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They're still rockin' all over the UK
Having reformed the classic Status Quo line-up for a short tour earlier this year it was back to the day job for Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt. The duo have teamed up again with the current Quo set up – bassist Rhino Edwards, keyboardist Andy Bown and new drummer Leon Cave – for their annual pre-Christmas British tour. And at Birmingham's LG Arena they were in fine form, seemingly revitalised despite 64-year-old Rossi's constant grumbling about his age!
You would never have known that Rossi is nearing pension age, and Parfitt is already there. They bounced along to Hold You Back, ran around the stage in Big Fat Mama and boogied on down to Paper Plane.
''Isn't it nice to see a bunch of old boys having fun,'' Francis quipped before adding that fans should keep their cameras trained on the stage as he could keel over at any time which would make entertaining YouTube footage!
Fan's eye view: Status Quo on stage at the LG Arena
The reformation concerts with bass player Alan Lancaster and drummer John Coghlan concentrated on the band's older material but at the LG there were plenty of more recent tunes. Two songs from their Bula Quo film soundtrack were aired early on. Looking Out For Caroline is a mid-pace rocker, while Go Go Go is heavier with a great Rockin' All Over The World-style guitar riff at the end.
Ageless: Status Quo's Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt
It was the classics that had the audience on their feet, though. Caroline, Down Down and a medley that included Down The Dustpipe and Railroad all received a tumultuous response, while In The Army Now and Bye Bye Johnny had the crowd singing louder than the band.
The reformed Quo line-up – known as The Frantic Four – tour again next year but this Birmingham gig is proof that the newer 'official' version still has plenty to offer.
Support band 10cc got the party going with an hour of hits. Featuring just one original member, bassist Graham Gouldman, the band received a standing ovation from the audience, impressed by their outstanding musicality and entertainment value. Particularly noteworthy was their accapella version of debut hit, Donna.
Status Quo set list:
Caroline Paper Plane Hold You Back
Looking Out For Caroline
Go Go Go
Beginning of the End
Medley – What You're Proposing/ Down The Dustpipe/ Wild Side of Life/ Railroad/ Again and Again
Big Fat Mama
Creepin' Up On You
In The Army Now
Roll Over Lay Down
Whatever You Want
Rockin' All Over The World
Rock & Roll Music/ Bye Bye Johnny
Status Quo's December 2013 tour:
Dec 10: Plymouth Pavilions;
Dec 11: Bournemouth BIC;
Dec 13: Brighton Centre;
Dec 14: Nottingham Arena;
Dec 15: London O2;
Dec 17: Leeds Arena;
Dec 18: Glasgow Hydro;
Dec 19: Newcastle Arena.