Album review: STATUS QUO – Down Down & Dignified At The Royal Albert Hall and Down Down & Dirty At Wacken

Status Quo - Down Down & Dirty At Wacken

earMUSIC [release date 17.08.18]

These two albums have been released in tandem to demonstrate the two different sides of Quo and to prove that live they are still a must see. The Albert Hall show captures the band in full acoustic mode whilst the Wacken set finds them rocking in front of around 70,000 metalheads in a field in Germany.

Down Down & Dignified is a double album set capturing the full show from the Albert Hall in July 2017. Over the last few years Quo have honed their acoustic set and this is a very polished performance. Leading with ‘And It’s Better Now’ the sound is well mixed and the balance is spot on. Rossi shares vocal duties throughout with Rhino Edwards and harmonies are provided by the backing singers.

The use of the orchestration and accordion has developed and is now used to full effect. Highlights include ‘Hold You Back’, ‘Rock N Roll’ and ‘Reason For Living’ but the whole set is top notch. This is not the first Aquostic live album but it is a great record of a fantastic night in the Albert Hall and is a worthy addition to your Quo collection.  ****

Down Down & Dirty sees the band on full rocking mode. Recorded at the Wacken Open Air festival in 2017 this 70 minute set finds the band playing to a huge audience in the sunshine (an unusual sight at Wacken!). The band keep it tight with a greatest hits set and have the crowd rocking from the off.

From the opening bars of ‘Caroline’ through to the final chords of the ‘Bye Bye’ melody this is classic Quo. Here again Rhino takes on more of a vocal role filling the huge gap left by the great Rick Parfitt, it is a daunting task but he copes admirably. This package also comes with a DVD of the show and personally I think it works better than the CD as the mix is a bit flat. With the visuals you get more of the atmosphere of the day and you can also play the great drinking game ‘spot the mullet in the crowd’, one shot per hair disaster!

These albums record the latest chapter in the Status Quo story. There may be nothing new here but for anyone who doubted the band’s relevance post Rick this proves that the band are rocking as well as ever.  ***1/2

Review by Dave Wilson

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