So this was going to be it. My last Frantic Four Reunion gig. I only got to two last year and two this year, but I wouldn't have missed them for the world. This was the Quo on my beloved video boxset, not the Quo on Saturday Superstore etc... Don't get me wrong, I love them both, I just love the original line-up that much more.
I haven't stood at the Apollo for several years. The room was hot and crowded and as with Hammersmith once the support went off (Toseland) it was easier to go and find a spec. I'm little and was grateful for the sloping floor. It was a smaller venue so even though I was probably as far from the back as I was in Hammersmith I was closer to the stage (though not really very close at.)
Did I mention the heat? I thought I was going to have a panic attack before they came on, but once I was settled and in my little bubble for the gig I was fine. Quick bit of praise for the staff inside the venue, my gig buddy felt faint with the heat and dehydration and when he went to the back to cool down the security people got a St John Ambulance person to check on him and give him some water.
The set ran along the same lines as every show. I think there's been the occasional switching of the order but no different songs. They are definitely tighter this time around. I had a small gripe about the sound though. Rick's vocals were lost in the mix a bit from where I was standing, making the songs on which he sings lead less powerful than in previous shows. That said Big Fat Mama will always be a highlight for me, poor sound on the mic or not.
I would have thought that the inclusion of Caroline would have been met with rapturous enthusiasm at it seemed to be the song people missed the most last year, however, as well received as it was Down Down always seems to steal the popularity crown. I was stood underneath the balcony and could see it moving!
I left the venue just before the final notes of Bye Bye Johnny...somehow it makes it feel like it's never-ending.
Full unedited photos here.
Cropped and edited highlights here.