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That was the Quo month that was ... December 2010

3rd - Quo concert at King Georges Hall, Blackburn

Quo hit Blackburn on December 3rd with a packed house at the King George's Hall. The usual set was in evidence and some good photos of the band in action can be seen here.

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3rd - Francis article in the Birmingham Mail (UK)

The following article about Francis appeared in the Birmingham Mail on December 3rd, entitled "Francis Rossi addicted to playing with Status Quo" and written by Andrew Coleman.

"HE has been in Status Quo for 40 years but frontman Francis Rossi admits heís getting addicted to playing solo shows.

Before venturing out without the rest of Quo for the first time earlier this year, he told the Mail he was nervous about the prospect of performing with a different set of musicians.

But after a series of triumphant shows, including one at Birminghamís Town Hall, the 61-year-old is now anxious for more.

"Itís like drugs or alcohol Ė you say youíre going to have one drink, and after one drink you have three more. And thatís what I did with the solo shows," he says.

So another set of solo gigs has been announced Ė with Birmingham Town Hall, on February 1, 2011, the first date of the tour.

"I like the Town Hall, itís excellent and Iím looking forward to going back there," Francis says. "But the thing theyíve done wrong is isolate it as they built the town around it!"

The tour coincides with the release of a Francis Rossi live solo album and DVD, recorded at Londonís St Lukeís church in September.

Not that the singer is keen to hear the CD or see the DVD. He hasnít even seen the Status Quo DVD included in current release, Live At The BBC.

"I donít listen to anything by us," he reveals. "I donít mind making new stuff but I canít look at videos of us on stage.

"That DVD that Iíve done of myself, Iíve watched a little bit of Caroline and a couple of other bits but I canít look at it. Itís the same with any Quo footage, I canít go there."

When asked the reason why, Francis refers to himself in the third person, as if itís a different performer on stage.

"I start looking at him and say Ďyou shouldnít do this, you shouldnít do thatí.

"I think I look stupid, and Iíve thought that for years. So Iíll start changing things if I think it doesnít look cool."

Problem is, he may change the things that make his performance so appealing.

"If thereís anything people like about me, whatever it is and I donít know what it is, but if itís anything to do with what I do on stage, Iím going to change the way he does things.

"Iíve had this problem for years so I just donít go there."

So we can rest assured it will be the usual Rossi performance tomorrow night when Status Quo play Birminghamís LG Arena.

It will also be a fairly familiar setlist, although fan favourite Donít Waste My Time may be included after proving popular in Francisís solo set.

"The Quo has been guilty over the past few years of having an album with a couple of good tracks on, putting them in for one or two tours, then taking them out.

"Now we have The Oriental, Creeping Up On You and Beginning Of The End in and theyíre really maturing to great stage songs. I had great difficulty getting everyone to go along with that. I do try and run the band as a democracy which is great on paper but in practice itís more difficult than it looks." He says that Quo songs he included in his solo shows would fit nicely into a Quo gig.

"I think a lot of those songs would be great Ė Twenty Wild Horses, Youíll Come ĎRound, Canít Give You More.

"I think My Little Heartbreaker is excellent, although our bass player John Edwards said to the producer at the time that he didnít think it was Quo enough.

"I donít understand that, itís Quo if I wrote it and sing it and we play it. I donít have that thing of Ďno, no, thatís not Quoí. Quo have done so many things they shouldnít have done, I donít see why we canít try anything."

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4th - Quo concert at LG Arena, Birmingham

Quo returned to the National Exhibition Centre's LG Arena in Birmingham on December 4th in the first of the major arena shows of the 'Quid Pro Quo' tour. To mark the occasion, support here came from the well-known Joe Brown who was well received by the arena filled to about half capacity (with curtained off sections). As Rick had been experiencing voice issues during previous gigs, a slight set change gave his voice more rest via the omission of "Rain" so it was straight from "4500 Times" into "Hold You Back". The encore was the usual short version here, so the failure to include the usual arena "extra" of "Burning Bridges" was a little disappointing.

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5th - Francis and Rick interview on Johnnie Walker's "Sounds of the 70s" (Radio 2)

Francis and Rick did an interview with Johnnie Walker for the iconic "Sounds of the 70s" show on Radio 2, broadcast on December 5th. They discussed the OBEs, their longevity, the pre-gig routines, the Help The Heroes campaign and, of course, the musical! The interview also included three Quo tracks, in "Caroline", the new "In The Army Now" and "Rockin' All Over The World".

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7th - Quo concert at Brighton Centre

Quo took up residence by the seaside on December 7th for the regular visit to the Brighton Centre. Joe Brown was back on support duties and was very well received here. Quo did their best to get the place rocking but Rick had an off night with his voice suffering and him generally appearing to be not very well. Photos of the band doing their best in Brighton can be seen here.

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11th - Quo concert at Wembley Arena, London

One of the biggest events on the annual Quo calendar saw the band return to home turf with their gig at Wembley Arena on December 11th. Many fans decided to make a weekend of it and the nearby Greyhound pub would be their home for much of it! Well-known boogie rockers, Predatür rocked the pub on Friday night (December 10th) as a warm-up, then it was the turn of established tribute outfit Stated Quo to do the honours on Saturday afternoon. They served up a mouth-watering two-and-a-half hour set of classic Quo tunes, as follows.

Wandering just down the road to the Arena, fans were then treated to the "main event" with Joe Brown again on hand to delight the large crowd prior to Quo's appearance. The band themselves performed superbly to a well-filled Arena (the back section was curtained off, as per other recent Wembley gigs), with the usual Winter tour set on offer (and still no "Burning Bridges" as an arena bonus song).

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11th - Francis interview on BBC Radio Nottingham

Francis took part in a phone interview with BBC Radio Nottingham's Mark Dennison on December 11th. The interview was obviously a little early for Francis's liking, but he was his usual amiable self throughout. He discussed the gig routine, the Quid Pro Quo tour, his solo tour, his love of jigsaw puzzles, the gig coming up in Nottingham, the problems of touring the theatres due to poor facilities, and the impact of snow on the touring schedule. Dennison also played "Down Down" and "Whatever You Want" during the course of the interview.

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12th - Quo concert at Trent FM Arena, Nottingham

Quo rocked the Trent FM Arena in Nottingham on December 12th. Ably assisted once more by Joe Brown, the near capacity crowd witnessed the standard Winter tour set and some decent fan photos of the band in action can be found here.

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13th - Francis interview on BBC Radio Derby

An excellent interview between BBC Radio Derby's Andy Potter and Francis was aired on December 13th. The interview was recorded in the dressing room prior to the Nottingham gig (on December 12th) and the pair clearly got on very well. Francis discussed the tour and gig routines, his solo tour, the diehard fans, his own tastes in music, the Help for Heroes campaign, his views on capitalism, his plans for the Christmas break, and his views on aging. Andy also played "Living On An Island" and "It's Christmas Time" during the interview.

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17th - Quo concert at Aberdeen AECC

Despite terrible weather conditions, the Quo entourage made it to Aberdeen (thanks to a day off after the Sheffield show) for their gig at the AECC on December 17th. It was touch and go whether the gig would go ahead, as per the following press release on the AECC website.

"We can confirm that tonightís Status Quo concert will go ahead as planned . Having been in Aberdeen since yesterday, the band and crew are keen to play this evening.

The decision to proceed was based on advice from local emergency services and other appropriate parties, which considered factors including access to the venue, the status of main roads, weather forecasts and public transport operation.

Those planning to attend should allow extra time for their journey, inline with usual winter travelling advice."

A decent crowd braved the conditions to attend the show, with Joe Brown as support and the usual Winter tour set on offer again from Quo.

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19th - Quo concert at St George's Hall, Bradford

Quo rounded out the UK leg of the Quid Pro Quo tour with a gig on December 19th at St George's Hall in Bradford. Supported by The Crave again, the band played the familiar set to a packed house and the conclusion of the show marked the end of the UK leg of the tour, which finished with no cancellations due to weather or illness for the first time in many years. Having said that, Rhino was clearly very sick during this show but battled on to prevent a cancellation. At the very end of the show, Francis took off his shoes and gave them away to a guy in the front row - that's a first for a Quo gig (he did also give his "sweaty shirt" away at Wembley once though)!

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26th - Quo mentioned in BBC article "Is rock recession resistant?"

Quo were mentioned in the following article on the BBC website on December 26th, entitled "Is rock recession resistant?" and written by Tim Masters.

"Is rock recession resistant? In a year where budget cuts have dominated the headlines we have been asking musicians who have gigged through recessions old and new for their observations.

Rick Parfitt, of Status Quo, has been on the road with the Quid Pro Quo tour throughout November and December. Has he noticed a change in audience behaviour?

"It's started to hit us," the guitarist admits. "Seat sales are staying relatively the same - we're not getting any bigger or smaller - but you do notice it in sales of programmes and T-shirts.

"If you bring the family out to the gig, it's expensive enough anyway. We try to keep it down, but we have to move with the times. So you go out there and try to give great value for money - we've always given 100%.

"But if we only suffer in sales of programmes and T-shirts then we're doing all right. As long as we've still got bums on seats, we're happy."

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