John Coghlan's Quo – The Greystones, Sheffield, Saturday 2nd November, 2019
Set 1: Junior's Wailing/Rockers Rollin'/Something 'Bout You Baby I Like/April, Spring, Summer & Wednesdays/Gerdundula/A Year/Don't Waste My Time.
Set 2: Caroline/Roll Over Lay Down/Pictures Of Matchstick Men/Paper Plane/All The Reasons/Rain/Roadhouse Blues.
Encore: Down Down/Bye Bye Johnny.
Well it really has been a year since JC and the boys were here in Steel City but this time it's a different venue further out the way of the centre of Sheffield, as well as having a new member on lead guitar who took the place of Rick Abbs who left last year.
Now it's always a bit daunting for a band when they play a venue for the first time since neither them or the Promoter is sure how it's going to go down, but I am pleased to inform that 'The Backroom' of The Greystones was reasonably full (with all the seats taken out too). A rock show with seats is never good right? Haha! Maybe a bit of space towards the back but you don't notice it as much at the front do you?
Okay, they made a cock up in 'Rockers Rollin' – proving that none of us are perfect – even the pros make mistakes. Memorex is never an option with the old guard either. It was acknowledged later in a speech by John though – you are all forgiven buddy. The rest of the set was at the usual high standard, if not better with Pete Mace now a solid permanent member of the band.
Bassist, Rick Chase took care of most of the material with regard to the lead vocals and all the banter in-between the songs. Another difference was that 'Pictures Of Matchstick Men' wasn't as extended as we had seen previously although was slightly rockier than heard on previous outings. Sound-wise it was absolutely fine with both vocals and instruments coming out well in the mix with the stage well lit too that hardly changed at all so the folks in here could see the band well throughout the night.
During John's speech, Mr. C had the audience give three cheers for Rick Parfitt as well as entertaining everyone with some tongue in cheek humour - talking about Francis Rossi on the reunion tour banning alcohol, going onto say that Rick got on their bus at stops to have a drink and play music. No doubt to Rossi's disapproval if he had known – or maybe he did and turned a blind eye at the time? Who knows?
Highlights in the set that was split into two halves included 'Gerdundula' which was a bit bit more 'rockified' or should we say 'rocking' than had been heard previously. 'Don't Waste My Time' was a particular stand-out too that had the hardcore in here moving a bit whilst 'Paper Plane' had that extra dose of power to it as well as the usual audience participation that Quo shows are famous for.
There was a choice between 'Roadhouse Blues' & 'Rocking All Over The World' with that famous Doors number winning hands down. The chosen cut also included the famous Quo instrumental piece which we all fondly know as 'The Bit' that achieved to get a few bouncing around to it down at the front. We were even treated to some harp playing during the classic too, courtesy of their Roadie.
After a short rest, it was time for the encore tune which was that old fave in 'Down Down'. It had a false start because Mick Hughes guitar was out of tune! Well it was live wasn't it! After a quick peg-twist or two, Mick quipped, “Believe me, it sounds better in tune”, soon re-starting and blasting the place away. The double D segued into 'Bye Bye Johnny' with a good sing-along and big finish with folk wanting more. Always the tell-tale sign of a brilliant gig is that!
The band had played in Great Yarmouth the night before at a Sci-fi Convention at 11pm (now that's a late start to say the least). They were the only band on and they did admit to being a bit frazzled after the journey to Sheffield during the day – Well who wouldn't be right? Even joking that Sylvester McCoy (of Dr. Who fame) may have even been in the audience for. It's not known if the music of the Quo made the Doctor feel good.
Joke aside, there was a promise of new/different songs next year and would hopefully be back here at Greystones which got warm 'n' sweaty like a proper Quo show should be! See ya next time no doubt!
by Steve Cooper & Glenn Milligan
Photographs by Steve Cooper