Francis Rossi: Live At St Luke’s London

Old school on Old Street.

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Having been favourably reviewed at the time by Classic Rock, Francis Rossi’s document of his seventh solo performance in a landmark London church sounds like the work of a man on top of his game.

Starting with an effortlessly jaunty good time shuffle arrangement on Caroline, Rossi explores his catalogue carefully. The country roots of Claudie and the ballad Tongue Tied aren’t his typical 12-bar blues boogie, while the welcome addition of female singers and son Nicholas on guitar keeps it from becoming a little too blokey and venerable.

Evidently these are the songs Rossi rates, and the audience howl approval when he kicks into Twenty Wild Horses and the word riffing Diggin’ Burt Bacharach.

The Quo’s slick Fender style isn’t ever far from the surface – Marguerita Time and All We Really Wanna Do being guaranteed to please the Rossi army – but the overall feeling is of an artist showing that his repertoire isn’t just about showmanship and sweat.

Max Bell

Max Bell worked for the NME during the golden 70s era before running up and down London’s Fleet Street for The Times and all the other hot-metal dailies. A long stint at the Standard and mags like The Face and GQ kept him honest. Later, Record Collector and Classic Rock called.