The annual pilgrimage of the biking fraternity to the Olivers Mount circuit in Scarborough saw an ideal opportunity for "State of Quo" to play to the old Quo heartlands. Although playing on the opening night of the week long event, a good number of the die hard bikers had already arrived and pitched tents and couldn't resist seeing the band - the fact that the marquee they played in was situated right next to the bar made it impossible for them to ignore "State of Quo" anyway !
The standard "State of Quo" line-up appeared on stage to find the marquee less than half full, with the front stalls being less than crowded with a few familiar Quo supporters. Undeterred, the band kicked off and succeeded in getting the small crowd to join them in 90 minutes of classic Quo. Highlights of the set were "Big Fat Mama", one of their strongest songs, and the much discussed "Forty Five Hundred Times". This 16-minute epic gave the band room to experiment and show themselves off as the class live act they have become. Not having John Coghlan at the helm of the drumkit seemed no disadvantage as Dave did a great job. With the proper PA and full band (including Rufus on keyboards making all the difference to songs like "Break The Rules"), "State of Quo" impressed once more, not only with their musical accuracy but also their enthusiasm.
A great night of old Quo played how it should be, enjoyed by a perhaps disappointingly small crowd but at least one which genuinely appreciated what they were seeing. Good to see some mailing list members along as well and the chance to see this band should not be missed by any Quo fan, especially those brought up on a diet of 70s Quo.Revisit the September 1998 event list
The second time that "4 Bills And A Ben" had ventured to this large venue in South London, but the first time in their configuration with Jeff Rich and John 'Rhino' Edwards. The Worcester Park Tavern is the perfect 4 Bills venue - large enough to hold a good crowd, but intimate enough to create a great atmosphere and allow appreciation of the professionalism displayed by this band.
The band took stage at about 9.30pm, utilising all the available space with Rich's kit, keyboard and room to manoeuvre for Johnny Warman (lead vocals), Steve Byrd (lead guitar), Rhino Edwards (bass and vocals) and Andy Hamilton (saxophone). The familiar blend of rock 'n' roll and soul numbers offered by the Bills soon got the crowd going and the whole place was buzzing within a few songs. Warman is the ideal frontman, milking the audience for all they're worth and feeding from their enjoyment and adulation. Rhino was in flippant mood and clearly enjoyed every minute, even if it took half the set to get his guitar in tune. Jeff Rich always gives 100% and this gig was no exception - his solid rhythm provides the backbone to which the Bills attach themselves and he never fails to impress. Seeing both him and Rhino playing in this environment is a privilege for Quo fans, not only to see them up close but also to see them display a musical prowess that their life with Quo rarely lets them fully utilise. As 11 o'clock loomed large, the 4 Bills left the stage but there was always going to be an encore and another ten minutes or so flowed easily. The hot and sweaty crowd has been wringed out by Warman and the lasting image is one of many smiling faces after a good night of quality music, performed by true professionals.
The large crowd included a number of mailing list members, including Kev Sullivan, Jennie Walker, Matthew Bradshaw and Matt Fearn, and some familiar Quo fans as well. A great night and hopefully soon to be followed by another 4 Bills gig in October. I've said it before, but will say it again - any Quo fan should go and see 4 Bills if they get the chance, they are superb and a great night is assured.Revisit the September 1998 event list