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Hello Quo (2012)

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With 128 million worldwide album sales already under their collective belts, two OBE awards, a million neon lit 'Sold Out' signs, a record 108 appearances on Top of the Pops, this will ... See full summary »

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With 128 million worldwide album sales already under their collective belts, two OBE awards, a million neon lit 'Sold Out' signs, a record 108 appearances on Top of the Pops, this will never be beaten or even equalled! You'd think that HRH Prince Charles favourite band had nothing more to prove in the field of entertainment... But, they've NEVER in all their long and glorious history been seen on a cinema screen... Written by Aidan

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Status Quo are switching from the silver records to the silver screen!

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Documentary | Music

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22 October 2012 (UK)  »

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Quid pro Quo
16 November 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

My growing-up music was the early 70's when Glam Rock was all the rage in the UK but always there in the background in the singles charts were Quo, the antithesis of Glam, with their bedenimmed, heads-down-no-nonsense boogie and hits like "Paper Plane", "Break The Rules" and "Caroline" yet somehow by osmosis, they still become inextricably linked to that happiest of musical eras for me so that I can't bring myself to hate them, as I probably should.

Whether they're worth an extended documentary like this is debatable and I more suspect the band came to the director with the idea than the other way around, but while hardly the most exciting or vital of musical histories, like the band's lumbering music, it was easy and enjoyable enough to watch. You have to admire their chutzpah reinventing themselves from psychedelic poppers to blue-jean boogie-merchants but that's about as earth- shattering as it gets here.

Told in straightforward back-to-front style, the film employs the time-honoured technique of individual interviews of the band members, concentrating not unnaturally on the two stalwarts of the band Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt, but not missing out on the two sacked members of the original group, bassist Alan Lancaster and drummer John Coghlan, who presumably cooperated after they were invited back to play and tour again to give the film its circular, presumably happy ending (although I've read elsewhere that Rossi has since described the reunion tour as "hard work" with his two rusty old colleagues obviously trying his patience somewhat - although I hardly think musical proficiency is that big a deal in this band).

Like I said, the band themselves aren't really important enough unlike say the Beatles, Stones or Led Zeppelin in the overall musical milieu to really compel the viewer's attention, relying more on their longevity and "national treasure" status (even to the extent of receiving OBE's in the Honours List) to garner curiosity and listening to them discussing the creation of songs like "Living On An Island" or "Margarita Time" like they were "A Day In The Life" or "Stairway To Heaven" is accidentally amusing, but they tell their story cheerily and self-deprecatingly enough, interspersed with musical clips a-plenty and superstar fellow-traveller contributions amongst whom Paul Weller seems the most reluctant and Def Leppard's Joe Elliott surprisingly the most pithy. The director does however do a good job on tracking down early participants in the group's history, down to the two girls Parfitt backed in a summer season at Butlins where he met his fellow band-mates for the first time.

Nothing really earth-shattering occurs in the group's history although they might like to think otherwise for things like opening Band Aid, appearing on "Coronation Street" and Parfitt's heart surgery but in truth later items like playing 4 shows in a day in the UK just come across as publicity stunts to keep them in the news.

It's all really very amiable and safe, for example nobody really owning to why the group broke up down the years, although you suspect "nice-guy" Rossi isn't perhaps all he seems and the band's music lost the little edge it had when they recorded the dire "Living On An Island" way back in 1976, but I didn't mind looking in on this undemanding story of these old pro's who rather like another of their fans here, like them, popular here but never Stateside, Cliff Richard will go down in British pop-music history as perennial and successful if unoriginal and unexciting footnotes.


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