John Coghlan's Quo – The Plug, Sheffield, Friday 30th November, 2018
Set 1: Junior's Waling/Rockers Rollin'/In My Chair/April, Spring, Summer & Wednesdays/Claudie/A Year/Spinning Wheel Blues.
Set 2: Caroline/Roll Over Lay Down/Pictures Of Matchstick Men/Paper Plane/All The Reasons/Rain/ Big Fat Mama.
Encore: Down Down.
Well this is my second time seeing John Coghlan's Quo who last year took to the stage in this very room down at The Plug in Sheffield.
At first glance it seemed not many were out but by the the time it reached 8pm there were quite a lot in who were all ready to rock with the band who sported one of the UK's most legendary drummers – Mr. John Coghlan – the original drummer of Status Quo! During the first two or three numbers the lights were too bright so frontman, Mick Abbs got the lighting guy to turn them down a bit, making way for a lot of reddy purple etc there on and some blue.
What made this a memorable night for me was that it was a different set to what I saw last year. I wish the other band with a similar name would do that... This fact took me right back to my early childhood when I was only three as the band did the tremendously great to hear 'Rockers Rollin' as well as 'Claudie' tonight. The band were sure to play John's fave too which is 'April, Spring, Summer And Wednesdays' that always goes down great with its 'na-na-na-na na-na na-na' section. We weren't leaving either – we definitely stayed put!
There were plenty of faves there to keep general fans happy like 'Caroline' 'Paper Plane' and 'Roll Over Lay Down' as well as hardcore cuts like 'Spinning Wheel Blues' or 'In My Chair'. I do love the fact that the set is very early Frantic Four based with cuts from 'Ma Kelly..', 'On The Level', 'Hello! and 'Pildriver' always there in the set. Mick Hughes always nails those Parfitt parts too, not to mention bright backing vocals. I guess you can call him the JCQ engine room!
The atmospheric quiet song, 'A Year' was tonight dedicated to the fallen Lancaster airman of the second World War'. In fact, the band are really into plane restoration – Lancs especially and there was one of the main guys in the audience who was busy with one in a voluntary team – hence the dedication. Even JCQ go and help out when they go when get chance.
The show came in two halves, giving us chance for a chat and a bit of bathroom usage in between – oh and to get a beer in too without missing anything. In part two we were treated to highlights that included a short and slick drum solo from John who never fails to impress with his shuffle based drum style of how Quo used to be. There was the song that was Quo's equivalent of AC/DC's Whole Lotta Rosie (cue the riff from Rick Abbs) that was of course 'Big Fat Mama' and utterly nailed too with a big fat sound – oh yes!
The band had us singing 'All The Reasons' with them and also on our own acapella style – they were really impressed with us too – word for word note perfection – well done Sheffield! John chatted about Rick Parfitt at the front and being in the Frantic Four back in the day and the more recent reunion shows.
He even went on to say he has better fun with these guys – as in his own band quipping that Francis said there was to be no alcohol on those tours with other things said too. Anyway, they took it up a few notches and dedicated 'Rain' to Rick Parfitt who we all miss, especially at this time of year.
Bassist/Vocalist, Rick Chase asked us if anyone saw Status Quo's first appearance on 'Top Of The Pops' before taking us way back into yesteryear with 'Pictures Of Matchstick Men' - a true late 60's gem if ever there was one! Both Ricks took turns in singing lead which kinda made it a guessing game to who was gonna step up to the microphone for what song which I thought was great.
It was an incredible sound in here tonight and way better than last year with plenty of camaraderie on stage that came complete with a ton of smiles from all members. All of John Coghlan's Quo were happy to be there and you could totally tell they were good mates. They have a strong musical brotherhood between them that came out well throughout the show.
After two brilliant sets they encored with a fabulous version of 'Down Down' and then came out to sign autographs on cd's and vinyl albums, have pix with fans and have a good natter – such down to earth guys. Anyone following them on the Australian Tour? – would love to if funds permitted!
Another marvellous night of boogie - the way Quo's music should be played! Love this band and can't wait to see what songs are placed in the set for the Sheffield show come 2019. Until then, we can get out the old albums, put the old denims on and rock out to some of the best riffs ever created in the UK! Be sure to raise a glass to Rick Parfitt while doing so too.
By Glenn Milligan