they're only Status Quo. After this, Matt Letley played a surprisingly dazzling drum solo! He may be no Hellhammer, but this man delivered an amazing hard rock performance. After the reviewer was left somewhat speechless after the Letley solo, the band finished with their final five main songs - Paper Plane, Roll Over Lay Down, Down Down, Whatever You Want and Rockin' All Over The World - before performing their much-deserved encore. Indeed, despite a lot of controversy from critics and fellow musicians alike, one cannot deny the undying energy of Status Quo, both in their classic recorded music and their modern day live shows. Although they played little post-80s Quo, the performance was still spectacular, and there didn't seem one face in the audience which looked particularly disappointed.

Stephanie Malin


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