Yorkshire Coast Gigs - A Community Interest Company

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Status Quo
It's typical at events like this to find that many attending wait until the main act time before arriving, so it is pleasing to see, as I get there just in time for first support act, The Remedy, at 6.40pm, that the venue seems more than half full already with people steadily continuing to pile in.  They should be pleased with themselves, as seeing these two local support acts is a treat in itself.  I can only imagine it is a daunting prospect when you're perhaps more used to close-range pub gigs, to suddenly be communicating with an audience in vast numbers and across the divide of the Open Air Theatre lake; The Remedy make a strong start with a powerful rendition of Billy Idol's 'White Wedding'.  They show off a good range of styles with their choice of covers, and there is great backing vocal accompaniment on the Kaiser Chiefs' 'I Predict A Riot' and The Fratellis' 'Chelsea Dagger', the latter of which also showcases some excellent drumming.  
 

The Remedy

The Remedy

The Remedy

The Remedy

The Remedy

The Remedy

The Remedy

The Remedy

 Alabama Paydirt make their entrance a little later and by now Europe's largest Open Air theatre is nearly full; what at first seems like a shy hello from lead singer Jesse Hutchinson is later explained as the irony of starting to lose his voice, today of all days.  It doesn't show in the performance itself, which features a tribute to singer/songwriter/producer/guitarist J.J. Cale who sadly passed away the previous day.  There's some soulful harmonica, and the gentleman sitting behind me is tapping his foot so hard it reverberates through the decking.  A personal highlight for me is their rendition of Tom Petty's 'You Don't Know How It Feels'.  They handle intricate changes of rhythm beautifully and it is clear they are enjoying themselves; they look and sound very much at home, natural and confident.  The set seems all too short as they finish up; drummer Joseph Thornton comes and stands at the front, instigating a clap-along by beating his sticks together, while Mat Dunn provides some fantastic husky vocals, and Jesse and bass player Michael Dunn take a moment to showcase their playing skills; the band are undeniably tight and show superlative quality, having added much to help create the great atmosphere at this now full, completely sold-out event.

Alabama Paydirt

Alabama Paydirt

Alabama Paydirt

Alabama Paydirt

Alabama Paydirt

Alabama Paydirt

Alabama Paydirt

Alabama Paydirt

Alabama Paydirt

Alabama Paydirt

Alabama Paydirt

Status Quo wave casually as they come onto the stage, and Rick Parfitt gets some power chords underway before they all plunge into 'Caroline'.  With a row of gleaming white Marshall amps and some of the best concert lighting I've seen in a long time, they seem to be all over the stage, using the space, playing out to the masses and giving comedy looks which, judging by the laughter generated, translate even across the more distant seats.  At his keyboard, Andy Bown's feet never seem to stop tapping, much like those of the crowd.  Equally, 'Paper Plane' is a surefire crowd-pleaser, the audience jumping up and down, as Parfitt, Francis Rossi and John 'Rhino' Edwards perform synchronised jumps themselves; along with trademark swinging and shuffle-step action, they have energy and moves that, to be honest, would put some younger boybands to shame, talent comparisons aside - but on that score, it is worth remembering that Status Quo hold a number of records and accolades to their name, including 22 top-ten hits in the UK and a total of 64 chart hits.  

For 'Beginning of the End' Bown swaps from his keyboards and joins Parfitt to swing their guitars in unison; motions echoed by the sea of inflatable guitars in the crowd.  Later, Bown further shows his versatility with some harmonica on 'What You're Proposing', which begins a medley of songs, partway during which he switches back to his keys, and Parfitt brings some terrific oaky vocals to 'Big Fat Mama'.  They move with effortless ease through an instrumental section of dramatic riffs, rocking off at high speed; Bown in particular is exceptional but it's a team effort, and the rapport is evident.  Even newest recuit, drummer Leon Cave, gets a moment to showcase his considerable talent when his bandmates leave the stage for his extended drum solo at the end of 'In the Army Now', which felt poignant for it's haunting quality alone, but also with the SSAFA (Soldiers' Sailors' and Airmen's Families Association) presence onsite.  
 
Into the home straight, Parfitt and Rossi still bring immense energy amidst jokes about exhaustion, and 'Whatever You Want' precedes 'Rockin' All Over the World', which has just about everyone on their feet.  Naturally, there's a stampede for an encore, along with a repeat chorus of the final song from the crowd, before a return to the stage is made for a rock-and-rolling Chuck Berry medley.  A sold-out show is possibly testament enough to the capabilities of these veteran rockers, but with their fun attitude, boogie-rock rhythms and tireless playing, they have proved why their popularity is so deserved during this gig.  With such great local support too, it has been a great evening's entertainment. 
 

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