Quo re-united and united
STATUS QUO – THE REUNION TOUR
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6
O2, APOLLO, MANCHESTER
“DEAR, dear, dear, whoever would have thought this would happen?” said Francis Rossi as the classic line-up of Status Quo – Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan took to the live stage for the first time for more than 30 years.
In a set which almost exactly mirrored the band’s 1977 live album, the reception given to these four paragons of the 12-bar boogie was tumultuous to say the least.
The packed Apollo, as one, paid homage to the Frantic Four as they stood together in the spotlight, smiling and waving to the crowd.
“What more can be said?” Rossi asked, Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan, as the audience welcomed back the two former members who have come together in this historical tour.
The first four songs: Junior’s Wailing. Backwater, Just Take Me and Is There a Better Way, were all sung by Lancaster, with his hair still long but now grey, and – it has to be said – looking rather frail.
Rossi took over the lead vocals then for In My Chair and thenceforward sang most of the songs, with Parfitt and Lancaster cropping up with the occasional lead vocal as well.
Despite not having played together for so long, the four played as if they had never been apart – although there was a couple of stumbles. The best was when drummer Coghlan started playing Railroad when the rest began Oh Baby – only to discover that Coghlan had played correctly.
For the long-standing Quo fans, the Apollo was a time machine which took us all back to the heady days of the seventies, before Status Quo became the institution it has now become. Their blues roots showed with every song and they played with an energy which belied their mature years.
Just to make the reunion complete, the band’s trusted former road manager and harmonica player Bob Young joined them onstage for Railroad and Roadhouse Blues, although his harmonica was lost at times in the wall of sound that must have shook the building to its’ foundations.
A couple of very notable omissions from the original live album were Caroline and Roll Over Lay Down.
John Coghlan’s favourite track is April Spring Summer, and Wednesdays and it got an airing – and what an airing!
As the crowd were enjoying seeing their heroes reunited on stage, the band also seemed to be having a ball: there were smiles and chats between them.
Forty Five Hundred Times was greeted with massive cheers, as it has always been a concert mainstay and one of Quo’s most popular numbers.
After an encore of Don’t Waste My Time and Bye Bye Johnny, it was over all too soon. Bridges had been built and history had been made. I was privileged to have been there.