out of Five
Running time: 152
Die-hard Status Quo fans get everything they want with this colossal, fly-on-the-wall documentary, but its two-and-a-half hours running time might feel like an unjustifiable drag for others.
What’s it all about?
Directed by Alan G. Parker, Hello Quo is a fly-on-the-wall documentary, spanning the 50 year recording and touring career of rock band Status Quo. Featuring present day interviews with original and newer members of the band, as well as some rock ‘n’ roll royalty talking heads (including Paul Weller and Jeff Lynne) that sit alongside archival footage, Hello Quo chronicles every facet of the band’s colossal career: from the early days of performing 1967 hit Pictures of Matchstick Men on Top of the Pops to later performing at sold-out stadiums and opening 1985’s Live Aid concert to over a billion viewers worldwide.
The good thing about Status Quo is that what you see is what you get; they know they’re not the coolest and most groundbreaking band in the world, and quite frankly, they seem quite fine with it. Talking candidly, Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt, the two remaining core members, translate as refreshingly honest and down to earth musicians, pausing now and again during their reminiscing of their rock ‘n’ roll anecdotes to touch on how nice a particular roadie ‘bloke’ was and how dumbfounded they still are at their success.
In terms of facts and information, Hello Quo covers basically everything: from deciding band names and first singles to their sexual exploits, their most important performances and even their unforgettable cameos on Coronation Street. With the likes of Cliff Richard, Paul Weller and Brian May also sharing their Status Quo worship, Hello Quo enjoys a rather fair stance and in turn becomes a balanced and rather enjoyable documentary.
With a running time of 152 minutes, non Status Quo fans may find themselves shuffling in their seat at certain points. The first half is very strong in narrative and entertaining anecdotes, but after the 100 minute mark, when the 80s slink in, Hello Quo becomes a little stuck and swamps itself with live performances and sound clips. With the first 100 minutes rather light on live shows, the tone then feels a little uneven and in terms of editing its chronological sequence could do with a little shaking up.
A lively and enjoyable but rather excessive documentary, viewers will find themselves both sitting up and shuffling in their seat during Hello Quo’s 152 minutes, but die-hard Quo fans will be delighted. Worth watching.