Fourth Chord Records/Warners (2CD) [Release date 10.06.13]
Status Quo have gone silver screen in Kiss fashion with a film Bula Quo, shot in Fiji, with the band playing themselves. The film’s soundtrack (disc 1) features 9 new tracks and kicks off with “Looking Out For Caroline” which, in a middle of the road fashion, nods back to the Caroline of old. “GoGoGo” is more uptempo boogie, very polished, but nods to the moodiness of IV era Toto. Not what you’d expect from Quo at all, but a decent guitar solo.
“Run And Hide (The Gun Song)” is a good hard rock number, but it is not Status Quo – there’s probably no more than half a dozen Quo chords in the entire song. “Running Inside My Head” is a little more Quo but still off the beaten track. Plenty of vocal harmonies and solid guitar work but not classic.
“Mystery Island” sees the band don their grass skirts and play something very Fijian. I don’t know who’s singing on this one, but this is the less like Quo than ever imaginable.
“All That Money” is another solid hard rock number that, again, is unrecognisable. “Never Leave A Friend Behind” likewise, some banging piano aside it is only barely recognisable. A nice melody and plenty of strumming. “Fiji Time” is another one to skip through – it has its party moments but there’s more Bad Manners in here. The title track closes, kicking off very Samoan, and it sees the band in sun soaked party mood. Hawaiian sunstroke ahoy.
A very mixed bag, some good rock tracks and some party nonsense. Barely three chords of Quo, never mind the fourth.
Disc two’s 10 tracks sees some reworkings and live takes on classics. Kicking off with Fiji styled Living On An Island, followed by Frozen Hero (a rocker and the best track so far). The Bula Edit of Rockin’ All Over The World is bluesy and interesting. Amongst the live tracks are Caroline and Down Down, which are as solid and classic as you can get.
I’m sure the band had fun doing this, the musicianship can’t be faulted, but the angle is questionable; a holiday project. Many of the tracks are more what you’d expect on a solo album or single b-side. **1/2
Photo gallery by Noel Buckley (Bula Quo Film premiere, London, 1 July 2013)
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