Status Quo ('Frantic Four' reunion show) Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 11, 2014    
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Status Quo - Apollo, Manchester (UK) - 6th March 2013

Status Quo: probably thought of in most circles as predictable, safe, one of the bands most likely to give their fans exactly what they want. And they did just that tonight in spectacular fashion, but for a few fans it seemed it wasn't quite what they wanted.

Anticipation of the first gig from the 'Frantic Four' line up could hardly have been greater, you could feel the roar and excitement as the lights dipped and the curtain fell to reveal the four, arms aloft, together on stage for the first time in thirty years. 'Junior's Wailing' dating back to the 'Ma Kelly...' album opens the set with Alan Lancaster taking care of the vocals and continues into 'Backwater' and 'Just Take Me'. This is Status Quo reminding us what they do best, hard rocking blues based boogie, nothing fancy.

Concentrating on the 1972 – 1976 period, tacks from 'On The Level', 'Quo', 'Hello' and 'Piledriver' all hit the mark. Francis Rossi reminded us in style what a great blues guitarist he is with some fine lead work throughout the show. John Coghlan and Alan Lancaster are as solid a rhythm team as ever, not withstanding Rossi's claim that despite a few rehearsals they were just going to leave the mistakes in the set, it runs more like the a well oiled machine than an old neglected one. Favourites 'Little Lady' 'Forty Five Hundred Times' and 'Big Fat Mama' keep the enthusiastic crowd rocking until a rousing cover of The Doors 'Roadhouse Blues' brings the main set to a close.

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But for those Quo fans expecting a reunion Greatest Hits package though, this is where there were a few mumblings of "they didn't play many I knew". No 'Rockin' All Over The World', no 'Caroline', 'Paper Plane', or 'Whatever You Want'. From the hit singles of the seventies, only 'Rain' and 'Down Down' make an appearance in the set list. The return of the original Frantic Four sees the return to the original hard rocking Albums band of the seventies. No pandering to the charts and the singles market tonight. Encores of 'Don't Waste My Time' and Chuck Berry's 'Bye Bye Johnny' close the night in raucous and magnificent sing-along style.

Undoubtedly a triumphant return, the longstanding Quo fans lapped it up and Status Quo did what Status Quo always do. Stylized it may be, but instantly recognisable and undoubtedly Quo. For some it was the first chance to see the original line up in action, for many it was a chance we thought would never happen again. Personally I applaud the band for not going through the motions with the easy option of a singles set. Although there will be a few who disagreed, any dissenters were well and truly drowned out by the majority. Anticipation and expectations exceeded.

Ian Parry


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