The West

Quo can t sink any lower
Quo can't sink any lower

Since making its debut earlier this year on TV and in Coles supermarkets across the land, Status Quo's 1974 UK chart-topper turned jingle Down Down and those giant red hands have been seared into my consciousness.

The rockin' refrain of "Down, down, prices are down" has even managed to be a more insistent and annoying earworm than Gangnam Style.

So, news that the ageing English rockers would join Robert Plant, Iggy and the Stooges, Chris Isaak and many more at West Coast Blues and Roots festival in Fremantle in March, got me thinking.

Will the Quo unleash the track live on stage in Freo? Will they sing the original or will we get the Coles-ified version?

Will organisers dish out giant red hands so we can all get down, down with frontman Francis Rossi, guitarist Rick Parfitt and the lads? And can I get a price check on half a kilo of Ruby Lou potatoes?

More importantly, if they do roll out Down Down, how will the Freo punters react? When I asked West Coast Blues and Roots promoter Dave Chitty, he was playing it cooler than a packet of frozen fish fingers.

"I think that Status Quo have had a lot of classic hits over the years and have earned their place as a legendary rock act in music history," he said. "From our perspective (the Coles jingle has) done nothing but raised the awareness of the band." Band or brand?

Anyway, even Mr Chitty admits some punters may not appreciate a commercial interrupting their bluesfest.

"I think it will be quite entertaining, which is the business we're in," he said. "I think it will be nothing but entertaining."

Mr Chitty said festival-goers not happy with Status Quo's presence on the main stage could wander over to the big top tent to see what's on there. Ah, good old market choice. Of course, Status Quo are not the first band to become corporate shills, but they really do take the discounted sponge cake.

Not only did they rewrite and re-record Down Down with those new lyrics, but they will exclusively sell their new album in Coles stores next year to coincide with their visit, which also is sponsored by that company.

The album title says it all: Quid Pro Quo.

The West Australian

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