Status Quo , with support from Fraser Churchill, at Inverness Leisure Centre.

On such a fine evening it was testament to young support act Fraser Churchill that he managed to draw in so any of the crowd from the bar area outside. His early set displayed a lot of mellow promise with a rendition of ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ thrown in for good measure. There was a real easy Sunday morning feel to the set at this point. Later numbers tried to lift the intensity but I felt this didn’t quite cut it in the large venue but overall it was a commendable set for the young man.

The crowd was a little light on the double denim that was ubiquitous amongst the Quo fans during the halcyon days but nonetheless there were still one or two possessing, or at least trying to possess, that classic hairstyle of the late Rick Parfitt. Although the sun still shone brightly outside the fans had filled up the sports centre by the time Status Quo arrived on stage.

Ten strong they set up in two banks of five. The front row being four guitars and a bass guitar perched on swivel bar stool style chairs with Francis Rossi taking up a central position. A strong back row of drums, keys, accordion and two backing singers with one adding violin as and when required. There was some interplay between piano and guitar for Andrew Bown who also added in slices of harmonica too.

It was a party from the off with strong showings of ‘Again and Again’, ‘Paper Plane’, ‘Caroline’ and ‘What You’re Proposing’. After the first handful of numbers they stepped down from their perches and ripped into the likes of ‘Hold You Back’ and “Down Down’ which added to the old time party feel they were generating. Personal favourite of mine ‘Pictures of Matchstick Men’ still had that certain psychedelic feel of the original and the violin when given the opportunity to shine added a real polish to this version.

Throughout the evening the band mixed fan favourites with the better known hits but always kept a celebratory tempo to ensure the evening bounced along. “Don’t Drive My Car’ had a new lickof paint and an earthy gypsy rock feel to give it extra revs. It’s worth noting that it wasn’t just Francis Rossi that held vocal duties but both Andrew Bown and John ‘Rhino’ Edwards.

‘Whatever You Want’ and ‘Rocking All Over The World’ did post the signal that this evening was coming to an end but they just couldn’t without those two classics. A quick encore return and the evening was over. An hour and a half of enjoyable, for the band and audience, of boogie rock. Francis Rossi joked at one point about the acoustic idea as ‘seemed such a good idea on paper’ but it was for those assembled also a good idea on stage too.

Photographs of Status Quo in Inverness

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Chartered surveyor by day, music reviewer by night, and occasionally I get to use my camera. A strange mix, but one that I enjoy.A chance meeting in the queue for Bella in 2010 led to the opportunity to write for InvernessGigs; a far cry from the days of writing for a football fanzine back in the late 80s, early 90s. My interests lie between the mainstream, the emerging and the local. Increasingly I find that we have more than enough locally to entertain us to necessitate a trip south. I’m always happy to give a listen, whatever the genre.Inverness has a plethora of talent, all of which I am more than keen to write about. If it encourages just one person to make the effort to listen to some new music I’ll be happy.You can contact Frank direct via frankieboyfin@gmail.com