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What to expect when Francis Rossi & co perform in Scotland
Glasgow has a special place in Status Quo's history. The band's legendary 1977 album, Quo Live, considered by many to be one of the greatest live albums ever, was recorded at Glasgow Apollo Theatre.
Quo return to Glasgow, this time to the SEC Armadillo, on December 5, 2017, so what can fans expect? I was at an earlier date on the UK Plugged In: Live & Rockin' Tour, at Wolverhampton Civic Hall, and I can report that the band is still firing on all cylinders. This was originally meant to be an acoustic tour – hence the smaller venues – but fans demanded electric and that's what they're getting.
Rockin': Status Quo at Wolverhampton Civic Hall
Of the musicians playing on that fantastic Quo Live album only frontman Francis Rossi and keyboardist Andy Bown remain. Back in the late seventies, Andy was a peripheral figure on stage but he now plays a much bigger role, emerging from behind his keyboards and strapping on a guitar, centre stage, several times.
Centrestage: Andy Bown (left) joins the Quo frontline
This was the first time I'd see Quo in concert since the untimely death of Rick on Christmas Eve 2016 and it was nice to see a tribute of sorts with the inclusion of two of his favourite songs, Little Lady (sung by Richie) and Don't Drive My Car (sung by Richie and Andy). I think the fans would have appreciated a few more words from Francis about Rick but the excellent tour programme devotes three pages to Mr Parfitt, including a tribute by Muse's Chris Wolstenhome who helped complete Rick's solo album which is released next year.
Replacement: Parfitt and Rossi becomes Malone and Rossi
Back to the show, and it's business as usual: the lights go down, Richie hammers out the opening riff of Caroline before Francis thrashes out the melody. Francis and Rhino share vocals on Something 'bout You Baby I Like, then Rhino takes the lead on Rain. It's here you realise things will never be the same because Rain was always a Rick Parfitt vocal highlight.
Down Down: Status Quo frontman Francis Rossi
Nevertheless, the show must go on and with Francis's banter, and fan favourites like Paper Plane, Roll Over Lay Down, Down Down and Rockin' All Over The World this was night to remember. Shame that Big Fat Mama and Don't Waste My Time were absent – but let's hope they're included next time, if there is a next time. The band say they're not touring next year. But this time last year they said they wouldn't be playing electric shows anymore. If they really don't tour again, at least they've gone out on a high.
High: Status Quo - Rockin' All Over Wolverhampton
Caroline Something 'bout You Baby I Like Rain Little Lady Softer Ride
Beginning of the End
Hold You Back
What You're Proposing / Down the Dustpipe / Wild Side of Life / Railroad / Again and Again
Creepin'; Up on You
Don't Drive My Car
In the Army Now
Roll Over Lay Down
Whatever You Want
Rockin' All Over the World
Burning Bridges (On and Off and On Again)
Rock and Roll Music/ Bye Bye Johnny
Remaining Status Quo 2017 UK tour dates:
December 5: SEC Armadillo, Glasgow;
December 6: City Hall, Newcastle;
December 8: Eventim Apollo, London.