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That was the Quo month that was ... February 2024

10th - Australis Quo gig at Scotties Garage, Seaford (Australia)

The first headline gig for the only current Aussie Quo tribute band playing around Victoria was too much of an opportunity to miss, so we headed across the Bay to catch Australis Quo in Seaford on 10th February.

It was a gig that almost didn't happen, with Chris Christo - the band's Francis - having to pull out of this and future gigs due to illness - we wish Chris well. Luckily for Australis Quo, the support band's rhythm guitar player, George, offered his services for the rhythm section, leaving Steve Harvey with the enormous challenge of switching over to take on Francis's guitar work and all the vocals for the set!

Arriving right on 7pm, there were already a few taking up their spots at Scotties Garage and support band Witchazel kicked off at about 7.30pm. This six-piece outfit played very well, knocking out an hour-long set of rock classics before taking a short break and then returning for almost another hour! This was the longest support band slot I've ever seen but it was really enjoyable thanks to their high-quality versions of so many great songs. George played superbly during their set and so his efforts with Australis Quo were keenly awaited.

It was good to see a few familiar faces from the Quo community and the break after Witchazel offered a nice chance to catch up (after not seeing many of them for several years thanks to COVID cancellations and restrictions).

By the time Australis Quo wandered on at 10pm, we were ready to rock - as were the 100+ strong mixed bag of a crowd! The line-up was our new friend George on rhythm (no vocals), Steve Harvey on lead guitar and vocals, Mal Leishman on bass and Brett Spicer on drums.

They opened very strongly, with the killer combo of "Caroline" into "Roll Over Lay Down", then keeping up the momentum with a heavy rendition of "Big Fat Mama". The rest of their first set was more of the same, trawling the Frantic Four back catalogue for crowd-pleasing rockers. The dance floor filled out nicely and a few air guitars made their inevitable appearances too! After about an hour, the band took a well-deserved break before returning for another 45 minutes-or-so, wrapping up with "Whatever You Want". The inclusion of "The Wanderer" in this second half felt like a surprise inclusion while the rest of the set stuck to its Frantic Four roots. Even though it was well after midnight when the closing chords of "Whatever You Want" rang out, the crowd were begging for me but, alas, we were not rewarded with an encore.

Two big sets from two excellent bands made for a very enjoyable evening at Scotties Garage. Kudos to George from Witchazel for managing to play for close to four hours and also to Steve for working so hard in his unfamiliar role as Francis, managing to keep his voice despite carrying lead vocal responsibilities for the whole set! I hope Australis Quo find a replacement for Chris to ensure they can meet their future gig commitments and I can't wait to see them again.

Revisit the February 2024 event list