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Added by James Gaden     February 17, 2010    
 
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Status Quo live at Manchester Apollo - 8th December 2009

Another Christmas is approaching and that means an annual tour by Status Quo. The band last played the Apollo in January on a rescheduled date, but such is their popularity that they were still able to fill two nights just 11 months later. I was dubious about the setlist for this one because the last tour saw the band concentrating on their material from the seventies, which is easily their best work. It was thought by many fans that they’d go back to the mainstream hits like ‘Burning Bridges’ for this particular road jaunt. However, that was not the case. Sure, they played the awful ‘In The Army Now’ and overplayed hits like ‘Whatever You Want’ and ‘Rockin’ All Over The World’ but the rest of the set was neatly picked but not too dissimilar from January’s show.
The evening was a lot of fun and I don’t think I’ve seen so many grannies playing air guitar – it was truly weird but heart warming. Recent material included the groovy ‘Oriental’ and the catchy ‘Beginning Of The End’ which is classic Quo in my opinion. Truthfully, I’ve always found Francis Rossi’s attempt at stand-up comedy in between songs to be tedious but that’s part of the show; and it was more than annoying when he missed lines during songs and giggled instead. Credit to the band though for getting on with it; they hardly slowed down and played only one slow song: ‘Living On An Island.’ It was an otherwise up-tempo show. Pure rock ‘n’ roll! There was no performance of ‘Forty-Five Hundred Times’ this time around but they did bring back ‘Hold You Back,’ which is a hoot. Other well-known tunes included ‘Pictures Of Matchstick Men,’ ‘Paper Plane’ and ‘Mean Girl.’ The band were typically well-rehearsed, tight and without any sound issues.
The agreeable on/off stage times (8:30 to 10:15) helped make the evening not too stressful for those who usually have to rush to get the last train home (I wish Motorhead would do the same!) All in all, there were no major surprises but it was better than I anticipated.
Neil Daniels

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