Almost 50 years on stage and opening Live Aid in 1985, Status Quo are an inescapable part of rock history. They are also longstanding supporters of 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 Last Night of the Electrics, calling on Capital Sound for an Outline GTO C-12 rig for the main FOH 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 60s/70s/80s will recognise a Quo song – even if they don’t know the title,’ he says. ‘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,’ he continues. ‘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 [LIPF 082[ front fills.
‘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 adds: ‘Andy’s comments really help to validate our investment in Outline’s GTO C-12 system. When we suggested that he 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.’
‘We were delighted that Andy wanted the Outline GTO C-12 system following the show in Switzerland,’ says Capital Sound General Manager, Paul Timmins. ‘Heis 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.’