At The City Hall, Newcastle, U.K., December 2, 2006

Back in the 70s, no self-respecting Rocker would be seen without a Quo patch on their battered denims as their brand of no-nonsense heads-down Boogie won them a large and loyal following.

Throughout the 80s and 90s, however, they were increasingly viewed more as a cabaret act and dismissed by many as “has-beens.” Despite this, their strong fan base remained, defying the fickle whims of fashion.

Recently there has been resurgence in the Quo following via the release of two strong studio albums, which delved deep into their rocking roots, as Quo showed no signs of slowing down.

A sold out City Hall is a mark of their huge pulling power in the live arena. What makes this so astonishing is the sheer range of people in this night’s crowd. There were the diehard denim clad rockers, middle-aged business types, silver-haired first generation fans, and surprisingly a large number of youngsters, some there with their parents and others with their mates. These are not reluctant attendees. As the night drew on, the younger element really got down and into the spirit of the show — a new generation of Quo fans in the making.

Quo, having been round the block once or twice, know how to work an audience; in fact you could say they are masters of this art. What better way to get a crowd pumping than with opener, “Caroline.” The enthusiastic crowd was immediately on their feet, headbanging to the beat, or head-nodding for those of an older persuasion, while Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi bobbed up and down in unison!!

With a set list of favorites from “Paper Plane,” “Whatever You Want,” and “What You Proposing,” to the obscure nuggets such as “Rain” and material from their most recent releases Heavy Traffic and Riffs, there was something for everyone.

With a back catalog as huge as Quo’s, it’s difficult to fit everything into the set, so there were a couple of medleys thrown in for good measure, allowing gems such as “Red Skies” to get an airing.

Although most of the set followed the tried and tested Quo formula, there were moments where the tempo changed with the acoustic “Gerdundula” and “In The Army Now” being the prime examples.

Parfitt and Rossi, in particular, really worked the crowd like circus ring masters, coaxing every ounce of enthusiasm from the lively audience. As usual, there was plenty of cheeky banter both on stage and with the punters.

Closing the set with a riotous trio of “Roll Over Lay Down,” an irrepressible “Down Down” and a storming “Rockin’ All Over The World,” Quo made sure the crowd bayed for more.

Quo duly obliged and returned with the aforementioned “In The Army Now” before launching into the “Bye Bye Johnny/Rock and Roll Music” medley to close the proceedings for the night.

All credit to Quo, they may have their detractors and knockers, but they sure know how to put on a show and entertain a crowd. All but the most hardened cynics would have gone home after the show with a smile on their faces.

After plying their brand of no nonsense boogie for the best part of 40 years, Quo have their craft down to a fine art, and at this rate you wouldn’t bet on them not continuing for another 40 years.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.