The first gig of the Quofestive season took place in Glasgow on 6th December. The band were supported by Knock Out Kaine and a decent-sized crowd enjoyed a slightly new set list, including "Marguerita Time" as well as a more, erm, festive encore, as follows.
Quo performed the same Quofestive set to a good crowd at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham on 16th December, supported by Bad Influence. There was a funny moment during the gig when Rhino went over to the front of the stage and encouraged a man sitting in the front row to stand up. It was only then that Rhino realised the man had only one leg! There were fits of giggles from both Rick and Francis when they realised what he'd done. Francis then told everyone through the mic and asked the bloke to explain why he didn't want to stand up. In response, the man hoisted himself up on the edge of the stage and got a huge round of applause. Rhino shook the bloke's hand and Francis found it very difficult to compose himself thereafter!Revisit the December 2012 event list
Quo made yet another appearance at the LG (formerly NEC) Arena in Birmingham on 17th December. Although the venue was far was from, the audience got a great performance from the band and some good fan photos can be seen here.Revisit the December 2012 event list
On 17th December, the official Quo website (and Matt's blog) announced the sad news that Matt Letley had decided to leave Quo.
"It’s been a fantastic journey over the past twelve years or so but I have decided that now is the right time for me to leave Quo and move on to something new. My final show will be at the O2 on Wednesday.
No doubt there will be much conjecture that this is somehow related to the upcoming reunion gigs but I’d like to assure everyone that it has no bearing on my decision. Indeed I wish the guys every success with this tour and certainly hope to come along to see one of the shows!
I should like to take this opportunity to thank the guys in the band, our fantastic crew and Simon and the girls in the office for their friendship and professionalism. Most of all I thank the fans without whom I should not have had the chance to play with one of the best rock and roll bands in the world."Revisit the December 2012 event list
The final gig of the Quofestive tour took place on 19th December at London's vast O2 Arena. This gig also marked the end of the road for Matt Letley as Quo's drummer and he took a bow at the end of the gig. Rick brought out son Tommy during the band's farewell too. The show was recorded for immediate release (and subsequent download or mail order) by Abbey Road Live Here Now, a nice archive piece to mark Matt's last gig with the band.Revisit the December 2012 event list
An hour-long interview between Johnnie Walker and Francis, Rick, Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan was broadcast on Radio 2 on 27th December. Titled "Rockin' All Over The Years", Rick and Francis gave their comments from the tour bus, while Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan added their own comments together in the studio.
Kicking off with "Whatever You Want", the first topic was hair with Rick talking about losing his hair during filming of 'Bula Quo' and Alan saying he'll swing his locks around during the reunion shows! Next up, discussion of 'Live Aid'. Next topic, the origin of the name Frantic Four and Alan talked about his time at school with Francis, before John discussed his start in music with the Air Cadets. Alan and John went on to talk about the very early gigs and the break at Butlins, then Rick and Francis talked about their Butlins experiences too.
John talked fondly about the early paid gigs and buying his Ludwig drumkit. Alan talked about Rick joining the band and the recording of "Pictures of Matchstick Men". John talked warmly about the resulting Top of the Pops appearance and then Alan discussed the choice of recording "Down The Dustpipe". The transition to a rock band came up next with Rick and Francis discussing their early Doors and Chicken Shack influences, cue "Roadhouse Blues" and "Paper Plane".
The setlist was a topic for discussion, around the origins of "Caroline" and its place as the set opener. "Down Down" next and discussing it as their first number one record. Rick went on to talk about his 'discovery' or "Rockin' All Over The World" before further discussion about 'Live Aid' (including Alan revealing that he thought John Coghlan should have been invited back into the band for the show). John talked about his reasons for leaving the band too.
The reunion gigs were the next topic of conversation and how it all came about. Rick and Francis's enduring friendship came up and the interview finished off with John Coghlan talking enthusiastically about the reunion gigs!Revisit the December 2012 event list