Did the mighy Quo ever play a a bad concert in the 70s? I am sure they did, but there weren`t many. Here`s another one of those good ones.
Quo`s May blitz
By Pete Makowski
It may be unlucky for some people but to Quo 13 years represents a longevity that equals and even surpasses many well established bands. And to celebrate this little event the band decided to undertake an anniversary tour opening at Leicester`s De Montfort Hall last Thursday.
It was, as expected, a raging success and also revealed a new musical side to the band in a set that lasted over one and three quarter hours and was executed at a ball-breaking pace. The audience was, as expected, solid Quo fans, and being Quo fans they made sure it was an event to be remembered.
The evening opened with a set from The Pretty Things, another band who have been around for a while. Their set was impressive but not properly paced, too many long drawn out `come on clap your hands` sessions. The last time I saw them, their set was tighter, slicker and had more success. Still a really ace rock band.
Quo`s set opened up with a swirling mass of dry ice, the closest the band have ever got to theatrics. The band got onto the stage and it was Blitzkreig. They opened up the set, as they did last tour, with `Love Me When I`m Down`, with Alan Lancaster stooped over his bass, growling the vocals with fire and brimstone. A sea of denims surged forwards as Rossi belted out the vocals of `I Saw The Light`, off the `On The Level` album.
Next a change of guitars and Parfitt took the microphones, slowing the pace down with `Nightride` and then bringing it back up to the normal Quo energy level with `Little Lady`.
Silence fell over the hall as Rossi`s hoarse vocals accompanied by a quiet (would you believe?) guitar backing played `Most Of The Time` which developed into an extra heavy weight twelve bar.
Then came the contrast with a slow tempo country ditty by the name of `Claudie`, featuring some strong harmonies. This was followed by a trip down memory lane in form of `Gerundula`, featuring, wait for it, Rick Parfitt on acoustic guitar, Rossi playing a Les Paul (the first time I`ve seen him play a different guitar) and Alan Lancaster on rhythm guitar… have Quo gone acoustic?
No, but at last they have found a way to pace their set without killing the energy level, the audience didn`t seem to mind and the atmosphere was brought up to an almost electrifying peak with a medley featuring `Backwater`, `Just Take Me` and `Forty Five Hundred Times`, with some surprisingly competent guitar work from Rossi, whose style is usually more forceful than constructive.
These numbers also displayed John Coughlan`s hard tireless attacking drum playing that provides the backbone to Quo`s solid wall of sound. Next came a series of powerchord boogie workouts with Rossi, looking a bit worse of wear by now, running up and down the length of the stage, with Lancaster and Parfitt following his example.
`Roll Over Lay Down`, `Big Fat Momma` and `Don`t Waste My Time` had the crew rocking from side to side. The amazing thing about Quo gigs is that no matter how frenzied the audience is there are never any attempts to storm the stage even though there are no barriers and minimal security.
The set ended with `Roadhouse Blues`, featuring the infamous sailor`s hornpipe and when you see a few thousand kids jigging it`s quite something. The band returned with an encore featuring `Caroline`, `Mean Girl` and an amazing drum solo from John Coughlan, culminating with `Bye Bye Johnny`. Hasn`t anyone told these guys we`ve got an energy crisis? Great stuff.