The following review, penned by Alan Cole and entitled "Whatever You Want - Classics Rock Fans All Over Estate", appeared in the Exeter Express & Echo.
From the word go it was party time at Powderham as Status Quo belted out their inimitable brand of boogie woogie rock 'n' roll. Almost 8000 fans lapped up a show of such energy and enthusiasm that it was difficult to believe the band's two front men are now in their mid 50s.
Arriving on stage at 9pm sharp the Quo opened with their 1973 hit Caroline, followed rapidly by The Wanderer, and a look of delight spread over the faces of the lively crowd who had clearly come to enjoy themselves.
As well as the rock 'n' roll there was also plenty of dry humour from Francis Rossi, who greeted us in typical down-to-earth style. "It's a good posse tonight", remarked the pony-tailed member of England's rock aristocracy, and with a sly nod to the aristocratic pile on the hill he added: "Remember you are in someone's back garden tonight, so behave yourself."
As the party gathered momentum it was more good old fashioned rock 'n' roll providing the main focus for the fun. The Quo plundered their back catalogue, including a rousing version of the anthem Forty Five Hundred Times and the fans jived all over the estate to show their appreciation.
Into their mid set newer material was the order of the day, including a bevy of tunes from their recent Heavy Traffic LP. Tracks like All Stand Up, Solid Gold and Heavy Traffic stood shoulder to shoulder with the classics. They saved the best to last though with Down Down and Whatever You Want sending us into rock 'n' roll ecstasy as Rossi and Parfitt performed their trademark guitar swaying.
By the time they launched into Rocking All Over The World the few fans who were not on their feet and dancing were, and the band was nearly drowned out with singing from the crowd. The encores included a medley of standards, including Rock and Roll Music and Carol, and again the audience found their voice with a nice "bye bye" singalong helping to draw things to a good-natured close.
The band stood there for a couple of minutes and soaked up the adulation, Rossi even received a bouquet of flowers from someone down the front. With clapping hands raised aloft all over the arena the evening was now a visual feast as well as a musical one.
It is clear why the multi-million selling Quo have endured for so long at the top of the charts. The essence of Quo is contained in the word entertainment. Rossi, Parfitt and Co. delivered a show of such frenetic energy that a lot of bands half their age would struggle to compete.Revisit the August 2003 event list
This well-attended festival in Switzerland gives us some great pictures of Quo live in action in 2003. For official photos, click here (the Quo shots are numbers 196 onwards), whilst for some fan photos, click here.Revisit the August 2003 event list
This gig was reviewed in The Sunday Post. For a scan of that article, click here.Revisit the August 2003 event list