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That was the Quo month that was ... April 1999



10th - State of Quo at Westhoughton Social Club

The following review was written by Janie Mildwater.

Westhoughton Social Club, Westhoughton. Not the most salubrious of venues, but fairly easy to find, which is always a bonus in my case! The band were a little worried about the numbers there, and whether they were there for the band or for the booze.

Anyway, poor Mike was suffering from a cold, so was stuffing his nose full of Synex. He did very well on the vocals until the last song, ("Whatever You Want" I think) when the high harmony did it! The other three were in fine fettle (not that Mike didn't play well, he was great) and in the end the gig turned into a brilliant one. Most of the audience turned out to be Quo fans, and even if they weren't they still rocked, and became Quo fans!

I can't give you a set list, memory like a sieve. It changed though 'cos Mike managed to break a string on both guitars! The guys played for 2.5 hours, so a full set list, including "Shady Lady", which I haven't heard from them before.

Great stuff, great band. If you havent seen them yet, you really must make the effort!

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16th - State of Quo at the Lamb Hotel, Preston

The following review was written by Janie Mildwater.

A small pub, but obviously used to live gigs, and rock ones by the clientele (lots of long hair......yum yum). There weren't many in at first, so it was a bit worrying, but it turned out to be another brilliant gig. The audience really appreciated the music, even my friend who isn't a Quo fan particularly. I tried to dance with Helen, Mike's [lead guitar and vocals - Lee] girlfriend, but it is difficult 'cos there were a couple of blokes having a good time at the front :-) - it is a dangerous occupation when there are men around playing their air guitars. Anyway, the set list (I sat there and wrote it down.....can't remember things for that long :-):

then a break, then Encore:

The thing about these guys is, and I know it is bloody obvious, but they love Quo. They love playing Quo and it shows in their performances. Sooooooo good. By the end of the evening all the pub was rocking, and Bye Bye Johnny-ing :-) Sadly, the pub is closing (wonder if there is a connection ???:-)) . A big shame as I think it seemed a great rocking pub. And nearer to me than Wigan :-)

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17th - State of Quo at the Spinners Arms, Wigan

The following review was written by Craig Rothwell.

This was the second time I had seen SOQ at the Spinners Arms in Wigan. The pub quickly filled up, some familiar faces, the atmosphere was building up, it was obvious we were in for something special.

They hit the stage to a huge roar, the new smoke machine and light rig kicked in, we were off on what can only be described as rollercoaster of a night. Tony's bass could be heard a lot better than previously, so the whole sound can only be described as 'heavier'. The crowd were only restrained for three tracks until "Hold You Back", the place went up.

The first part of the show was cut short by Paul breaking a string so he had to revert to his other guitar and do the songs with that tuning, so they did six songs then had a break while Paul fixed his guitar.

Highlights for me were "Shady Lady", "Gerdundula" (first time I have heard SOQ do these), "Slow Train", "Down The Dustpipe", "Softer Ride" and of course "4500 Times", I watched Mike's guitar work through this, it was awesome...

I have to take back what I have said about this lot in the past - previous comments have included "awesome", "magic", etc, etc - but after last night, the previous gigs in comparision have been awful, as last night they were unbelievable. They ALL appeared up for it and on fire, from Dave on drums (very tight), Tony on bass (louder and heavier), Paul on rhythm (appeared to love every minute of it, excellent on Gerdundula and he knew it) and Mike on lead. The singing was spot on, smoke, strobe lights, barrel lights, it was all there.

The crowd was up for it too, for the last hour you couldn't see the band for 'heads down, legs apart, air guitar' Quoheads giving it what for. I must admit that I have not had a stiff neck like today for years...

If you didn't get tickets for Quo's pub tour, get your bum to SOQ at Crewe on May 14th, this is as close as it gets - true they don't have the Quo 'Magic', but the Quo sound is so, so close..

Dont know what else to say apart from :- Dave, Mike, Paul, Tony, thanks.

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22nd - Quo concert at Cafe Sleepin Arena, Amsterdam

The following story of Quo's day in and around Amsterdam, including their gig at the Cafe Sleepin Arena, comes from Terry Woudenberg (check out his collector-oriented website at http://home.wxs.nl/~wouden/home.html). The pictures come with the kind permission of Dyon van Baest who was also lucky enough to attend the gig (see his website for many more Quo pictures at http://www.iae.nl/users/baest/statquo/).

After a bad night of sleep, I jumped out of my bed at 06.15. Breakfast, children to school and I put on my Quo denim outfit - ready for a day of Quo. Heading for Breda to pick up my friend and chairman of the Dutch Quo Fan Club, Jan. Shit, a road block. Time is running on. Arrived five minutes too late, a strong cup of coffee and asked my car nicely to drive to Hilversum to "Play It Again Sam" (PIAS), the Dutch leg of Eagle Records. I shake hands with Paul from PIAS. After again some real black coffee, a drive through the centre of Hilversum heading for the radio studios.

There was a live session planned for the radio program "Denk aan Henk". Followed Paul through a lot of rooms and suddenly we were in the middle of a small room where Tonto was preparing Francis' green tele. Yes I touched it. And who was that on the table? Yes, Mr Parfitt eating some bread and apples. I turned around and bumped into Mr Rhino. Shook his hand. Heh, there is Francis. Also some hand shaking. Shit, Francis complained about my hard shake. His hand will be out of order today? No, Francis is in a good mood, it was just one of his jokes. Paul told the security that we were the only people that were allowed here in this area. They were all there - Francis, Rick, Rhino, Andrew, Jeff, David Walker, Simon Porter, Pete Hillier, Tonto and the rest of the crew. Tonto was the happiest man around, his Manchester FC knocked Juventus out.

Rick and Francis Show time. Rhino and Jeff entered the small studio for the sound check. Believe it or not but all the Quo equipment was in the small studio and there was hardly space for our heroes. Jeff and Rhino played bits and pieces together from the new album 'Under The Influence'. Andrew, Rick and Francis joined later to play a part of "Caroline". The people from the studio told me that they have never seen so professional a band and so down to earth guys as The Quo. One o'clock. After some bad news and the weatherman, Quo opened the show, playing "Caroline" live. Yes they are on the air now. After "Caroline" there was time for an interview with Wim Richter, a well-known DJ from Holland. A nice but strange man. Wearing no shoes and a big hole in his right sock. This will be broadcast within a couple of weeks in "Arbeidsvitaminen". One question to Rick was about the Dutch Fans. Rick's answer was orange. And let's be honest what is a Wembley show without the Dutch fans and the orange balloons? The guys get ready to be on the air again within a few seconds. "The Way It Goes" (or as Rhino called it "Velvet Wings") live followed by an interview done by Henk Westbroek. Rick said that they do not like the lack of airplay in the UK but that they can (must) live without it. After that again some live tracks, "Horses and Men" and "Under The Influence". And believe me David Walker does know all the lyrics and can also play air guitar. This was all broadcast directly live by the biggest Dutch Radio station, Radio 3.

Andy Well done PIAS (The Dutch Eagle) for some real good promotion. Time for some pictures and signing time for my 'Under The Influence' CD. The Quo were heading for the hotel and some more promotional work. Back to the PIAS office for a drink. After that we followed Edwin from PIAS to Amsterdam (I know that music is a fast business but they also drive very hard, but I didn't lose him). Arrived safe at the Sleepin Arena just before the crew. Already some friends around. Quo time is time for seeing again some "family". A lot of press and TV cameras around interviewing a lot of fans including a performance of "Roll Over Lay Down" and "Rockin' All Over The World". This will all be shown next Monday on TV. Visit The Quo site for the exact time. For this same program there was just before the gig an interview with Rick and Francis done by Jan (a long time fan and chairman of the Dutch Army). In the middle of this interview, the rest of the band came in. Again greetings from Rhino "...Hello Terry...". The interview was over and real thanks to David Walker and Simon Porter. Yes, this was a real interview done by a great fan that's different stuff instead of the standard questions. Rick and Francis promised to continue another 25 years. Again time for some photos. I asked head of publicity (who else?) Simon Porter to take some photos of Rhino, Jeff, Andy and me. A small discussion with Andrew about my little photo camera, I give him a compliment about the writing of "Little Me And You" which is my fave at the moment. I asked Jeff when he will hit Holland with Four Bills - will be possible depends what the costs are. Asked Rhino about his album "Rhinos Revenge" which will be finished soon. Saying thanks to Simon and David again.

GIG TIME. Most of the tickets were sold via the Dutch Quo Army so a lot of familiar faces around. A gig for 200 fans in an old church. Great. The new songs are really fantastic live. But tears came in my eyes when "Don't Waste My Time" was played. As I can remember Quo played the following tracks. Please do not shoot me when I'm wrong.

Rick

At the moment I'm working in my office at home and still in a dream. Thanks Quo and all at PIAS for this fantastic day - still in a state of shock.

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undated - Review of 'Under The Influence' in "Classic Rock" magazine

The following review of 'Under The Influence', written by Dave Ling, appeared in "Classic Rock" magazine. He gave the album a rating of 2 out of 5.

In the second issue of Classic Rock, Rick Parfitt promised readers faithfully that 'Under The Influence' would constitute a return to "really full-tilt Quo". Two songs in, the title track shuffles from the speakers and....Christ! It looks like the old duffer was telling the truth! There's huggalong guitars, tasteful harmonica and the kind of credible hard-groovin' vibe that seemed to desert Parfitt and his partner Francis Rossi around the time of 1981's "Never Too Late". And when Rossi's guitar solo cuts in during "Round And Round" it's obvious that Quo haven't rocked this hard for years.

Yet '....Influence' is the quintets first release outside the safety of their former Polygram sanctuary, and there was too much at stake to disregard fiscal considerations - either that or Rossi, who described the bands watershed years as "60-70 per cent shit", put his foot down. Thus "Little Me And You" and a nauseating version of the Stones' "Not Fade Away" allow things to slide back into safe, forgettable grandparent rock. Yet "Keep 'Em Coming", "Making Waves" and "The Way It Goes" at least suggest that this once hugely influential band are beginning to awaken from their musical coma.

No, this isn't a return to the genius of 'Piledriver', 'Quo', 'Blue For You' or 'On The Level' - but it's a whole lot better than you may have thought.

Revisit the April 1999 event list