Quo are back! 1986

Quo are back! 1986
quoarmytixYou can’t keep a good band down. It wasn’t much of a retirement for Francis and Rick. The “End of the Road” in 1984, back for Live Aid in 1985, and then in 1986 a new version of Status Quo emerged with front men Rossi and Parfitt, Rhino Edwards on bass, long time keyboard player Andy Bown, and Jeff Rich on drums. They released the album and single “In The Army Now” and went out on tour yet again. Quo supported Queen on their “It’s A Kind Of Magic UK Summer Tour 1986”. I saw them at the Queen gig at Newcastle St James Park on 9th July 1986. I then saw them headlining at Whitley Bay Ice Rink on 11th December 1986; I won tickets in a competition in a local newspaper. Support at Whitley Bay was Waysted featuring Pete Way and Paul Chapman from UFO. “In the Army Now” is a great single, quite different for Quo and a departure from their usual heads down boogie style, but it worked well live, with use of gunshots at an appropriate point in the song.
quoarmyprogI also have a programme for the “Ain’t Complaining Tour” which called at Whitley Bay on 29th June 1988, although I have no recollection at all of that gig. I do however recall seeing Quo at the massive Knebworth show which took place on 30th June 1990. 120,000 people attended this festival for the “Silver Clef Winners Award” and to see Status Quo alongside Cliff Richard and the Shadows, Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Elton John, Genesis, Paul McCartney and Pink Floyd. Quo were one of the highlights of the day at Knebworth, with major singalongs particularly for “Dirty Water”. The next Quo performance I saw was when they played as special guests for Rod Stewart at Gateshead Stadium in 2nd June 1991. The great Joe Cocker was also on the bill. I also have a vague memory of seeing them at South Shields Temple Park Centre in December 1993.
quo1988progTypical setlist of the period: Whatever You Want, Paper Plane, Roll over lay down, Dreaming, Little Lady, Mystery Medley, Hold You Back, Don’t drive my Car, Dirty Water, In the Army Now, Rockin’all over the World, Big Fat Mama, Don’t waste my Time, Roadhouse Blues, Caroline, Rain, Down Down, Bye Bye Johnny.
Quo continued to be a great live act but, for me, things were never quite the same after Alan Lancaster left. This takes me to 23 times I’d seen the band up until 1993. Although live there was still great, their recorded output was ot great, and the band had lost its way. Singles like “The Anniversary Waltz” (1990) which was a medley of rock’n’roll covers, and the “Don’t Stop” album which was an album purely of covers, and featured the band in suits (now imagine that I the 70s…:) ) on the front sleeve, let themselves down in my view. I have to admit I lost faith a little at this point and missed the next few tours. The next time I saw Status Quo live was 1998. I’ll pick up at that point tomorrow. The 90s were not the best years for Quo, but donor worry a return to form for our heroes was yet to come.

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