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That was the Quo month that was ... February 2003



4th - Quo article in the Yorkshire Evening Post

The following article, titled "Rocking all over the woods" and written by Paul Jeeves, appeared in the Yorkshire Evening Post newspaper on 4th February.

BOOGIE legends Status Quo are set to rock on wood this summer when they play a concert in the middle of a Yorkshire forest.

The picturesque wildlife sanctuary of Dalby Forest on the North York Moors will reverberate to the 12-bar strains of the perennial rockers when they wheel their Heavy Traffic world tour into the Forest at the end of June.

But as rock classics such as "Down Down", "Caroline" and "Whatever You Want" thunder out in Dalby surround sound, the forest's usual inhabitants such as roe deer and badgers are sure to be sent scurrying for cover.

The huge forest is situated on the southern slopes of the North York Moors national park and the southern part of the forest is divided by a number of valleys creating a 'Rigg and Dale'. But it will be the interesting rock formations that will have Quo's denim clad bastion of fans foraging among the pines and spruces to see their heroes.

The Quo, who have notched up chart hits in five decades and have had more chart hits than any other British band, will be playing in the setting of Adderstone Field on Sunday, June 22. Dalby Forest has been around almost as long as the Quo, having been formed in the ice age and has previously staged an RAC rally. But the noise of cars will pale into insignificance as the band, who were billed in the 1970s as the loudest rock act in the world, fire into action.

The forest is a home for birds such as the crossbill and that elusive summer visitor the nightjar, but district forester and Quo fan Peter Green says he is sure the wildlife will be able to cope with the noise. He said: "It's going to be a great night although I don't think we could have found a louder band to come and play. I'm sure the animals will run for cover but it will only last for a couple of hours. It's great for the forest because it raises our profile and will hopefully attract lots more tourists. The actual venue can accommodate 4,000 so I'm sure it will sell out very quickly indeed."

Quo are used to playing concerts in unusual venues. Last year they launched their latest album aboard aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal while in 1999 they played an intimate pub gig at The Duchess in Leeds.

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7th - Nick Rossi in the Daily Mirror

The following snippet appeared in the Daily Mirror newspaper on 7th February.

The aspiring rock band Little Egypt - they earned a recent Scurra mention because of their anti-war song - contains Nick Rossi and his brother Kieran, sons of Status Quo frontman Francis Rossi.

Nick, 30, tells me that he once considered joining the police before taking up a pop career. "The idea that I wanted to be a copper makes me laugh now because I would have spent my whole time arresting my dad for dope offences" says Nick "Can you imagine it, 'Come on dad. Give us the gear'"

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14th - Quo concert at Credicard Hall, Sao Paulo, Brazil

On their return to South America following a very long absence, Quo kicked off with two gigs in Brazil, the first in Sao Paulo - Brazil's most populous city. Lack of decent promotion (the promoter went bust on the day of the first gig!) and no significant advertising led to disappointing ticket sales.

A crowd of about 2500 saw Quo perform the following set.

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15th - Quo concert at ATL Hall, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The second show in Brazil was in the nation's capital, yet attracted only about 800 people... The set list was a cut down version of the previous night's gig in Sao Paulo:

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Press conference in Mexico -  by Francisco Barron from www.reforma.com

22nd & 23rd - Quo concert at Neza Soccer Stadium, Neza, Mexico

Second stop on the South American leg of the "Heavy Traffic" tour was Mexico. This part of the tour was much more successful and well promoted, leading to good crowds on both nights at the Neza soccer stadium.

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24th - Australian 2003 "Down Down, Down Under" tour tickets on sale

The long-awaited Australian leg of the "Heavy Traffic" tour was finally officially announced on 24th February. Two extra dates (Brisbane and Revesby) were added later.

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25th - Quo concert at The Fillmore, San Francisco

Quo returned to the US mainland on 25th February for the first gig of a few small club gigs, kicking off at The Fillmore in San Francisco. A crowd of about 400 saw Quo in intimate surroundings, the following passionate review from Patrick Lenneau tells the story of this gig!

I left home at six and headed across the Bay Bridge listening to Heavy Traffic on my iPod. I was greeted by what must have been the most beautiful sunset of the year. Full of color, with the city in the foreground and just enough fog to remind you you're in San Francisco.

Unfortunately, the boys didn't see this as they got to the Fillmore before five and hung around all night. Apparently they're a bit knackered after the Brazilian and Mexican shows and from the pictures, they are worse for wear. I recall a quote of Alan's where he complained he had been replaced by a ballerina, none of that tonight. We had a somewhat stationary Rhino. I hope he didn't get sick south of the border. It's hard for everybody to avoid everything down there and you just figure someone's going to catch something.

I got in line about six forty-five and stood around until about seven fifteen. Sometimes when you're in the front of the show you don't really see who's around behind you but the lines a good place to see who showed up. Apparently there were a few fellow American's who saw them live in the seventies who somehow found out about the show. My take on this is that we could have upped the attendence by at least twenty-five percent if we could drum up some publicity next time. Hopefully the release of Heavy Traffic will help. As it was, the place was about half full. It seemed that at least half the people were expat Brits and Mexicans from Neza. I imagine Neza since they started chanting Neza Neza Neza early in the set soon followed by chants of Mexico Mexico Mexico. It was odd, after about ten minutes the Mexicans started to disappear one by one and when they returned, they all had various Quo paraphernalia, the best of which to my mind was a Heavy Traffic wall clock.

The show itself didn't start until about eight forty-five and went on 'till about ten thirty. In case anyone saw me there, I was the the one just about dead center in front of the drums standing behind two really short people. Blue jeans, grey status quo t-shirt, old leather jacket, dark glasses, shaking head madly throughout show. I'll save show details till later in this report, but below is a set list. All in all, a heavier sounding show which I thought appropriate for California.

Here comes the gig report... The show begins! Not even an opening act to worry about which was a good thing for me and my bronchial cold. After an hour and forty-five minute wait - note the forty-five, surely a good omen - and a couple of false starts, we get the feedback intro and the boys break into "Caroline". No introduction needed. The crowd goes wild. Lots of frenzied jumping from all within my range of sight, admittedly not very far with my eyesight, but the energy is all I could have hoped for and more. The sound is great as well which can be problematic when you're standing as close as I was to the stage. Often the vocals go straight to the PA speakers on the side and right by the people directly in front of the stage. Speaking of the stage, it's actually quite big for what's really a small club. The white Marshall stacks made up the bulk of the back line with Matt and Andy just barely in front of them. After that, there was quite a bit of space before the mic. stands. They would have had much less stage space had they played someplace like Slim's (Boz Scaggs' club). They had a couple of Heavy Traffic banners on the either side of the stage and a half dozen of those twirling warning lights that you see on road repair vehicles in front of the Marshalls.

It's a couple of songs before Francis addresses the audience while I'm trying to scream out Forty-Five cough cough Hundred cough Times cough. I guess he heard me and obeyed since they started playing FFHT. Enough cause and effect for me. From then on I knew, and they knew, I think we all knew it wouldn't do to play any BB/ITAN/LOAI types of songs. Only the hardcore stuff as Frame would put it. If I had to pick a favorite moment it would probably be when they finished the chorus of "Railroad" and hammered into the verse. It's everything the blues ought to be in rock music. But you could probably find similar moments in most of the songs they played that night. I was totally blown away as the songs went by one by one, every one a great head banging tune.

At the next break they announced their intention to play four songs from the new album. I didn't realize so much was being played from the new album on this tour but there's plenty of great heavy tunes on Heavy Traffic, so why not. My favorite, and least expected was "Creepin' Up On You". For some reason I figured they would stick to singles and/or those first two tunes, NSN and SG. I hope they keep expanding the tunes they play from Heavy Traffic as there are a few more that deserve a hearing.

By this time, most of the audience had settled down. I've seen a few of the old seventies bands that are still active and the audience experience is nowhere near as physical as it once was. There's a lot more respect for personal space, always an important consideration in Northern California. Much of the audience seemed to reflect this observation. The Brits seemed more active, dancing or jumping, but fatigue had set in and this activity was primarily during the beginning of favorite tunes. Fortunately, most of the Mexican contingent was younger, I would say early to mid twenties at the oldest and at least near the stage, they kept going all through the show. The shows in North America are a good start but I think Quo management need to reach out actively to this potential audience. In America, perhaps ads in Spanish language media and down south securing airplay on whatever passes for BBC1 on the X. I suppose we should have similar stations available up hear, on the K(?), as well but they would be far fewer. If I may add, from a purely aesthetic perspective you understand, it was refreshing to see girls at a seventies band rock concert which is usually populated by older guys.

Back at the concert, they played a few more favorites of mine within other tunes but for the life of me, I can't figure out where. Since they are favorites they deserve mention and they are "Most of the Time", "Rollin' Home" and "Wild Side of Life". Do they play "Most of the Time" with "Little Lady" anymore? I think it's as good a combination as they have and I'd love to hear it live.

RAOTW was a fitting closer since Fogerty's local but what happened to "Roadhouse Blues"? Jim grew up in my home town of Alameda across the bay. Hope they get it back for L.A. It would be good in the opening encore spot where we got "Anniversary Waltz" followed by more "Anniversary Waltz" type tunes at the end. A little much for my tastes.

I've never been so drained after a concert though I suspect much of that came courtesy of a cough that won't let me sleep for more than a few of hours before another coughing spell starts up. Arrrgh. Still I managed to get some dinner on the way home which also gave me a chance to wash my glasses. They were pretty much fogged up after the show, no wonder the car defroster didn't help, and I couldn't see a thing. Hope they make a go of it around here, at least every few years but even if they don't, I know they were here, I was here, we were here and I'll never forget it. Just don't ask for a complete set list.

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