|Dead End Drive-In: Now Showing - Status Quo|
|Written by Gaz E|
|Sunday, 04 November 2012 04:31|
Hello Quo (2012 Anchor Bay Entertainment)
It could be argued that Alan G. Parker has followed his 2009 documentary 'Who Killed Nancy?' - based on his 2007 book 'Sid Vicious: No One Is Innocent' - with a film focussing on even more controversial subject matter.
Well, let's be honest, no matter how severely the music of his new film's subjects, the legendary Status Quo, has affected the lives of music fans, few seem happy to shout from the rooftops their love of the band in the year 2012.
Or so it would seem.
'Hello Quo', Parker's exhaustive documentary (which refuses to leave your line of vision for around two and a half hours), features possibly the finest collection of talking heads ever assembled to wax lyrical over an outfit whose influence on British pop culture, maybe simply the latter, is extremely hard to argue against, especially after donating 145 minutes of your life to marvelling over this fascinating glimpse behind the legend of Status Quo: Paul Weller, Brian May, Jeff Lynne, Scott Gorham, Ricky Warwick, Andy Scott, Jim Lea, Cliff Richard, Ginger Wildheart, Jeff Elliott, Marty Wilde, Midge Ure, Chris Tarrant, Steve Diggle, Kenney Jones, Linda Nolan and...err...Jim Davidson are among those who contribute to a documentary that is as essential a viewing experience as it is the definitive word on Quo thus far.
Quo, as with many of you I'd suspect, formed part of my rock music education in the 1970s; not so much a gateway drug themselves, but certainly a stepping stone of a musical institution that needed to be crossed on the path to true rock knowledge and power. While the band had already undergone a metamorphosis of sorts - keenly detailed in the film - by the time they became the denim-clad household names that my pre-teen self would investigate, the story of the band's scaling of popularity heights during that time is wholly fascinating and captured well by Parker.
While Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt rule the roost, on film as in the studio, the former in comedic fashion, the latter more cool, it is the interview and vintage footage of bassist Alan Lancaster that really hits the spot for this viewer. Whether it be the footage of him being replaced onstage by a puppet, or his hilarious attack on the song 'Marguerita Time' (culminating in Jim Lea of Slade taking his place for a live Top of the Pops performance that would climax in Parfitt's infamous fall into the drums), Lancaster comes across as the nice guy...even if Quo history books might well paint a slightly different picture.
When the film hits the heights of Live Aid you'd be forgiven for thinking that it's all downhill from there: you would, maybe surprisingly, be wrong. While the past quarter of a century hasn't been necessarily as riddled with so-called coolness for Quo, the fact that they have managed to break world records, appear on Coronation Street, sue Radio One and have quadruple heart by-pass operations in that time tells you that the third act of Parker's excellent documentary isn't one that simply pads out the running time.
With the likes of Sir Cliff almost (almost!) swearing when talking about the state of the modern music business, the film rocks and rolls towards its end with Status Quo's indefatigable spirit captured perfectly before, I guess for many, ending perfectly with footage of Messrs Parfitt, Rossi, Lancaster and Coghlan performing together for the first time in decades. Watch this footage and try not to get a nice, warm feeling in your soul - I dare ya!
'Hello Quo' might have more of the feel of a DVD extra at times compared to the harder-hitting likes of the forthcoming 'Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet' for example, but as a celebration of both a musical legacy and a national institution you'd be hard pushed to ever find anything better. Say hello to some recommended viewing.
To pick up your copy of 'Hello Quo' on Blu-ray or DVD - CLICK HERE