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That was the Quo month that was ... October 2001

25th - Quo concert at Valby Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark

The following review is courtesy of Flemming Andersen from Denmark.

Quo kicked off their "Never Say Never" tour in Copenhagen playing a venue called Valby Hallen. The gig was sold out.

Last time Quo played Denmark I deemed the set list "Ultimate but two". One of my wishes was granted since "Hold You Back" is back in the set. I'm still hoping for "Rockers Rollin'".

But to most of you, the setlist held no surprises except for the inclusion of two new tunes, namely "Never Say Never" (and "Solid Gold" - LH). A chorus so characteristic that I can actual sing it the day after although I've only ever heard the tune once. Didn't catch the title of the other one due to some enthusiastic screaming/chanting right next to me. "Never Say Never" is pretty mainstream Quo. Anyone with a guitar at hand could play this one after 5-10 minutes of rehearsal. The other new tune was a bit more tricky with a very "Roll Over...." like intro, some interesting breaks and a very distinct three voice in-your-face chorus. Good stuff!

Rick proved once again to be the true rock 'n' roller of the band displaying a radiant amount of energy - excellent singing and that effective right hand two inches away from catching athritis due to overheating. Francis on the other hand had a bit of an off day. Many little "near misses" in the solo department and taking a lot of improvisational liberties that didn't quite cut it. It was clear that he hadn't quite reached peak touring form. By the time they reach Amsterdam that ought to be in place. Maybe he was just depressed "Don't Waste...." being voted out of the set?

Apart from these mild criticisms from a nitpicking fanatic Quohead like myself, people had a great time singing their hearts out on "In The Army Now", "Rockin' All Over The World" and "Whatever You Want". Oddly enough nobody seemed to remember the line "even so I really do care" in "Paper Plane" which left one second of silence which was a significant contrast to the rest of the landscape of sound. Quite frankly, I know someone has said this before but let me repeat it, these days Quo are heavier than AC/DC !!

Especially Rick's guitar sound was monstrous during "Rain", "Big Fat Mama" and "Hold You Back". Rick has reached a delicate balance of huge sound and articulate rhythm playing that nobody else in the world is capable of. Being a guitar player myself I can't help being a bit envious. Only problem was the acoustics. Valby Hallen is a sports arena built in raw concrete. The sound changes radically for every two feet you move and the low end is annoyingly boomy. I think the bass-end was handled very well under the circumstances, but most of the time I thought Rick's (otherwise excellent) vocals were too low in the mix whereas Francis' were too loud. Someone standing 3 feet away was of the exact opposite opinion........

Anyway, go see 'em! Okay, I know you will no matter what I write in this space but be assured: You've got a good thing coming as usual.

Approximate running order:

PS: If you leave for the airport immediately you can still catch them in Aarhus tonight. The gig has been advertised in the papers lately, so it is probably not sold out yet.

Revisit the October 2001 event list  

29th - Quo concert at Forest National, Brussels

The following review comes from Patrick Cusse.

Extremely good show in Brussels. Very good crowd (7.000 plus, and most of them really into it), very good set (welcome back "Softer Ride" and "Hold You Back", though I did miss "20 Wild Horses"). And two new and unreleased songs that need a bit more practice, but clearly have the potential to become regulars.

And I did notice that Rick seems to have lost a bit of weight. To sum it up: for me personally their best gig in years. But I'm not an expert like some of you out there. This was my 15th Quo gig, I think.

Revisit the October 2001 event list  

undated - Review of "Rockers Rollin' - Quo In Time 1972-2000" in Q magazine

The following review of the 4-CD anthology set appeared in the October issue of the UK music magazine, Q.

NO FRILLS - Just Stripped Down 12-Bar Boogie. Add The Odd Vintage Warplane.

"Rockers Rollin'" UNIVERSAL 5892162 / 293.21 mins

"Heads down no nonsense boogie", they called it: the sound of pyschedelia, glam, and just about every other post-Chuck Berry development being hurled from the nearest window, and four musicians combining their most basic instincts with piledriving volume. It was Status Quo's stock in trade - and, though more snooty readings of rock history suggest otherwise, it has allowed them to be a truly inescapable presence for nigh-on 15 years. Noel Gallagher would presumably concur: in the wake of the distinctly heads down "Roll With It", he commissioned the "Quo-asis" T-shirt that smirkingly acknowledged the musical debt.

There are 68 tracks spread across the gloriously titled "Rockers Rollin'" spanning the Mercury years between 1972-2000, and driven by the divide between the classic Quo line-up and the incarnation that sprang up after their spilt. The former authored such thrilling chunks of gonzo-rock as "Paper Plane", "Down Down" and "Caroline"; by the end of the '90s, the latter had released the "Anniversary Waltz", a rock 'n' roll medley poised somewhere between Chas 'n' Dave and Jive Bunny.

Thus the whole of CD 4 gives off a rum odour indeed, though it's just about redeemed by the content of CDs 1 and 2. Here, you're party to the sound of a long-lost British culture; indeed listening to "Roll Over Lay Down" and a show stopping reading of The Doors' "Roadhouse Blues" - both taken from 1977's Status Quo Live!- you can almost smell the Double Diamond. That said, it wasn't all beer and bovver, as evidenced by Rick Parfitt's "Living On An Island" (1979), a distillation of rock star burn-out that almost succeeds in being tear jerking.

Fans of the band's peak period will presumably be charmed by the inclusion of unheard material - though, Status Quo being Status Quo, it hardly throws up many musical surprises. They may also note the odd anomaly, such as the non-appearance of "Margeurita Time", the very atypical ballad that brought the band a top 5 hit in 1983. One can only assume that it was vetoed by one-time bassist Alan Lancaster, said to have greeted its first rendition as follows: "I've got to face my family and play this? I'm a rocker." Nigel Tufnel would have been proud.

Revisit the October 2001 event list