Legendry rockers Status Quo gave a rousing performance
when they headlined a superb musical event in Whitehaven.
And the Quo were ably supported by several local bands at an event which, it
is hoped, will become an annual attraction. Egremontís most famous band It
Bites appeared on an open air Cumbrian stage for the first time ever, and
were delighted with the reception they received.
It Bites had a huge hit single, Calling All The Heroes, in the 1980s but
split up when Francis Dunnery left to pursue a solo career in the early 90s.
Bob Dalton, who reformed the group a couple of years ago, was overwhelmed by
the support they were shown.
"It has been a while since we played a big gig in Cumbria, and it was
The It Bites of 2008 is slightly different from the one which hit the big
time, appearing on Top of the Pops and Wogan.
Francis Dunnery has been replaced as front-man by John Mitchell and, more
recently, Dick Nolanís place has been taken by Lee Pomeroy. But Bob and John
Beck remained from the hey-day, and on this showing there are plenty of good
times ahead for It Bites.
They performed songs from their new album as well as a few older classics
such as Kiss Like Judas, All in Red and Yellow Christian. And they did so
with great style and quality that even the hardened Quo fans were lapping it
"It was a really good event and we had a great time," Bob said afterwards. I
would urge anyone who hasnít done so already to get a ticket for their show
at Whitehaven Civic Hall on August 30th Ė and to check out their website for
details of the new album. www.itbites.com
It Bites werenít the only Egremont link to the concert. Yours truly landed
the job of compŤre for the event and it was a fantastic experience to be up
on the stage with Gerard Richardson.
A friend of mine approached me after Iíd come down from the stage on
Saturday night and said: "youíd get where water wouldnít." I think he may
have had a point.
Quite how Iíd become the man tasked with introducing the bands at the One
Night With Status Quo concert I have no idea. I was approached at short
notice and was delighted to accept the invitation without having much time
to worry about getting stage fright.
Weathered Rock, another West Cumbrian band, this time made up of Sellafield
Managers, were superb. Iíd heard at work from lead singer Pete Lutwyche how
good they were going to be, and I have to say that he wasnít wrong. They
played some really good covers Ė and one of their own Ė and got a rousing
reception from the 7,000 plus crowd.
Iím told that interest in their CDs has been impressive since the gig,
something that doesnít surprise me one bit. Other support came from local
band Ruffkut and Barrow based glam-rockers Gobstopper, who got the evening
off to a great start.
And then, of course, there was Status Quo.
Iíve seen the Quo before, but never at an event like this on an open air
stage, and they didnít disappoint, blasting out all of their classic hits,
Caroline, Deeper and Down, and Roll Over Lay Down.
Mr Richardson has said he plans another event for next year and, knowing
Gerard, he will adopt the same philosophy as he did with the Martime
Festivals he organised, ie it will have to be bigger and better than what
has gone before. He says he is already talking to "major international acts"
but everything will come down to funding.
However Iím backing him to make it work Ė Iím not sure he knows how to fail.
(Thanks to Jim Davis for the stunning images above!)