Status Quo, Newcastle City HallANYONE expecting Quo sitting around strumming acoustic guitars may have been caught unawares as they stomped on stage to a very plugged in and a most definitely electric, Caroline, having decided on a change of plan from the original Aquostic shows to a full-blown Rock show due to overwhelming demand from their fans.

Quo were certainly fired up for it right from the start as Something 'Bout You Baby I Like and the vintage Rain locked into gear. Maybe it's the intimate atmosphere of the City Hall or maybe new guy Richie Malone has integrated more fully into the band since the sad loss of Quo legend, Rick Parfitt but whatever it was the whole feel of the show was far more upbeat than last year's performance at the Metro Radio Arena.

The loss of Parfitt also impacted on bassist Rhino Edwards and long-time keyboardist/guitarist Andy Brown who both stepped up to the microphone to take lead on Whatever You Want and Creepin' Up On You while Brown's vocals on Parfitt's signature tune Don`t Drive My Car smoked with a raw Bluesy edge.

Francis Rossi of course was the star of the show with his wry wit and cheeky banter, trading blows with the crowd and loving every minute of it. Rossi and new partner Malone gelled together like they'd been on stage together for years and Malone himself must take great credit for the unenviable task of stepping into Parfitt`s large shoes.

Mick Burgess