Review: Status Quo Live

Status Quo, The Treatment – O2 Academy 10/03

Which band do you think have had more hits on the UK chart than any other? The Beatles knocked ‘em out at the rate of a classic record per year. U2 have been battering out blustery anthemics for almost three decades. Queen delivered everything from stone-cold killers to camp cod-opera. But if you’ve taken the time to read this review you might well know that the group with more charting tracks (61!) than any other is actually a bunch of three chord blues-rockers better known nowadays for cameoing in Coronation Street than tearing up the Official Top 40. Before the main event however, Cambridge rockers The Treatment are intent on causing a stir. Channelling Def Leppard, Poison and Motley Crue, they treat Glasgow Academy as if they’re headlining Wembley Stadium with stadium rock poses, cocky attitudes and low-slung riffs aplenty. They’re all good musicians but, perhaps deliberately, their songwriting is pretty generic hard-rock stuff. You could run a sweepstake on how long it takes until vocalist Matt Jones tells the audience to ‘let the good times roll’.

As Status Quo guitarist Francis Rossi quips, tonight some people are here with their kids and even their kids are forty. The advantage of this however is that Status Quo know how to work their audience; delivering chunky riffs, bluesy soloing and hollered choruses that compare surprisingly well to AC/DC or Rory Gallagher. By reuniting all four members from their late sixties classic lineup and eschewing cheesy late-period hits like ‘In The Army Now’ they even manage to sound surprisingly timeless. There’s probably more acts around who owe a debt to Status Quo than would care to admit it. As if to hammer home their place in the lineage of rock n’ roll they end with a cover of Chuck Berry’s ‘Bye Bye Johnny’ and you know that even though Status Quo probably weren’t cool even in 1972 when they can make two thousand people clap, stomp and sing for an hour and a half the band probably don’t care probably don’t care.

[Max Sefton]

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