Album Review: STATUS QUO – The Frantic Four Reunion – Live At The O2 Academy, Glasgow

Status Quo - The Frantic Four Reunion

Fourth Chord Records [Release date 30.09.13]

Anyone with even a passing interest in Quo will know the special relationship the group have with the city of Glasgow and, in particular, the late, lamented Glasgow Apollo. Many ageing rockers in the Glasgow area go misty eyed when recounting Quo gigs at the Apollo back in the day with most claiming to be heard on the group’s seminal album ‘Live!’ recorded there in October 1976.

Fast forward 37 years and The Frantic Four were reunited and back in Glasgow once more. Unfortunately The Apollo was torn down years ago to make way for a cinema and an Australian themed bar, so the O2 Academy stepped in as an able replacement and for two nights Glasgow rocked to the original eight legged boogie machine once more. This double album perfectly captures the atmosphere of those two nights and finds Quo in fighting form.

The set list contains most of the tracks from the ’76 album plus some tracks that haven’t seen the light of day for years. Kicking off with ‘Juniors Wailing’ the band sound like they have never been away, Alan Lancaster in particular is in great voice throughout. John Coghlan is a powerhouse behind the kit and he and Lancaster lay down a solid backbeat whilst Rossi and Parfitt crank out the twelve bar blues like no one else can. The crowd, not to be outdone, add backing vocals throughout obviously loving every minute of the show.

Most of the eighteen tracks featured will be familiar to all including ‘Rain’, ‘Most Of The Time’ and ’Forty-Five Hundred Times’ but it is tracks like ‘ Blue Eyed Baby’ and ‘(April) Spring, Summer and Wednesdays’ that are a joy to hear again.

Status Quo - The Frantic Four Reunion

This release is a ‘must have’ for any self- respecting Quo fan and a perfect reminder of why Status Quo have endured over the years and retain such a loyal following. As well as this album, which will also get a vinyl release in a nod to the ’76 album, there will also be a live DVD /Blu Ray recorded at Wembley, a double CD recorded at the Hammersmith Apollo and a 120 page earBOOK.  The earBOOK will also contain the DVD and live recordings all in one exclusive package, one for the collector then.

The Frantic Four reunion was mooted as a one off, but judging by this album and the reaction to the tour as a whole I wouldn’t bet against another couple of nights in Glasgow in the future, here’s hoping!

*****

David Wilson

Gig review (London, 15.03.13)


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