Tuesday, April 7, 2015
STATUS QUO: "Aquostic Live @ The Roundhouse" [2CD/1DVD]
Label: earMUSIC/Edel 2015
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
Aquostic Quo - it bloody well works? I don't know. The problem with stripping down to your acoustics? You don't leave anything to imagination? Many of the Quo songs are based on loud guitars and the very basic and straight forward arrangement. Sure. Some of them work in the spare, stripped-back version while others are clearly not allowed to shine, since all of their emotional heft and power are connected to/with the electricity. The 2CD, 1 DVD, release of Aquostic Live @ The Roadhouse features string section, backup singers, acoustic guitars, and the laid-back atmosphere and attitude.
Here's something you don't hear every day though. 'The accordion player is on fire!' The songs that works (in my humble opinion) are: Rock N Roll. What You're Proposing. Softer Ride (excellent harmonica on this one). Rollin' Home. Marguerita Time. Whatever You Want. Rockin' All Over The World. The real winners are: "Pictures Of Matchstick Men" (this mostly works thanks to its marvelous string arrangement) and "Don't Drive My Car". I never payed it much attention in the past. However, the clever lyric and rhythm works like a charm as the aquostic version. The arrangements got changed slightly and it's a different experience from your ordinary Quo gig. But it's hardly better now?
Bonus DVD feature: Behind the Acoustics. "In all these years, 45 years, we've never done a show sitting down". Now try and watch them standing up after the show (ooh my back, ooh my legs). Hear the female backup singers saying that 'quite a lot of these songs being so blokey that we weren't sure if our voices would actually fit, if it would work'. They're not actually singing all of the time though. So I guess it didn't work? Hear the drummer saying that everything is so laid-back and calm. 'I'm using brushes and light cymbals over here'. Yes, mate. It's clearly not your day-dreaming Heavy Metal show of the century. Cheeky and fun banter between the two geezers (Rick Parfitt, Francis Rossi) as they're not afraid to joke around about getting older or telling the loo-story about the Matchstick Men. They seem to enjoy playing the laid-back show every now and then (every 45 year). The rather short and bitter sweet behind the scene documentary. Not as long as expected really and definitely not as informative.
Final verdict: Professional done and executed (it's the BBC production). But merely intended to please the die-hard fans? Crank up the amps to 11 next time as we prefer the electric Quo?