A review of Status Quo playing Inverness of the 24th of August 24/8/12 by Toby Stainton.

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Tonight was Status Quo’s chance to rock all over the Northern Meeting Park, Inverness as part of the 4 night Summer in the City event run by CK Events. Attracting an ever so slightly more mature audience than Friday night’s JLS gig, the predominant fashion accessories were stonewashed denim, the odd mullet and inflatable guitars.

Support was provided by the Vigo Thieves and Iain McLaughlin and the Outsiders. The Vigo Thieves were first up and despite the small crowd at this point, seemed to impress with their, eighties tinged, indie rock.

Inverness’ own Iain McLaughlin and The Outsiders won over an initially cynical audience. It was always going to be tough playing second fiddle to the main act but their energetic live show and Iain’s charismatic presence on stage got the punters moving. Their moody rock fitting the overcast skies and heavy rain perfectly. An inspired cover of Elvis Presley’s ‘Suspicious Minds’ surprised and delighted in equal measure and they left the stage to rapturous applause. It’s safe to say they made a few new fans this evening.

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For the main act, the covers were lifted off the stacks of Marshall amplifiers and Status Quo kicked off with ‘Caroline’. The ponytails might now be long gone and there’s a few more lines etched into their faces ,but Rossi , Parfitt and Co have the energy of bands twenty years younger. Setting a relentless pace, you don’t get ballads in a Quo set, they played through a spread of early material, ‘Rain’, ‘Mean Girl’, ‘Something like you Baby that I like’ and tracks from the most recent album Quid Pro Quo. Rossi seemed perturbed that the gap between the stage and the audience was so wide and you get the feeling that he likes to see the whites of the fans eyes.

Midway through the set they seemed in danger of losing the audience as many of the bigger hits seemed to be missing and the more casual fans weren’t too sure what was being played. Although to be fair they do have over sixty chart hits to choose from so keeping everyone happy is always going to be a tough ask.

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The problem with Quo is that due to their reliance on their boogie rock style many of the tunes do tend to blend together, the ‘What You’re Proposing/Down The Dustpipe/Little Lady/Red Sky/Dear John’ medley really only sounded like one long song with nothing to differentiate one from the other. It might have been the rain but the crowd response did appear to go a bit flat during this. However they pulled things back with a rousing version of ‘In the Army Now’ giving everyone the chance to sing along and forget the miserable weather.

Of course this being Quo and Quo being a stadium rock band a drum solo is de rigueur for occasions like this and we were treated to a virtuoso display from drummer Matt Letley before the rest of the band jumped back in with ‘Roll Over Lay Down’. The last third of the set featured the big hits that everyone knew including  ‘Down Down’, ‘Whatever you Want’ and closer  “Rocking all over the World’. This was well received with plenty of air guitar, inflatable guitar and head banging by people old enough to know better but young enough at heart not to give a monkeys!

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All round a solid performance from Status Quo although it would have been nice to have heard the likes of ‘The Wanderer’ and ‘Paper Plane’ in their set other than the slightly uninspired encore of  ‘Juniors Music’ and the ‘Rock and Roll Music/Bye Bye Johnny’ medley.

Speaking to people as they left the Northern Meeting Park I found that some had travelled quite far to come and see them. One couple from Manchester saying that it was one of the best performances they’d seen and they’d seen them over twenty times. High praise indeed.

Photographs of Status Quo in Inverness.

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I’ve always loved music and spent my late teens and early twenties playing guitar in various bands on Lewis and Aberdeen. Other than playing in some truly terrifying pubs in Aberdeen not much came of it and life became focused on family and having a ‘proper’ job.

Inverness Gigs is an outlet for me to quell my inner frustrated musician and the caliber of local acts has even inspired me to take my own music more seriously again. Who knows, one day I might venture back on stage under the fierce scrutiny of an Inverness Gigs reviewer!

You can contact Toby direct at Toby@Igi.gs