STATUS Quo, the most appropriately named band in the rockosphere, try something different with their latest tour.
Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt, the group linchpins since the late 1960s, have reunited with two old muckers, bassist Alan Lancaster and drummer John Coghlan, to rekindle an association which dates back to pre-Quo beat group The Spectres and lasted into the 1980s.
Their simple intention was to roll out some vintage Quo sounds from the early 70s. Fathers prised young sons away from the Xbox for the night to witness this connoisseur’s collection from the self-styled Frantic Four and the mood in the rammed venue was jubilant.
Lancaster took lead on the gnarly blues rocker Junior’s Wailing, which was closer in its hungry spirit to Motorhead and ZZ Top than the moribund boogie with which the band have become too easily associated. Occasionally, they did lean on those default riffs but, while it would be too generous to call this set fresh, it was dispatched with an energy which stemmed from the quartet’s particular chemistry.
Rossi certainly suggested there might have been chemical stimulation involved in the writing of the belligerent Is There A Better Way. Big Fat Mama was as unreconstructed as its title suggests but the epic Forty-five Hundred Times provided a more sophisticated study in shimmering vibrato-meets-heads-down boogie as they careered towards the curtain with a salvo of Down Down, their singalong version of Chuck Berry’s Bye Bye Johnny and a cover of The Doors’ Roadhouse Blues, embellished with Bob Young’s harmonica.