As if to reiterate their status as a British institution, the Quo have teamed up with another enduring homegrown brand for their 29th studio album. Quid Pro Quo is, initially at least, being sold exclusively through Tesco supermarkets, making its way to the checkout in a trolley with the cat food and corned beef.
Hardly the high-end promotional tie-up the likes of Joni Mitchell or Ray Charles previously entered into with Starbucks, but a perfect illustration of Quo’s admirable lack of pretension and ongoing rep as, for want of a better expression, a people’s band. Not that they really need any leg-up from a grocery giant, as it’s more than 20 years since any of their releases failed to reach the Top 40. This is not the cynical move of desperate men.
Quid Pro Quo is not a classic set of songs, though, but another collection of predictable riffs and knowing references to their past. Let’s Rock even borrows guitar lines and lyrics from Rockin’ All Over The World (John Fogerty ought to get a cut of the royalties, in all honesty), while Reality Cheque stomps the same well-worn path as Roll Over Lay Down. A minor work in the expansive Quo canon, perhaps but, as their marketing partners are fond of telling us, every little helps.