Status Quo Newcastle City Hall 15th May 1979

Status Quo Newcastle City Hall 15th May 1979
quotix79It was three years since Satus Quo had played in Newcastle, and this time they were back to play three nights at the City Hallon 15th, 16th and 17th May 1979. I went to the first night of the three. This was a slicker, smoother Quo, although the set contained mostly rockers. In terms of songs played, this was classic Quo with all the favourites: “Caroline” as opening song, “Backwater”, “4500 Times”, “Don’t Waste My Time”, “Roadhouse Blues” and the great singalong (although more country than rock) “Dirty Water”. But the softer songs, and Francis’ country leanings, were creeping in, much to the annoyance of Alan Lancaster, who was denim and hard rock through and through. This was the beginning of the end, which would come in a few years time. An example of those softer leanings was the release of Rick’s “Living on an Island” as a single in 1979.
Things I remember about this gig: I thought the tickets were getting very expensive for Quo at £5 a seat, I was disappointed that there was no support on this tour as Quo usually had a great opening act, the backline of amps was massive and unlike any I had seen before, and it was a good gig but much slicker, professional and less raw than shows of old.
quoprogSome great quotes from the programme, which continue to portray the guys as the band of the people and down-to-earth: “We don’t get Jackie Onassis or Princess Margaret droppin’ backstage after a go like the Rolling Stones or Rod Stewart. We generally get Joe Bloggs from the factory …that’s who we get along fine with” (Bob Young); “Status Quo – the only band to buy all their equipment with No 6 cigarette coupons” (NME); “Parfitt stripped to the waist and in ragged jeans looking more like a builder’s labourer than a rock star has retained a workmanlike approach. His own stage T-shist cost him 75p. They all wear jeans. There is no gimmickry during a performance (Daily Express).
Typical setlist of the time: Caroline, Roll over lay down, Backwater, Rockers Rollin’, Is there a better Way, Hold You Back, Little Lady, Like a good Girl, Rockin’all over the World, Oh What a Night, Dirty Water, 4500 Times, Big Fat Mama, Don’t waste my Time, Roadhouse Blues, Rain, Down Down, Drum Solo; Bye Bye Johnny.
“Wooh, oh, oh, oh; The water’s getting deep; And I can’t swim; Beacuse it’s dirty dirty water; Wooh, oh, oh, oh; Wooh, oh, oh, oh” (Dirty Water, Staus Quo, 1977).

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