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That was the Quo month that was ... December 2000



2nd - Quo concert at City Hall, Sheffield

This review comes from Rick Norman.

Sound 9/10
Rockability 10/10
Solos 10/10
Crowd 10/10

What more can I say !!! Well lots more, so here I go !!!

Support band 'The Tidy' excellent, if there was any justice they'd have a hit album, completely original style, kind of funky rock, excellent stuff, probably from Manchester judging from their accents.

Prior to Quo coming on stage the front row grew to around 500 people, Mr Dave Salt (aka Salty) addressed the crowd with 'Go back to your seats or the concert will not start'. This was greeted with 'ooooohhhh' by those at the front and 'YEAH !!!' by those nearer the back !! I was in row TT, about the first time I've not been at or around the front since my first gig in 89. Gave a different perspective on the gig, so occasionally (very occasionally) being a bit further back ain't too bad !

Set list as usual, I think, although "Backwater" was in, and a full version of "Juniors Wailing" in the encore.

Capacity crowd, was speaking to a couple who were boasting that they got the last two tickets and were gonna have a restricted view !!! Apparently a big WWF pantomime was on at the Arena the same night so good on Quo for still selling out !!!

Rossi was a bit annoyed with a few at the front, couldn't see what the agro was, although I think it was about 'regulars' who didn't have front row tickets still being on the front row, which I guess he has a point about, sadly there's only one front row, and we all can't always be there.

Rossi's solos fantastic, much more precise than Grimsby, but they've got alot of gigs under their belts since then. If you want to buy one of everything merchandise-wise its 146, not including the Rhino cd, which is another 12 !!!

Probably rate it in my top 3 Quo gigs - after Sheffield Arena ,'92 (sold out 12,000 people, FireHouse) and Brid Spa '97 (sold out, Paul Rodgers). Can't wait till Brighton next sat and NEC the sat after !!!!

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5th - Quo concert at Cliffs Pavilion, Southend

This review comes from John Neal.

Firstly, before I type any other comments, the one thing that stood out from last night's gig was the new drummer. In my humble opinion this guy is on a par with dear old spud as the definitive Quo drummer. I read somewhere that Frame and Rick signed him blindly on Rhino's recommendation, well they must realise now that they got a bargain. I love this guy's drumming style. It's a bit like watching Brian Lara at a test match: a somewhat different technique and heavily reliant on sheer timing. I think this guy has given Quo a new live edge. To my ear he is more rhythmic, more suited to a shuffle rhythm whereas Jeff seemed to attack the drums more. I hope that his influence comes through on the new album.

Secondly, the set list. I have to admit that 45 minutes in I wondered what all the recent fuss has been about. Then Frame piped up and said that if you didn't like what you are hearing now wait up a bit and there will be something for you later. "Old Time Rock and Roll" fell flatter than Micheal Flatley with a flat tyre in Flatford wearing a t-shirt saying 'I'm flat'. Didn't go much on "The Wanderer". Didn't think "Dirty Water" went down all that well and "20 Wild Horses" didn't stonk like it did at Wembley last time. I can see the problem the boys face though, someone next to me stormed off to the bog muttering ' I'll come back when they play something I know', this is after the 'softer' stuff which I reckon is supposed to be aimed at exactly this type of casual fan. She didn't have a clue about "Backwater" (which was brilliant) or "4500 Times" (I nearly cried). The boys are between a rock and a hard place.

Then came the second half. Back to back brilliance that I haven't seen from Quo for 20 odd years. "4500 Times"/"Rain", "Down Down", "Whatever You Want", the completely sublime "Big fat Mama" all played just a smidgeon slower than recent times allowing clear solos and that little bit of something special. The star of the show here was "Roll Over Lay Down" played with a venom and enthusiasm that I haven't seen for a while. I don't think I heard a track recorded pre 1980 until the encore. If I did it was well hidden.

The encore threw up a gem too, in "Juniors Wailing". Who thought of that? Brilliant idea. I'd like to see that opening the set and "Caroline" on the encore if at all possible. "Roll Over Beethoven" seemed to work surprisingly well though I for one won't be in tears if that gets dropped next year. "Bridges" nearly broke the place up with the reaction it got and it was all rounded off by more "Waltz" butted in to "Bye Bye Johnny".

All in all, I would have paid twice the ticket price just to see the second half. Anybody selling Wembley tickets? ;-)

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7th - Quo concert at Corn Exchange, Cambridge - cancelled

The following message appeared on the official Quo web site, following Quo's cancellation of their show at the Cambridge Corn Exchange:

"Cambridge Corn Exchange Show Cancelled (Thursday 7th December)
The show had to be cancelled shortly before show time due to Rick being taken ill. Doctors advised him to rest for two days as he was suffering from severe stomach pains and exhaustion. Quo will resume the tour at the Brighton Centre on Saturday 9th Dec.
The Cambridge show has been re-scheduled for Wednesday January 24th.
Ticket holders can exchange their tickets for the revised date, or obtain a full refund from the point of purchase. "

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10th - Quo concert at Bournemouth International Centre

The following review comes from Paul Barton, returning to Quo after a 20 year break!

Stew, Jen, and we four arrived at the BIC at 7.15 to find a throng of old people milling around the foyer. Some were bald, some sported ponytails and many wore T-shirts bearing a Latin inscription that might mean, "position unchanged". In fact some things have changed since I last saw the Quo in 1982. Gone are the bikers in greasy leather jackets with the backsides hanging out of their jeans. In their place is a diverse band of smart, middle-aged rockers and glamorous grannies clad in denim.

The 4000 strong crowd waited with remarkable patience while an unlikely male/female duo clanged and wailed their way through a bluesy set that lasted longer than necessary. The girl slapped at a hip-mounted snare, shook a maraca, huffed into a harmonica and found time to sing as well. The highly accomplished ex Dr. Feelgood guitarist, Gordon Russell, was their one saving grace. They finished with a rather tame acoustic version of Zeppelin's "Whole Lot of Love".

All but the front of the stage was hidden behind a black curtain, which fell swirling to the floor to reveal the band just as Rick Parfitt pounded out the opening bars of "Caroline". A quarter of a century just rolled away and we were transported back to the seventies. The boys were slung with their familiar Fender Telecasters one green, one white. The stage bristled with a huge array of Marshall amplification all dressed in stunning white with "four by twelve inch" speaker cabinets with integral lighting.

The band has clearly got the message that audiences want to hear traditional Quo singles and classic album tracks rather than lame sixties covers and they obliged big time. Hard rocking songs like "Backwater", "Forty Five Hundred Times", "Big Fat Mama" and "Junior's Wailing" were hammered out in deafening style.

Those in the temporary seats occupying the flat area in front of the stage leapt to their feet and were joined by a tide of humanity that surged forward to join the Mosh Pit. The BIC rocked for two hours and the set the band had rehearsed was certainly a candidate for the definitive "Best of". As the man Rossi himself said " If you haven't heard your favourite yet it means we're playing it later and if we get to the end and you still haven't heard it then it means we're not playing it!"

Recent personnel changes are irrelevant as the sound revolves so much around the close dovetailing of Rossi's and Parfitt's guitar lines and frankly anyone could be playing bass and drums. You have to wonder too whether Quo really need keyboards. Twenty five years ago they were managing fine without.

Matthew generally prefers American grunge and punk but even he was impressed with his first gig and enjoyed the performance despite suffering from toothache. Michael was fully involved and knew it was loud when his insides could feel the noise! All good things must come to an end but let's hope we all get another chance to hear the famous "Wo-oh-oh-oh-oh!"

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13th - Quo concert at Conference Centre, Harrogate

This review comes from Anthony Troman.

Two parts to this - brief gig report & then a personal bit!

1. Gig report
I'm not the type that makes a note of set lists & things - too busy boppin', so just some personal reflections! Nothing different in the set to what others have reported.

Bit concerned at the venue ever since it was announced. Harrogate is a very middle class town and the International Centre is a very classy place well-known for political party conferences. Very classy carpetted bar, carpetted auditorium and very plush, comfy seats. Five rows of 'hardcore' Quo fans and the rest of the venue filled with well dressed, well manicured, pearl necklaces. Oh dear! Francis remarked on it early in the set!

This meant for the first two thirds of the gig, five rows of Quo fans standing and bopping and the rest of the audience sitting down. Were they enjoying it?

Answer - in their own way, yes indeed!

I wondered about the 'hardcore' additions to the set. Surely this lot would want the 'cabaret' covers set. Which song got them standing up out of their seats and dancing? Only "Big Fat Mama", thats all! Stayed on their feet for the rest of the gig. "Roll Over Lay Down" got one of the biggest cheers. Goes to show, you never can tell!

Quo were absolutely brilliant! This is the tightest and rockiest Quo in a long time. They clearly are trying very hard and the enjoyment is also clear. Rossi is the most spontaneous I've seen in many a year. Matt most certainly takes a reasonable proportion of the credit. He's injected something to this band. Good on yer mate.

A different Quo gig, but thoroughly enjoyable! Nice one, lads.

2. Personal note
This was the first gig my little girl (aged 9) has ever attended. We got super seats (second row - right in front of Francis). Because of the layout, we could look up and see the guys right in front of us, and Caroline's (did you doubt it?) lack of inches were no problem at all.

Very early in the gig Francis spotted Caroline (in my Never Too Late tour T-shirt - the shirt is twice as old as she is!) and made a fuss of her all night - smiling, pointing and gesturing to her. Rhino crossed his eyes and smiled at her on one occasion also. She loved it all - it made her night. Part way through, when I caught Francis' eye, and mid song, I tried to tell him that her name was Caroline. Don't know if he fully understood what I was saying, but, if you ever get to read this mate, she was named after your song!

Caroline was a big Quo fan before, but now she's a bigger fan than any of you reading this!!!! A gig that will live in my memory for a reason very different to other Quo gigs. Only thing is, have I spoiled the experience for Caroline? Will she ever go to a gig as special as this one (from her point of view)?

Just to emphasise through all of this sentimental mush, the band were great on the night despite a very quiet audience.

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15th - Quo concert at Wembley Arena

This review comes from Matthew Bradshaw.

A nice surprise or two for those who made the trip to the aircraft hanger that is Wembley Arena to see our boys. Jackie Lynton (he of "Live" album introduction / "Again & Again" / "Rockers Rollin" fame) joined the boys for "Roll Over Beethoven" which was a nice touch. Shame he wasn't introduced to the crowd though! "In The Army Now" made a return and we got a longer "Bye Bye Johnny" with both "Batman" & "Whole Lotta Shakin'". A fabulous evening.

I was the furthest back I've been on the tour (if you can call row 11 "far back") and I thought the atmosphere was the best yet and the sound spot on. A 3/4 full Wembley seemed to be moving and making noise from front to back. I've mentioned previously that the band seem to be enjoying this tour more than other recent ones and this was in evidence again - Francis evening making reference to how much they love Wembley.

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16th - Quo concert at Birmingham NEC

This review comes from Gareth Brookes.

What a gig. Absolutely fantastic lighting, amazing songs, amazing - everything about it amazing but with a few minor disappointments: no "Batman" and they brought back "In The Army Now".

Other than that, it was an immense time. Matt great on the drums. Noticed Francis was struggling on the likes of "20 Wild Horses" so Rhino did a lot of the vocals near the end. Also seemed Matt was a little slow on "20 Wild Horses" till he got into it but then found the rythmn. Francis did a lot of mocking to the people in the front row especially one from Holland. One person passed out on the front row.

Here is the setlist (not in order):

Also Rossi mentioned when he did his first talk that the managment have a look to see what audience they have in and then they have five minutes to write out a set suitable for the audience and then they have to play it. It was the best attendance I have seen at a quo gig for a long time, must have been a good 8 to 10 thousand there easy.

Revisit the December 2000 event list