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Hello Quo! - premiere coverage

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The only thing that's changed is the waist size...

Hello Quo! - premiere coverage...

I first saw the Quo back in 1981 and although they said ‘goodbye’ in 1984 on their farewell tour we, the loyal fans, were delighted that they could not resist entering back into the recording studio and heading back on the road again...and again...and again. This year, like their semi centennial celebrating brothers The Stones, they rack up another milestone, in what has now become known as ‘the business’. However, unlike the Stones, the Quo were never cool but could always be relied on for a rawdy good night out.

Theirs is a very British type of pop pub rock which never found favour in the States. The Americans never took to the Quo. Having invited twelve bar blues they weren’t really interested in a bunch of Limeys speeding it up and feeding it back to them. Good...their loss; and it allowed the Quo to concentrate on providing good old fashioned head banging boogie woogie to their legions of Brit fans who call themselves the Quo Army.

And so, on a damp October evening in London, that very army turned out for parade. Denim is to a Quo fan what a red tunic and bearskin is to a grenadier guard, and the army were extremely well turned out this evening. Patches are the medals of honour on a Quo army veteran’s uniform - sewn into the backs of jackets they proudly show off the years of loyal service. Nineteen Nineties tour patches are admired, Eighties coveted and Seventies mementoes positively craved after.

Like the members of the band, the fans are a little wider in the waist, not 28” waist jeans these days - more likely double that number - with hair a few shades grayer (or missing) and faces that resemble the levis at the bottom of the basket; the ones left unwashed and unloved. Many of the faithful had travelled far to catch a glimpse of the band as they strode down the red carpet to the entrance of the Odeon Leicester Square.

Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt are of course the main attractions of the evening. Although other members have come and gone, the Quo without the two founding members seems unthinkable. They both love to talk greeting old faces in the masses that have been regulars at the front of the stage for many long tours.

Always good of humour and with buckets of charm, the two took plenty of time to shake hands with the faithful and sign as many album sleeves as time would allow. The weather couldn’t dampen the mood of the crowd who were ecstatic to see their heroes in their hour of triumph. After all, the band have battled a number of critics over the years, many of whom stating - rather harshly - that 'every song sounds the same’. Worse still, a part of me has to agree with them, but it is still a winning formula; and no one seems to criticise Sinatra for singing the same song for sixty years.

They have a classic sound and we love them for it. John Peel would often spin Down Down during his Eighties sets knowing that it was a sure thing as a crowd pleaser. Was he playing it ironically ? Who cares! He was playing it and it was our music. Music to lose yourself to. Legs wide apart, hunched over a well tuned air guitar, the hair would shake and the sweat would flow. Not wordy like Zeppelin, not as heavy as The Who, The Quo were special. There was, and still is, no one like them.

We came together to celebrate and roar are approval at our champions of blues. Our conquerors of the chunky chord. Our defenders of the bar room boogie. Our Quo. And the boys didn't disappoint - as majestic on the big screen as they were in concert, Hello Quo! will surely go down as the latest triumph in an ever-extending line of  musical documentaries.

So...here’s to another album, another tour and another bloody good night out. See you there!

See also:

Review: Hello Quo!


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