Rocking on National Day with Status Quo
by Alice Mascarenhas (Gibraltar Chronicle)
STATUS QUO ANTE: Ahead of the concert Brian Stevendale from Ocean Village and David Giles from Awesome Global Events yesterday at O’Reilly’s at the Ocean Village.
Plans for the Status Quo concert are well advanced. The group fronted by Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt will perform on the Rock on National Day.
Mr Giles emphasised that for a band like Status Quo with their holiday and feel good factor spirit it should be a match made in heaven on Gibraltar’s National Day.
“A legendary British Rock band playing here in Gibraltar should be something spectacular,” he added.
Although newcomers to the Rock, Status Quo were supported by members of both Taxi and Area 52, when they began their musical career as Treehouse back in 1995 on the Costa del Sol. And Rick Parfitt was married in Gibraltar in secret for a third time in August 2006.
The group is scheduled to arrive on National Day itself, carry out a sound check, and rock on the Rock that same night at the Marina Bay Car park. The venue capacity is around 5,000.
Status Quo will be supported by a Costa based Spanish rock band called Natura who do classic rock cover versions, as well as their own songs, made up of both British and Spanish muscians. DJ Russell Sodem will kick off the music when doors open at 7pm.
The plan is for Status Quo to perform their last song as the traditional National Day fireworks are launched. The group is expected to be on stage for one hour and 40 minutes.
The event is fully supported by the Ocean Village complex. Brian Stevendale from Ocean Village said they were always keen to help encourage more people to be a part of Gibraltar.
“Because we built this development lending itself to being a bit of a leisure entity, and by bringing something as fabulous as Status Quo here, we hope this will be the first of many concerts using David’s company.”
Without wanting to mention any names both men confirmed there were already negotiations with a number of major names for next year.
“Most of them are legendary British names as well,” commented Mr Giles who said that under Mr Stevendale’s assistance they would hopefully make it a viable venue for them.
The Gibraltar Government has given its support to the concert on 10 September. But Mr Giles, obviously keen to continue to work with Gibraltar, commented that what was really needed was “assistance to a purpose made venue or use of the football ground (stadium) where perhaps the government could cover it, or have some covering available, whereby larger acts could perform in Gibraltar.”
He further added how Gibraltar would also benefit from the economic impact of such concerts. For the Status Quo concert for example fans are also expected to fly in from the UK.
Mr Stevendale believes there is a demand locally for such events based on the success of previous concerts.
“One of the things we have always wanted to do in Ocean Village is to have a headline band maybe three or four times a year to help put Gibraltar on the map. So it is really great that David has taken this step with Status Quo.”
Status Quo will also be performing in Bilbao, Madrid, and Barcelona. The band performed successfully in the Glastonbury Festival this year where they played a hit-packed set before a large crowd with all their biggest hits, ‘Caroline’, ‘The Wanderer’, ‘What You’re Proposing’, ‘In The Army Now’, ‘Down Down’, ‘Whatever You Want’ and their cover of John Fogerty’s ‘Rockin’ All Over The World’, which was famously the first song at 1985’s Live Aid charity concert.
Meanwhile the organisers are planning to transform the car park into a rock venue which will see a percentage of VIP seats which will give access to a backstage area, complimentary drinks, seating at stage level. This area will only hold some 500 people and is already almost sold out.
The concert hotline, said Mr Giles, had received numerous calls. A number of coach loads are expected from the Costa del Sol.
Fencing will surround the area to enclose the venue which will give all ticket holders “first class” sight lines. Organisers are expecting the concert to be sold out at least a week before the concert.