Cor : There is actually one original member left from the legendary rock dinosaur Status Quo; Francis Rossi. Still this institution can certainly create a party when playing live, as they proved just a few months ago at Ribbs & Blues festival in Holland. The band comes up with even two new live albums at the moment; ‘Down Down & Dirty At Wacken’ and ‘Down Down & Dignified At The Royal Albert Hall’. Every time with the release of a new live album I hope for a worthy successor of ‘Live!’, recorded in 1976 already. Maybe this one is not a very common favorite live album, but it’s one of my personal top five live albums (together with ’Strangers In The Night’ by UFO, ‘Alive’ by Kiss, ‘Deep Purple In Concert’ and Thin Lizzy’s ‘Live And Dangerous’). The part “Down And Dirty” in the album title, in combination with the location of the concert (Wacken), created quite some high expectations. The outcome was a bit different. The dirty from the title was not that dirty; the sound is pretty clean and the performance is very controlled. Slightly disappointing to me personally to be honest. Maybe the roughest songs were sung by Alan Lancaster and Rick Parfitt in the past (I kinda miss tracks like ‘Big Fat Mama’ and ‘Just Take Me’), but in the way the songs are performed now, they can still impress you when you’re present at a live gig, and sound too neat and languid when listening at home.
A pretty polished sound was to be expected at the ‘Down Down & Dignified’ album, but the acoustic interpretations presented by Rossi and his band can by experienced as pretty lame in this case. The band surrounding Rossi consists of some already pretty long-time members Andrew Brown, John Edwards, Leon Cave and Richie Malone as successor of Rick Parfitt, who are part of this circus for quite a while now (except Malone), but with most of them, the fire can’t be heard anymore. Actually this band can only be identified as the real Status Quo by the remarkable voice of Rossi, and not as a second-class chamber orchestra. Being present at a live of Quo remains a memorable event where nostalgia and subjectivity will rule without a doubt, but this image will not survive listening to the band’s latest live recordings in the living room.