Quo-tation marks

Rachel Watts watches the return of Status Quo to Wolverhampton.

Legendary rockers Status Quo were at Wolverhampton Civic Hall on Sunday night, supported by Cats in Space, a British band whose members boast a lengthy pedigree.

Originally billed as an Aquostic show, Quo decided after the tragic death of Rick Parfitt to go back to what they do best, namely a loud, rocking, electric tour. Opening with the classic track Caroline, the band powered through hit after hit, with Irish guitarist Ritchie Malone brought in to cover Parfitt’s role.

While Francis Rossi engaged with the crowd with his normal happy chat, the band as a whole seemed equally as happy and relaxed. Malone did a great job covering the gap that was left by Parfitt, taking lead vocals on the late guitarist’s Little Lady.

Bass player John Rhino Edwards sang Parfitt’s tracks Rain, Again and Again, while keyboard player Andy Bown covered Don’t Drive my Car and Whatever You Want. While no one could ever replace Parfitt, Rossi has remarked that the new line-up has invigorated the band, and has given them a new energy that was all too clear to see on Sunday night.

Maybe the smaller than normal venue made a difference, but the band were on top form, a few tweaks to the standard set list meaning they could still belt out the much loved classic Quo tracks. Paper Plane sounded better than it has in many years and the crowd loved it.

While Quo have announced that they will not tour in 2018, appearing only at a few festivals this is not a band that has reached the end of their journey, with Rossi hinting at the possibility of a new studio album, there is still more to come.

March 2018 will also see the long awaited release of Rick Parfitts’ posthumous debut solo album, Over and Out, which can be pre-ordered on Amazon, further details can be found on the official Status Quo site, www.statusquo.co.uk.

With the first anniversary of Rick’s death fast approaching, Barrel and Squidger Records have announced their debut release, Rock Remembers Rick, a three track EP, in aid of children’s cancer charity, The Shona Smile Foundation. Quo’s 1971 track Nanana has been adapted with new lyrics to commemorate Rick’s death at Christmas 2016, and features Sweden’s Sounds of Status leading the crowd at the recent Status Quo Fan Club convention though an outro singalong.
The EP is released on 15th December (digital) and 24th December (vinyl), and can be pre-ordered at basr.tmstor.es.

A video has also been released on You Tube: