I spent Saturday and Sunday the weekend before last at the O2 Academy in Glasgow watching The Frantic Four, or if you like, the original 70’s Status Quo.
Back in ’84 I spent two nights in a row watching Quo at the Glasgow Apollo on their “farewell” tour and in the years since them I’ve seen them a handful of times where they were rather light on original members and unconvincing in delivery.
But all is now forgiven, by the original members towards each other and by me towards the band for tarnishing my memory of the music and making sure I hardly listened to them for 20 years.
Four old blokes in various states of repair took to the stage on the first night to a roar I haven’t heard at a gig in a long time and rocked the venue with commitment and energy I’d like to see teenagers muster.
The band were watched through misted eyes by many of those present, 40 year old album tracks were sung word perfect by a sold out audience with shaky voices. I’ve never been to a gig like it.
The second night was always going to be different, I wasn’t watching it through a filter of nostalgia and emotion, and I was a little worried. The same four old blokes wandered onto the stage and were louder and tighter than the night before. It’s chemistry, songs played by their creators just sound right, Quo always were more than the sum of their parts and that’s why they’ve been so lame for so many years, there were too many parts missing to make anything approaching a whole.
The crowd were louder, this was originally the first night of the reunion tour which sold out in ten minutes leading to more dates being added and there were more old fans in the crowd, my age and older, blokes who’s skipped work to sit on the internet and get tickets to relive dreams or memories of the Glasgow Apollo in 1976.
The tour’s now finished, Wembley Arena last night was the last show. Is that it for the Frantic Four? If it is I’ll never see Quo again, and maybe it’s better that way. If they made an album, it could never match the early 70’s classics and if they kept touring they’d have start slipping songs like Rocking All Over The World into the live set to keep the regular punters coming along, where this tour has been heaven for long term fans, no songs after ’76 in the set. Glorious.
If that’s it, my last memory of the band is now a great one, in a life of many hundreds of live shows, I’ve just had new entries into the top ten and my love of the music is fully restored.
Happy with that.