Guest post by Catherine Trueman
Britain’s best-loved rockers Status Quo returned to The O2 on Sunday 15 December 2013 as part of their Bula Quo! UK tour. With my dad being a massive fan I snapped up the chance to take him on a rock n roll journey in the big smoke. The anticipation began as soon as we stepped on the Grand Central train, as it was my dad’s first train ride in 45years! So what did farmer John make of the experience? Not one for words but…he was rather impressed! Especially since Grand Central offers much more leg room than other operators, delicious food and drink from local suppliers and convenient station stops.
Coming from Thirsk, it’s so handy to have a direct journey to London and as York was the only stop, we reached Kings Cross in just over two hours. After farmer John’s experience of the day number two – the hustle and bustle of the underground, we were ready to hit the shops! Well you can’t have a rock n roll weekend without stocking up on double denim! The ‘Christmas Emporium’ at Selfridges was also well worth a visit for the perfect stocking fillers. Although I must admit it was quite a relief to escape the crowded shops and make our way to the big event. My dad now quite a wizz with the underground, we took the Jubilee line from Bond Street to North Greenwich from where the O2 Arena is a very short walk.
Entertainment Avenue is a fabulous area, even if you don’t have tickets for an event at the O2 Arena. There are countless restaurants and bars including well-known favourites like Nando’s, and TGI Friday’s and huge Cineworld complex. We plumped for a £14.80pp all you can eat Chinese Buffet called ‘The Waterline’. It is definitely recommended with freshly cooked produce, duck pancakes, salmon fillets, steak and yummy macaroons for afters! 5 plates and a mint imperial later I was ready to ‘roll over lay down’ (a track from the mighty Quo back in 1975!)
I was suitably warmed up by the sounds of 70’s rockers 10cc from “I don’t like Reggae, oh yeah! I love it” and “I’m Not in Love and don’t Forget it” fame. Status Quo kicked of their performance with some energetic moves that men twice their age would have struggled to muster. With more hit singles than any other band and more hit albums than The Beatles, the night was full of back to back tracks that Status Quo have seamlessly performed for over 40 years. With equally impressive lighting and band they powered through the first few songs including ‘Caroline’, ‘Paper Plane’ and ‘Beginning of the End’. Rossi took to the stage to greet the crowd in his usually swagger style and was cheered with a mighty uproar. Ever the CD selling professions, the band were quick to announce their recent release of ‘Bula Quo’, the soundtrack to the release of their feature film. Who knew Status quo were more than three cord wonders?!
The performance carried on with crowd pleasers including ‘In the army now’, ‘Rockin’ all over the world’ and ‘whatever you want’. My dad was certainly relishing the nostalgic spectacle; foot tapping along but far from the mini mosh pit of dancing dads taking place a few meters away! For myself, growing up listening to the legendary frantic four, the event was an unrivalled experience and I’m surely in the father’s good books for the foreseeable future!