The Gov Sunday 26 September 2021
Words – Geoff Jenke
Photo’s – Geoff Jenke
I must admit I smiled when I first read The BordererS were going to do a set of Status Quo covers. Smiled? No more like WTF. Are Alex and Jim closet Status Quo fans, not that there is anything wrong with that. Even I don’t mind a bit of Quo.
Status Quo have had more hits in the U.K than any other artist. Yes, more than The Stones, Elvis and Ed Sheeran. They have released around 100 singles in the U.K and spent over 400 weeks in the charts. Quo are a good time band. So are The BordererS so I guess the planets do align. However, it was only about 2 weeks ago I spoke with Jim and asked, The BordererS doing Quo, what could go wrong. Jim replied “What could go wrong is we haven’t learnt any of the songs yet. Ha, ha!”
We were informed later in the set that The Gov was the first place The BordererS ever played as a band and it was sure nice for them to be back in these troubled times, still playing The Gov some 27 years later. The first set from the band were BordererS favourites. Starting with Tribe, Jim and Alex were soon dancing and kicking up a storm all over the stage.
The next song, Irish to the Bone was a “song from an upcoming musical” and we were told, maybe an upcoming movie. It was as Irish as its title suggested. Fat Bald & Ugly was a lot of fun with the audience joining in on the chorus replies. Last Orders, written for a family member was a sobering ballad and for me the highlight of the first set.
The BordererS are never afraid to cover classic songs and Mr Cohen’s Hallelujah was proof as to how good they are at doing it. The Rough Diamond Choir members came on stage to help out with an arousing version of Sisters. They rounded out the set with a Scottish Medley, (“Riverdance below your tables”) based around the song Working Class Man and included a piece of the Men at Work classic Down Under.
However, the show was all about the second set, the Status Quo numbers. Jim obviously does have a love of Quo, having seen them in Glasgow in Quo’s glory days. Jim and Alex even made the change from kilts to denim skirt for Alex and denim jeans for Jim. I mean, you do have to look the part!
Just as Quo always did, they started the with Caroline, sounding as you would expect, a bit like Quo and a lot like the BordererS. Status Quo never used a piano accordion after all, but it worked for The BordererS. Same when Alex bought out the flute (piccolo?) for the second song Whatever You Want. It just worked!
The real beauty of the set was, they were not afraid to cover Quo album tracks like Dirty Water, Don’t Drive My Car, Most of the Time and Gerdundula, wonderfully combined with the bands own Wake Up. While I am not a fan of the Quo song In the Army Now, being combined with The BordererS song Do Your Duty Boy certainly bought life to the song that didn’t exist before.
Railroad was the highlight, especially being combined with And We Danced and of course Rocking All Over the World rounded out the set. Jim claims he has never heard the original version by John Fogerty, something I found hard to believe, but Jim, stay with that. Quo’s version is far superior.
The afternoon show ended with an arousing version of the traditional gospel song We Shall Overcome and despite the audience calling for more, Jim and Alex and band went off stage for a well-deserved rest. They put their all into their performance and deserved it.
I must admit I smiled when I first read The BordererS were going to do a set of Status Quo covers. Smiled? No more like WTF. Now that I have seen it, I can report the show was just like Quo concerts used to be (having seen them 4 or 5 times myself), a lot of fun.
As this was called Whatever You Want Part 1, Jim did hint there is more to come.
Bring it on.