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STATUS QUO
Usher Hall, Edinburgh 19 February 2005

In the somewhat incongruous setting of the resplendent Usher Hall, a music venue more used to the Scottish National Orchestra than a rock and roll combo, Status Quo were catching up with one of the shows cancelled from December 2004.

Thereís no point trying to criticise Status Quo. They know who they are and what they do, and if the crowd seem more suited to a southern snake handling revivalist meeting, so what. So, when the house lights dimmed and the sold out crowd rushed to the front, and the first strains of 'Caroline' were heard from behind the 20ft high backdrop of Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt, it was time to drop any critical preconceptions.

Status Quo

After a lean few years, quality wise, Quo have returned to what they do best. Brutal, 12 bar boogie. I wasnít really expecting too much as the last few times Iíve caught them theyíve been uninspired, but with a set largely carved from their seventies classic, and with Francis Rossi in inspired form, a grand time was had by all.

I donít think Iíve seen Rossi play better and I bought a ticket for their first farewell tour! And with 'Break The Rules', '4500 Times', 'Rain', 'Hold You Back' and 'Big Fat Mama' all present and correct, they didnít put a foot wrong. Even the recent songs chucked in mid set were up-tempo and not out of place. Although I canít abide 'The Oriental', 'Creepin' Up On You' was one of the surprise highlights.

When the three (sometimes four) guitars locked together, the wall of sound was something to behold. Andy Bown was exceptional (and a bit of a show off), handling keyboards, harmonica, guitar and backing vocals. Thankfully the days of 'Burning Bridges' and 'Marguerita Time' seem a million years away, with the Quo once more rocking all over the world.

Review and pic: Stuart A Hamilton


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