Tonights entertainment is kicked off by young rockers The Crave. Supporting a popular well known band is always tough as they usually have a lot of dedicated fans, and Status Quo are certianly no exception. Despite this The Crave show no signs of nerves, and put on a good performance that is well received by the audience.
As well as playing their own material they include a cover of the Lenny Kravitz hit "Are you gonna go my way" which the crwod clearly enjoy. Judging by the applause they get, the band have made some new fans tonight.
Tonight however is all about Status Quo, with a significant number of hardcore fans who have travelled long distances to this show (often one of a large number they'll be attending on the tour), as well as plenty of local fans. Status Quo have been recording and touring for over 40 years, so have built up a large fan base.
Status Quo's winter tour is a regular highlight of many fans calendar, and they could easily choose to play a handful of arenas around the country and sell them out, but instead they have chosen to play a much longer tour travelling around the UK playing medium sized venues as well as the arenas to cover far more of the country than an arena tour would cover.
The venues safety curtain rises to reveal the bands trademark white Marshall cabinets at the back of the stage, and the crowds excitement level builds rapidly and when the house lights go down there's a huge cheer which gets even louder as the band come on.
They start with one of their classic hits - Caroline, always a sure-fire way to get the show off to a great start. As ever Status Quo are in good form tonight, and make the art of putting on a great show look effortless. The band move around the stage and interact with each other throughout the show and look to be thoroughly enjoying themselves.
Francis Rossi talks to the crowd between some of the songs, and as well as introducing songs, enjoys joking banter with the audience, again giving the appearance that he's having a great time on stage.
An LED display behind the band displays images and patterns that works well with the lightshow to make the performance a visual as well as an auditory treat.
The band are well polished and often move seamlessly from one song to another without even pausing for breath, and even play a couple of medleys - one in particular which began with Mystery song included 7 songs !
The setlist is a good mixture of the well known classic hits as well as a few newer or less well known songs. Choosing a setlist that appeals to the die-hard fans as well as more casual fans must be a constant challenge, but with over 40 years of recordings to choose from, they'll never be short of choices.
The main part of the show ended with another classic - "Rockin' all over the world" (which is actually a cover of the original by John Fogerty).
The encore consisted of "Dont waste my time" followed by another medley which finished with their traditional finale - "Bye Bye Johnny" (a CHuck Berry cover).
An excellent evenings entertainment (although the venue closing the bars part way through Status Quo's performance irritated a few people).
Status Quo setlist
Something about you baby I like
Break the rules
Beginning of the end
Mystery song/Railroad/Spinning wheel blues/wild side of life/rollin' home/Again and again/Slow train
Creepin' up on you
In the army now
Drum solo/The killer
Roll over lay down
Whatever you want
Rockin' all over the world
Dont waste my time
Rock 'n' Roll music/Shake baby shake/Bye Bye Johnny