Ipswich - get ready to rock!

ARE you ready to rock?Status Quo and Toploader are coming to town making it another double date for Ipswich music fans.Dancing in the Moonlight band Toploader are on their way back to the town they last visited in March last year with a return date on December 2 – venue 41 on their 43 gig tour.

ARE you ready to rock?

Status Quo and Toploader are coming to town making it another double date for Ipswich music fans.

Dancing in the Moonlight band Toploader are on their way back to the town they last visited in March last year with a return date on December 2 – venue 41 on their 43 gig tour. Tickets go on sale today.

The Evening Star can also reveal today that Status Quo are back at the Regent in Ipswich for - not just one - but two nights later in the year as part of their huge nationwide tour.

Heavy Traffic 2002 will bring them back to Suffolk on December 12 and 13 to wow their adoring fans who will be able to strum along with such classics as Rocking All Over the World and Whatever You Want.

Things from the Toploader camp have been quiet since their last tour brought them to this corner of England.

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In the time since the band received media focus because of guitarist Dan Hipgrave marriage to television presenter Gail Porter, but musically hardly a peep has been heard.

That is all about to change, however, as Dan and his band members - Joe Washbourn (vocals/keyboards), Matt Knight (bass), Rob Green (drums) and Julian Deane (guitar) - prepare to release album number two.

Magic Hotel, which is due out this summer, hopes to achieve, if not surpass, the same massive success as its predecessor, Onka's Big Moka. As Joe said of the album: "It's a much better record than the first one. It's three years on, so it should be."

Most of the album was recorded in Los Angeles - and is named after the hotel in which the band stayed - and brings together a range of influences, including Van Morrison, Neil Young and author Martin Amis.

Toploader have come a long way since they first came together as friends in their home town on the Sussex coast. They signed to Sony S2, in March 1998, six months after their live debut, but did not release a record immediately, choosing instead to play every venue possible.

Their big break came in February 2000 when Dancing In The Moonlight shot into the singles charts.

Other singles followed and their debut album became a permanent fixture in the top 40 for more than a year and sold more than a million copies in the UK alone. And if all that were not enough they toured extensively, performing at all the big festivals and being able to lay claim to being the last British band to perform at Wembley.

And hold on to your air guitars and get ready to rock with legends, Status Quo who are regular visitors to the Regent and always sell out the venue and the tickets are on sale right now.

The band has been around since the 60s and has had more than 50 British singles, selling more than 110 million records.

A spokeswoman from the Regent said it was great to have them back.

"They always do really well here and have lots of dedicated fans so it is wonderful to see them back in the area again," she said.

While they have sold millions of singles, as Suffolk knows, their natural habitat is the live show - they were even chosen to open the Live Aid concert back in 1984.

They have spanned the generations and still sell out whenever they visit the area. They even played a one off gig at the Railway pub, Foxhall Road, Ipswich, back in April 1999.

The band's new single will also be out later this summer. Jam Side Down will be released on August 5.

n If you want to catch the boys back in action then call the Regent box office on Ipswich 433100.

Tickets cost £26.50 and go on sale today.

n Toploader will be at Ipswich Regent on December 2. Tickets for the concert also go on sale today and are available at the Central Box Office, Princes Street, Ipswich, by calling 01473 433100, or on-line at www.ipswich-ents.co.uk

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