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Final Gravity

'Status Quo - Pictures: Live At Montreux 2009'
(Status Quo / DVD / NR / 2009 / Eagle Rock)

Overview: Status Quos album 'Pictures' (released in November 2008) celebrated 40 years of the band filling the UK charts with hit after hit. The album was an instant success, charting at #8 and selling over a quarter of a million copies in the UK alone. In July 2009, the Pictures live tour landed at Montreux in Switzerland as part of the world famous festival.

DVD Verdict: Status Quo's origins were in "The Spectres" founded by schoolboys Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster in 1962. After a number of line-up changes, the band became "The Status Quo" in late 1967, finally settling on the name "Status Quo" in 1970. Down the decades nearly all the original members from that day have recorded over 60 chart hits in the UK, more than any other rock group in history!

So, when Status Quo took to the stage in the opening moments here on this fabulous DVD, the Swiss crowd knew exactly what kind of a night (musically) they were in for ... and loved every second of it, as much as I loved watching it myself!

Like an army of musical soliders, Status Quo are front helmed by the two usual suspects in both Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt. With their twin telecasters battling song after song effortlessly, they bring forth a beyond mesmerizing set of classic hits, new stuff, and even some other people's songs from eras long gone by!

Based around the recent CD release of theirs of the same name, their profoundly not-lacking Pictures Tour 2009 set list is jam packed, and basically commemorates the 40-year run of the band from start to finish. As the songs play, most times their life and times are shown (in black and white and color, given their ages!) on various screens behind them. Not that the camera picks up on them in truth, but it is nice background for the crowd, I guess.

Classics such as 'Rain,' 'Don't Drive My Car' and 'Living On An Island' (with a penguin backdrop) are sung by Parfitt, which I guess I never realized before, and as much as he also sings a few of the cover classics too, his voice just isn't as strong as that of Rossi's. A stand out for me is the bouncy 'The Oriental,' but it seems not so the crowd, as it must be the only Quo song they've seemingly never heard! But that's all in the past when they bring us 'What You're Proposing,' 'Dear John,' 'In My Chair,' 'Roll Over Lay Down,' and both 'Whatever You Want' and 'Rockin' All Over The World.'

As the show progresses, Parfitt sweats more and more, his beads of perspiration literally showering down and off his guitar, whilst Rossi's voice gets better and better. He also starts to loosen up, which is never more noticeable than when 'Down Down' is brought lovingly forth.

As for the extras, there is a wonderful one-on-one interview with both Parfitt and Rossi (done separately), where Parfitt fans himself with a copy of their album '1982' (vinyl issue, recorded in Montreux!) whilst clutching his 40 year old (to him) "priceless" guitar. And Rossi, looking older in the sun and heat of Switzerland, jokes his way through the entire chit-chat like an old pro.

And yes, for all those wondering, this is one of the first shows and interviews for Rossi after his infamous long (ponytailed) hair had been cut off for charity - in the UK. He pays mention to it, but doesn't seem to have accepted it yet. For, as he notes, he's had (his) long hair since he was 16 years-old! The other special features are personal cams on both Rossi and Parfitt (four songs), that follow them the entire song, two for both artist.

So, buy this DVD, sit back and enjoy some of the best music this side of the Pond ... from that side of the Pond! This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of some Exclusive Interviews backstage and Personal Concert Cams!