With a career spanning almost five decades, Status Quo are one of the few acts who can genuinely be called ‘legends’. Over 100 single releases, 60 UK chart hits (more than any other rock band) including 22 in the top ten, the opening act for ‘Live Aid’ in 1985 and recipients of industry awards beyond counting, the band have been a fixture in the UK’s musical landscape seemingly for ever. Perhaps less well-known but just as significant is their long commitment to charities including The Prince’s Trust, the British Heart Foundation and Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy.
In early 2016 the band announced their final electric tour, the appropriately-named ‘Last Night Of The Electrics’, for which London-based Capital Sound deployed their Outline GTO C-12 rig. Long-standing FOH engineer Andy May agreed to use the system following a recommendation from Dave Roden (who used it for The Stereophonics during the summer) and has subsequently taken to it:
“The Status Quo ‘sound’ is so well-known that nearly anyone with a passing interest in music from 60’s / 70’s / 80’s will recognise a Quo song, even if they don’t know the title. The band are very ‘brand aware’ and play the card well. I try to mix the show the way I would want to hear it, nice and punchy with lots of vocals so the crowd can sing along.”
“The GTO C-12 has easily accomplished that task. The system sounds even across the whole spectrum and didn’t seem to shift its tonal balance whether it was driven lightly or hard. Francis Rossi in particular is very in touch with the audience and they hang on his every quip, so having his vocal mic open and crystal clear is paramount. I go for big drums sounds, fat guitars, a good layer of BV’s and make sure all the guitar solos are present.”
“Once the system is installed we never have the need to drop it again to re-adjust the angles or the box count. Day after day the predictions appear to be very consistent. Obviously, the way a system is packaged has a lot to do with the build time and the guys at Capital Sound have put a lot of thought into the way the system travels and the way it’s cased and cabled. The system we’re currently touring is always ready to run by midday, that’s with four hangs of PA and multiple front fills (Outline’s dedicated ‘LIPF 082’ units).”
“Mixing Status Quo is hardly rocket science, and I don’t use anything out of the ordinary, I just make sure everything is contributing along the audio path to do justice to their sound. The GTO was at the end of that path, and I’ll happily use it again during the summer when we go on the road with the acoustic shows.”
Capital’s Senior Project Manager Martin Connolly commented, “Andy’s comments really help to validate our investment in Outline’s GTO C-12 system.”
“When we suggested that Andy use it for Status Quo we took it to a one-off show of theirs in Zurich to give him a chance to try it out for real – by the end of sound check that night he was ready to take it on the road. The system also completed a very successful tour with Il Divo in 2016 and the fact that it can handle such diverse styles of music while keeping the respective FOH engineers and crews happy is a huge benefit for us.”
Capital’s General manager Paul Timmins added, “We were delighted that Andy wanted the Outline GTO C-12 system following the show in Switzerland. Andy is a very experienced engineer who probably has more air miles than most and has mixed on every system out there, so his appreciation of what this system delivers is a big statement.”
“For our Outline system to handle two such high-profile tours in our first year with the brand, in addition to numerous one offs, was exactly what we had hoped for but given the incredible audio quality of the system it’s perhaps no surprise.”
(Note: In late 2016 Rick Parfitt announced his retirement from live performance due to ill-health. It was subsequently announced on December 24th that he had passed away following complications from a shoulder injury. Outline and Capital Sound wish to express their condolences to his family, friends and fans).