The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
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SUZI QUATRO

 

BURSWOOD THEATRE, PERTH WA

 

11th October 2011

 

 

To call Suzi Quatro a heritage act in the sense that Americans use the term would be an immense disservice to her and her fans on the basis of tonight’s show, but in a way it is the essence of her act. So never having seen Suzi before, but always having had an appreciation for her music and the groundbreaking trail she led for female front-women in the seventies, I have always wanted to see her live.

 

If I can take a moment to set the scene just to give you an idea of the event, this is Suzi’s second show at Perth’s 2300 seater Burswood Theatre and this second night, just like the first is packed to the rafters!

 

You do get the sense that virtually everyone in the audience here has grown up with Suzi’s music. To be one of the younger members of the audience tonight too is just a little bit odd, but to see the sheer enjoyment and level of participation in here tonight it’s clear that a lot of those older people you kids pass in the street still know how to Rock and Roll!

 

 

Tonight’s show is really a combination of things to this reviewer: it’s a celebration of the spirit of Rock and Roll that had its roots in the fifties, it’s also a celebration of Suzi’s catalogue (which includes a healthy dose of new material); but more than that it’s a wake up call to anyone who thinks that acts like Suzi are a thing of the past. Anyone who can draw a crowd like this and bring out so much love and sheer pleasure in the room should be available on Medicare!

 

Opening with the traditional welcome of The Everley Brother’s ‘Wake Up Little Suzi’ before stomping into probably the heaviest song of the night Neil Young’s ‘Rocking In the Free World’ Suzi has the audience in the palm of her hand and doesn’t let them go all night.

 

Even the lesser known originals that follow, like “I Maybe Too Young”, “I’ve Never Been In Love” and one that I think was called “I Don’t do Gentle” go down a storm and the dancing begins, albeit in various isolated pockets!

 

 

It’s good to hear that the new album sees a rekindled collaboration with the man who helped launch Suzi’s star all those years ago: Australia’s own Mike Chapman. Our introduction to the new material in the form of a very 50’s styled ballad “Spotlight” slips down nicely with the crowd.

 

It is however, the next song that starts the real action in the crowd, and as the clapping and singing begins you can’t help but get a little caught up in the moment as the memories come back for the Suzi Quatro/Chris Norman penned “Stumblin’ In” the lady beside me has already decided that this night is the ‘concert of the year’ and this is we find out later her second night.

 

The real action for us starts though with “48 Crash” and by this time there are very few in the room either not singing along or at least tapping their feet, though growing numbers are starting to stand up and dance.

 

 

The band Suzi has assembled around her are as tight as you could wish for, and the horn section is particularly on form, if anything the keys (though fantastic) are a little high in the mix throughout the night, which sort of gives the show an almost ‘Cabaret’ sheen at certain points, not that it really detracts too much from the spectacle.

 

As someone now into her sixties, Suzi is looking good and is full of energy, she must get it from her father who, she tells us, after she has dismissed the band from the stage for a solo piano spot, stopped ‘gigging’ at 89! “Can I Be Your Girl” is well received, before the band joins her back on stage.

 

There’s an interlude during ‘Wild One’ where Suzi leaves us to shed the denim and don the leather and the reaction from the crowd upon her return leave no one in doubt that’s what they wanted to see, and she joins in to bring a great song to a rocking ending. Like I mentioned before there is a certain amount of cabaret to the performance tonight but not necessarily in a bad way.

 

 

“Tear me Apart if You Want to Win my Heart” sees the horn section come to the fore again and it’s a great under-rated gem, there’s a couple more from the new album including “Whatever Love Is” with it’s Princess Di introduction which goes to show there’s plenty of gas left in the Quatro tank; and the funky “Your Mamma Won’t Like It” from 1975 is great fun.

 

After an introduction to the band members we’re into a truly great run home starting with the evergreen “Glycerine Queen” before Suzi slaps out a bass solo, and hits the drums and we dive into the defining moment for us: 1973’s “Can The Can” followed by every one off their feet for “Devil Gate Drive” with the audience as one singing and dancing, stamping their feet and clapping.

 

“If You Cant Give me Love’ is followed by “Sweet Little Rock n roller’ and it’s over bar the encore – a cover of Goldfrapp’s “Strict Machine” which is also her new single, and Little Richard’s “You Keep a Knockin’”.

 

Seeing someone like Suzi, a real part of Rock and Roll history in front of such an appreciative crowd really puts the whole spectacle in context for us. Suzi may not be your average Rockpit fare but tonight’s show proves that she knows both how to pull and please a crowd…

 

 

 

By Jo Rockpit

Images by Mark Diggins