It's been a topsy turvy year for Status Quo, exciting the hard core with the reunion of the Frantic Four line-up with Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan back on board with some exhilarating live shows back in March before returning back to the business as usual current day line-up and shocking the film world and rock press alike with the 'Bula Quo' film which had some fans burying their heads into their popcorn cartoons in sheer disbelief.
After witnessing those Frantic Four shows I vowed I would never see Status Quo again as I had finally seen the real deal of what made them so famous back in the seventies. However the Quo have gone on to make a whole new army of new friends since then with likeable hummable tunes that have constantly been denting the charts for these past few decades now with their brand of Chas 'N Dave heavy rock.
Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt are loveable Cockney geezers and in the eyes of many they can do no wrong. They make us smile and deep down we want to be just like them.
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I've witnessed Status Quo on numerous occasions since 1986 and I've never decided whether I actually like them or not, but they always put on a good jolly show and the fact that the concert was being held in my birthplace of the Medway Towns, on the grounds of the historic and beautiful Rochester Castle, how could I refuse to go one more time, especially on a hot summer's night.
This is the fourth time the Quo have played here and once again tickets sold out months in advance. Some come through the gates early to pitch their deck chairs and open up their picnic baskets whilst others carry on drinking in the many public houses on offer just down the hill in Rochester High Street and arrive just in time in high spirits.
The chords to 'Caroline' are struck and the castle is rocking. Bassist Rhino Edwards and keyboardist Andy Bown seem to be playing harder than ever before knowing that their work is cut out after what went on back in March. Bown's swirling keyboard work is highly evident on the boogie 'tastic 'Big Fat Mama'. New drummer Leon Cave does an amiable job.
Surprisingly there is no new material from the 'Bula Quo' film soundtrack which is a shame as I'm sure both the singles from it would be raucous rockers live.
The set list is very similar to what the band were playing last year but no one was complaining. Later material like 'Rock 'N Roll 'N You', 'Beginning Of The End' and the quirky 'Oriental' sit neatly amongst the heads down classics of 'Roll Over Lay Down', Whatever You Want' and 'Down Down'.
This was an highly enjoyable gig of shameless fun of tunes you know inside out. Status Quo were rocking all over the Medway Towns. Just like young Caroline in the 'Bula Quo' movie, I came away thinking to myself: "Oh! My God, I think I'm starting to like them."
Hold You Back
Rock 'N Roll ' N You
Beginning Of The End
What You're Proposing/Down The Dustpipe/ Wild Side Of Life/Railroad/Again And Again medley
Big Fat Mama
Creepin' Up On You
In The Army Now
Roll Over Lay Down
Whatever You Want
Rockin' All Over The World
Don't Waste My Time
Rock And Roll Music / Bye Bye Johnny