Status Quo at The O2, Dublin – Review & Photos
Status Quo – Rockin All Over the O2 – 12 April 2014
Status Quo rolled into Dublin tonight for a concert with a hint of nostalgia. Quo have had a somewhat split personality throughout their career, with the original band fragmenting acrimoniously in their 80s coke addled years, only to reform sans their original bass player and drummer (Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan respectively).
The Status Quo we’ve known since then have been a mish mash of pop, rock and self parody, the band having produced little of any real value since the early 80s. Last year, however, saw a thaw in the frosty relationship between the original members and led to a short reunion tour of Britain.
Tonight’s concert was a continuation of that reunion of the ‘Frantic Four’ as they came to be known. This has also been reflected in the setlist for this concert tour, drawing only on material recorded during their 70s golden period. The setlist loosely reflected their classic ‘Live’ album famously recorded at the Glasgow Apollo in 1976. ‘Juniors Wailing’ got the ball rolling and had the crowd on their feet straight away. ‘Backwater’ and ‘Just take Me’ followed and proved that, although he make look shaky on his feet, bass player Alan Lancaster can still belt out a solid tune.
Status Quo’s brand of no nonsense boogie is infectious and makes it almost impossible to sit still while watching them. The crowd rarely stopped moving during the set, impressive considering the average age was probably in the late 40s/early 50s.
Although the setlist was short on hits, there were still a few well known tunes that probably received the biggest cheers on the night, those being ‘Rain’ and ‘Down Down’. Another highlight was the signature tune from the ‘Hello’ album ‘Forty Five Hundred Times’ for the Quo aficionados. They also threw in a couple of tunes from their career defining 1970 album ‘Ma Kellys Greasy Spoon’, ‘(April) Spring, Summer and Wednesdays’ and ‘Gotta Go Home’. ‘Roadhouse Blues’ closed the set and after a short break they were back with a bang for ‘Caroline’, one of their best known tunes, and the final song of the night, the Chuck Berry cover ‘Bye Bye Johnny’.
Impressive work for a bunch of sixty-something year olds. It’s also apparent from the stage that they are enjoying themselves revisiting old glories, and long may it continue. Quo have been much derided in the last few decades, but for those of us of a certain vintage, it brings a warm feeling to see your musical heroes reclaiming and reinforcing their legacy (at last!). It’s obvious from the full house that this is the Quo that people want to see as opposed to the latest incarnation (who are due to go out on the road again as soon as the Frantic Four tour is over).
A great night for (real) Quo fans. There’s life in the old dogs yet and let’s hope that this isn’t the last time the Frantic Four play together again (and again and again and again).
Review by Tony Martin
Photos by Anamaria Meiu