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That was the Quo month that was ... April 2014

12th - Quo concert at O2 Arena, Dublin

The final show of the second (and final?) reunion tour saw the Frantic Four play to a sold-out crowd of some 14000 at the O2 Arena in Dublin on 12th April. Supported by Sal Vitro, they played the same set and the gig was filmed by Sky (as well as being recorded by Live Here Now).

The following review of the gig (along with some excellent photos) appeared on the Dublin Concerts website and was written by Tony Martin.

"Status Quo rolled into Dublin tonight for a concert with a hint of nostalgia. Quo have had a somewhat split personality throughout their career, with the original band fragmenting acrimoniously in their 80s coke addled years, only to reform sans their original bass player and drummer (Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan respectively).

The Status Quo we’ve known since then have been a mish mash of pop, rock and self parody, the band having produced little of any real value since the early 80s. Last year, however, saw a thaw in the frosty relationship between the original members and led to a short reunion tour of Britain.

Tonight’s concert was a continuation of that reunion of the ‘Frantic Four’ as they came to be known. This has also been reflected in the setlist for this concert tour, drawing only on material recorded during their 70s golden period. The setlist loosely reflected their classic ‘Live’ album famously recorded at the Glasgow Apollo in 1976. ‘Juniors Wailing’ got the ball rolling and had the crowd on their feet straight away. ‘Backwater’ and ‘Just take Me’ followed and proved that, although he make look shaky on his feet, bass player Alan Lancaster can still belt out a solid tune.

Status Quo’s brand of no nonsense boogie is infectious and makes it almost impossible to sit still while watching them. The crowd rarely stopped moving during the set, impressive considering the average age was probably in the late 40s/early 50s.

Although the setlist was short on hits, there were still a few well known tunes that probably received the biggest cheers on the night, those being ‘Rain’ and ‘Down Down’. Another highlight was the signature tune from the ‘Hello’ album ‘Forty Five Hundred Times’ for the Quo aficionados. They also threw in a couple of tunes from their career defining 1970 album ‘Ma Kellys Greasy Spoon’, ‘(April) Spring, Summer and Wednesdays’ and ‘Gotta Go Home’. ‘Roadhouse Blues’ closed the set and after a short break they were back with a bang for ‘Caroline’, one of their best known tunes, and the final song of the night, the Chuck Berry cover ‘Bye Bye Johnny’.

Impressive work for a bunch of sixty-something year olds. It’s also apparent from the stage that they are enjoying themselves revisiting old glories, and long may it continue. Quo have been much derided in the last few decades, but for those of us of a certain vintage, it brings a warm feeling to see your musical heroes reclaiming and reinforcing their legacy (at last!). It’s obvious from the full house that this is the Quo that people want to see as opposed to the latest incarnation (who are due to go out on the road again as soon as the Frantic Four tour is over).

A great night for (real) Quo fans. There’s life in the old dogs yet and let’s hope that this isn’t the last time the Frantic Four play together again (and again and again and again)."

Another good review of the gig appeared in the Herald on 14th April, penned by Chris Wasser and titled "Frantic Four strike all the right chords".

"YOU'D think they'd have played Rockin' All Over the World." After-show grumbling at the O2 – and that's one of the tamer responses. The Quo have clearly upset people, but wasn't the clue on the ticket?

This is the 'Frantic Four' reunion; it's the classic 1970-76 line-up, ready to rock for one last gig.

Their greatest hit just falls short of that timeline.

Do you want the holiday resort Status Quo? Then wait a few months – the 'other' incarnation (with Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt still at the centre) will probably show up in a nearby hotel for a little afternoon boogie.

Do you want Rossi, Parfitt, bassist Alan Lancaster and drummer John Coghlan back in the same room after 30 years? Good. That's what we've got here.

And they are magnificent.

Sure, the grand old men of rock 'n' roll still show up for work in blue jeans and white trainers, but it seems Rossi and his boys, who have sorted their differences (and legal troubles), are now proving to themselves and their audiences that they were always one of the finest exports in British guitar music.

They just lost their way. Tonight, Rossi's solos are exceptional, and a delicate Lancaster rolls out that note-perfect bluesman delivery of his. Meanwhile, Parfitt remains a thunderous wing-man, and Coghlan . . . well, Coghlan is the beating heart. Most of the fans (many of whom are now as thin on top as Rossi) raise their pints and sing that famous Quo chant (see, these lads knew what they paid for). Musicianship throughout is astoundingly tight.

The pogo-ing on the floor will no doubt lead to a few sore limbs, but clearly, the band have thumbed their way through the early records to find the best material possible.

We've got glorious, three-chord blues numbers (Little Lady), hard-rock salutes (a superb Rain), lengthy indulgences and annoyingly catchy hits (Forty-Five Hundred Times, Down Down), brilliant covers (Chuck Berry's Bye Bye Johnny) and touching breakdowns (Most of the Time).

Vocal duties are shared, but the focus always comes back to Rossi (64), who claims he can't see his set list these days. "I love me own jokes," he says, smiling.

It's the sweetest of jams. No special effects, no bells and whistles and just the right amount of hip-shaking (yes, the Quo do the dance). Four guys (and, occasionally, 'unofficial fifth member' Bob Young on harmonica) recalling the good old days, before the joke was on them. If only it could last."

Revisit the April 2014 event list  

19th - "Tokyo Quo" release as part of Record Store Day

Quo took part in Record Store Day on 19th April, with the inclusion of "Tokyo Quo" as one of the day's releases. Limited to 1500 copies, the release was a faithful reproduction of the original Japanese album and it was available worldwide (with copies surfacing on this special day as far afield as Australia!).

Revisit the April 2014 event list  

24th - Quo concert at Portalen, Greve, Denmark

After the final Frantic Four show in Dublin, the current Quo returned to live work with the first of three gigs in Denmark on 24th April in Greve. The setlist was the same as for the December leg of the "Bula Quo" tour.

Revisit the April 2014 event list