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








Over the years Status Quo have become that most unwieldy of things – ‘an institution’. Now whereas in some walks of life that might be all well and good in Rock and Roll it tends to bring an uncomfortable smile and a quiet dismissal. I will be the first to admit that since the mid-eighties I’ve looked rarely at Quo as anything other than a ‘Heritage Act’ as they call them statesid

e – bands that were big back in the day that people go and see these days largely due to nostalgia.
After seeing Quo, alas sans Lancaster and Coglan, in Australia earlier in the year where they played a set of material that as far as I could tell all predated 1982 I thought to myself – now that IS STILL a great band.

This video may not be the band in their prime but the music they play on the ‘Frantic Four Reunion’ does underline in huge black indelible marker that back in the day these guys were a force of nature – putting out some of the finest Blues-based Hard Rock Boogie ever laid down.

The first immediate surprise I guess is that fact that it’s Alan Lancaster who opens up – stretching the vocal chords on the first few songs that shadow the track-list of the ‘Live’ album. It’s a great start and some truly great material that reminds you completely how real and essential Quo’s back catalogue from the early to mid-Seventies really is.

The best thing about the live concert though is the fact that it doesn’t let up ‘Little Lady’ and ‘Railroad’ are like welcoming back old friends and in truth its remarkably how solid a set culled from the ‘Live’ period sounds now, avoiding as it does some of the bigger songs up until 1981 when Coglan was the first to leave.

Even though he naturally looks a little miserable to the extent that you don’t feel he’s enjoying the show, some of the real highlights come from the Parfitt vocals on classics like ‘Rain’ (replete with its “Quo-oh-oh-oh-oh” chant) and the driving bluesy workout of ‘Big Fat Mama’. It’s the Rossi guitar opening to ‘Down Down’ though and just the look on the faces of the band that probably sticks in the mind most. The band that reworked the song in Australia for a supermarket chain TV ad, show why they never should have subjected us to that!

The Wembley set closes with a trio of classics – the Doors cover of ‘Roadhouse Blues’ so long a staple of the Quo live set; and the classic pairing of ‘Don’t Waste My Time’ and ‘Bye Bye Johnny’.  

With only Quo songs recorded between 1970 and 1976 making the set list this is Quo but not as we know it. Excellent, really excellent stuff I would recommend to anyone who loves a bit of balls out Boogie. Old fans will love this and new listeners couldn’t get a better introduction to the band’s Golden Age, and to all those in the US that never really welcomed Quo at their peak (that of course was part of the reason they were so huge in the UK) this is the best British Boogie band ever.



Mark Diggins