“Quo, whoa, whoa, whoa, oh,” repeat and repeat. Then those chords, you know the ones: the ones that herald “Caroline.” I don’t know how many times I’ve heard it over the years. But it is joyous. And you know what it means, right? Take my hand; it means we can rock ‘n’ roll.

It meant it last year when I saw them in Birmingham, but more pertinently, it meant it in Amsterdam in 2010. And if there’s something about Quo that I like (that’s the last terrible working-in of lyrics into this review, I promise), then this hour and a half proves why.

What this is, is the first in a series of official archive releases from one of Britain’s finest rock ‘n’ roll bands.

Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Andrew Bown, John ‘Rhino’ Edwards, and Matt Letley were the lineup back then, and the set they played that night on October 19th, 2010, was pretty close to the one they played everywhere they were back then.

“Rain” is still in the shows these days, but the funky Parfitt composition, “Don’t Drive My Car,” is not, and it’s a pity.

“Mean Girl” is the quintessential Quo boogie, and if you’re looking for the one you had forgotten how good it was, then look right here.

Quo in the latter days are always good for a clever segue into a track or joining a few in medleys. “Softer Ride” has you covered for the former, and “Proposin’ Medley” (all nearly 11 minutes of it) is a wonderful example of the latter.

It’s the contention of MV that Status Quo is way better than they are given credit for (“The Oriental” aside; I never could stand it), and “Creepin’ Up On You” underlines it, while ‘Livin’ On An Island” changes the vibe totally and is superb.

“In The Army Now” (the cover that no one knows is a cover) is still the singalong it was back then too (and it’s a brilliant version), and I’d contend that there are very few who pace a set better than these boys.

Indeed, I’d further add that ending with “Roll Over Lay Down” (the organ is sublime), “Down Down” – with its teaser of an intro before they hit the power chord – the absolute pop music of “Whatever You Want” before “Rockin’ All Over The World” is as good as any band has.

That cover of Fogerty’s already classic tune is a case in point. Status Quo just make it into a knees-up. As English as you like, but keep the tune faithful. It really is a gift.

“Junior’s Wailing” is fun in the encore. And the same could be said of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Music/Bye Bye Johnny” (which they finish with to this day), but let’s be honest, a Status Quo gig is only about fun. Even Rossi’s gentle joshing about ‘posh people in the bar’ is done with tongue in cheek.

This new series of limited edition releases is promising all kinds of stuff, and it’s got off to a brilliant start. Of course, to an extent, it’s preaching to the converted, but who cares? Status Quo is a band like no other, and they’ve earned the right to do what they like with their legacy.

13 years old, this record shines a light on a few things but chiefly this; there have been a lot of changes in the band since this show (RIP Rick) on the one hand; but on another, everything is still the same. Quo is still magnificent in 2023. And that’s official.

Rating: 9/10

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