There are several things that herald the arrival of December, the first Christmas tree, your Visa card in meltdown and the annual Quofest rolling into a town near you. Quofest is an event that the faithful look forward to year on year, and over the last couple of years have seen the band supported by Joe Brown, Roy Wood and Kim Wilde amongst others.
On this year’s trek though the support was to vary during the tour and on the opening night in Glasgow the honour fell to Knock Out Kaine. This was a huge gig for the guys and anticipation was high for a good night, but Quo fans can be a fickle bunch, they know what they like and they like what they know, so how would KOK fare?
Although the Knock Out Kaine name was new to most of the crowd, the guys have been touring for years and frontman Dean Foxx knows how to work a crowd. I’m not sure who decided on the opening track, but it was a masterstroke, after an intro of ‘Hooray For Hollywood’ the band launched into a full on, rocking version of ‘We Will Rock You’, which instantly won the crowd over and success was ensured. Through the set, which was taken mostly from the band’s excellent debut album ‘ House Of Sins’, applause gradually turned to cheers as the crowd swelled. Another well timed cover of Steve Earle’s ‘Copperhead Road’ went down a storm as did the big ballad track from the album, ‘Coming Home’. By the time we reached the last couple of numbers the crowd were well and truly won over and even indulged in a singalong on the final track of the set, ‘Save Me’.
Knock Out Kaine had most certainly achieved all they hoped for and chatting to the guys just after the set they appeared to be ecstatic and shell shocked in equal measure. Get used to it guys as crowds of this size should be a regular occurrence very soon.
With the auditorium now well warmed up and packed out the stage was set for the one and only Status Quo. As the lights dimmed, the cheers went up, the band wandered on stage and kicked off with ‘Caroline’. As always Quo were…well, Quo actually.
These annual treks very rarely change and that’s just how the faithful like it. I last saw Quo a couple of years ago in the SECC and to be honest tonight’s show was a carbon copy. That’s not a criticism though as this is why they can sell out venues year after year. Messrs Rossi and Parfitt give the crowd exactly what they want, all the hits, ‘Down, Down’, ‘Paper Plane’, ‘Rockin’ All Over The World’ etc, a couple of newer numbers to keep things fresh and it all adds up to a highly entertaining evening.
The crowd were loving every minute, Quo have always had a very loyal support in Glasgow harking back to the old Apollo days. Rossi was in fine form, laughing and joking with the masses at the front, especially about trying to read the set list without his glasses ! All the usual tracks were aired, a medley of many of the band’s numbers went down a storm as did newer tracks like ‘The Oriental’ and ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll ’n’ You’ from the band’s latest album ‘Quid Pro Quo’.
By the time we reached ‘Rockin’ All Over The World’ Quo had proved once again what fun twelve bar boogie can be. They returned though for a couple of encores the first being a Christmas medley including ‘Walking In A Winter Wonderland’ and ‘Jinglebell Rock’ followed by a bouncing version of ‘Burning Bridges’ to round off the night.
You may not get a concept album or a full on stage production from Quo, but if it’s a top pre- Christmas night out you are looking for then there are few better.
Review and photos by David Wilson
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