Quo get the town rocking

By Richard SmithA NATIONAL institution rolled into town and was as reassuringly predictable as other symbols of British life.It is one of the comforts of modern life that some things never seem to change – and Status Quo fall into that category.

By Richard Smith

A NATIONAL institution rolled into town and was as reassuringly predictable as other symbols of British life.

It is one of the comforts of modern life that some things never seem to change - and Status Quo fall into that category. You know roughly what songs they will play, they come to perform, they deliver the goods and you walk away with a feelgood factor.

But entering the grassed arena at Christchurch Park in Ipswich on Saturday was almost like attending a classical concert.


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Mature couples sat in their chairs with wine and savouries, one man read a Colin Dexter novel while a boy played with a Gameboy, and one stall sold sun tan lotion and aftersun - although who they thought was going to buy that during an evening concert, I do not know.

It was perhaps inevitable that as the evening wore on the manufacturers' inflatables became toys for the crowd.

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After a European tour including Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Italy and Spain, Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt and co took to the stage in front of thousands of adoring fans, and no doubt a few curious bystanders who wanted to know what made the band such a success.

The formula was simple. Say a few words, refer to the fact that the group was in England and therefore everyone could understand what they said/sang, blast through the olden goldies, add in a few newer songs from the 2002 Heavy Traffic album and end on time at 10.15pm with Bye Bye Johnny, bid the exuberant crowd farewell and then look in the diary to see where the next stop is: Epsom race course.

Status Quo are horses for courses. The fans want to hear their favourite songs and in certain places within the show. Quo give them that and then everyone is happy. There is also lots of eye contact, smiles and laughs as the band interact well with the crowd.

After the Hamsters support group had played an hour-long set to an appreciative crowd, Quo took to the stage at 8.30pm with Caroline and the rocking had begun.

Pony-tailed Rossi, 55, soon ditched his waistcoat and the hits just kept on coming with Rossi, Parfitt, and bass guitarist "Rhino" Edwards working the crowd.

As darkness fell at 9.30pm, the tempo was upped and Big Fat Mama, Roll Over Lay Down, Down Down, Whatever You Want and Rockin' All Over The World led to the three-song encore.

Rossi says a show is like sex and if you push the right buttons in the right sequence, it is fantastic. Well, it was great for us. How was it for you Rossi?

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk

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