This gig was part of a weekend billed as ‘Rockin’ The Stadium’ which saw the home ground of the mighty Falkirk FC being taken over for a musical extravaganza. Days one and two were of little interest and didn’t exactly ‘rock’ with Ronan Keating on the first night and a mix of barely memorable 80’s acts on the second. The prospect of Quo, ably supported by 10cc, was much more enticing and being 20 minutes from home it would have been rude not to…
First up were 10cc, a band I have always liked but until tonight had not witnessed live. With the stadium filling nicely the band took to the stage and started off with ‘The Second Sitting For The Last Supper’. Two things quickly became apparent, firstly the sound was spot on and secondly 10cc are one hell of a band live.
Graham Gouldman was centre stage as always flanked by long time guitarist Rick Fenn and the multi -talented Mike Wilson who covered most bases including vocals, keyboards, percussion, guitar and no doubt coffee making duties backstage. The set was unsurprisingly a greatest hits package with ‘Wall Street Shuffle’ up next which had the crowd singing along as did ‘Things We Do For Love’ which followed.
The trademark harmonies were spot on throughout and the musicianship was top notch. The band threw in another less well known track midset in the shape of ‘ Feel The Benefit’ which showcased the band’s musical talents perfectly.
From that point though it was classics all the way with ‘I’m Not In Love’ and ‘Dreadlock Holiday’ rounding off the set. Another mic appeared centre stage and the band reappeared for an acapella version of ‘Donna’ with a great falsetto vocal from Mike Wilson. The guys then donned their instruments once more for a rocking version of ‘Rubber Bullets’ to round off a fantastic set that went down a storm with the crowd.
Fantastic they may have been but Gouldman and co had still to leave the stage when the ‘Quo’ chants began. A Status Quo crowd are a fairly single-minded bunch and loyal to the core. Most will turn up time and time again to see their heroes live and no matter where or when it’s always party time. As the lights went down a roar went up and we were off and rocking once again.
Following the Frantic Four tour earlier in the year the band have returned to their usual line-up with the exception of new drummer, Leon Cave, who previously played with Rossi in his solo outing. The set was hit after hit, starting with ‘Caroline’, ‘Paper Plane’ and ‘Hold You Back’. Rossi and Parfitt were looking fit and well and were up for a good night.
The last couple of times I have seen the guys live were in Glasgow as part of their festive jaunts. The Glasgow dates always tend to be towards the end of the tour and I have felt that perhaps they were a bit tour-weary by the time they reached the SECC. The shows were good, but the energy levels were a bit low, tonight however the band were up for a good night and looked much more sprightly, although as Francis Rossi claimed he was freezing, perhaps he just kept moving to keep warm!
Perhaps surprisingly there was nothing aired from the new ‘Bula Quo’ album, the newest track played being ‘Rock ‘n Roll and You’ from the Quid Pro Quo album. It was the older crowd pleasers though that got the biggest cheers of the night, ‘In The Army Now’, ‘Roll Over Lay Down’ ‘Down, Down’, the crowd sang and danced through them all with great enthusiasm. Rounding off the main set with ‘Whatever You Want’ and the ultimate crowd pleaser ‘ Rocking All Over The World’ the band exited the stage to resounding cheers from the faithful. They returned after a another ‘Quo’ chorus from the crowd for ‘Don’t Waste My Time’ and ‘Rock ‘n Roll Music’ which lead into ‘Bye Bye Johnny’ to round off a great night.
This package of 10cc and Quo will be back out on the road throughout November and December and on this evidence the tour promises to be a (Christmas) cracker. Get your tickets now, I can guarantee you value for money.
Review and photos by David Wilson
Photo gallery by Noel Buckley (Bula Quo Film premiere, London, 1 July 2013)
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