Sta­tus Quo

Live At The N.E.C.

Classic Rock - - The Hard Stuff Reissues - Nick Hasted

1981 Prince’s Trust con­cert tri­umph, com­plete.

Mar­guerita Time was just around the corner and Prince Charles was watch­ing from the ex­pen­sive seats, but you wouldn’t know it dur­ing an end­lessly in­ven­tive, 23-minute Forty-Five Hun­dred Times. Dis­cor­dant, avant-garde splin­ters of gui­tar and piano be­come hard-swung twin-gui­tar hay­mak­ers; high-ve­loc­ity blue­grass pick­ing turns into rat­tling, stripped-back R&B; tem­pos zoom and slow, and Quo’s mas­ter­ful va­ri­ety is clear.

New drum­mer Pete Kircher hardly dented the re­main­ing Fran­tic Three’s fire on this sec­ond Quo live al­bum, from a gig first re­leased in full on the eight-disc ver­sion of 2010’s Live At The BBC. A sneer­ing Bye Bye Johnny could al­most be aimed at John Ly­don, while the proggy keys on The Doors’ Road­house Blues hint at Quo’s psy­che­delic past. Mainly, though, this is an undi­luted set-list of heavy blues boo­gie. On Rockin’ All

Over the World, the band’s crunch­ing power and Rossi’s sting­ing lead gui­tar con­firm how much they still meant it.

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