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That was the Quo month that was ... July 2001



11th - Quo concert at Eisstadion, Esslingen

The following review comes from Till Langhorst, who estimates that the gig was attended by 2500-3000 fans.

Before the concert I had not the best feeling because the venue was a little bit strange and also some parts of the audience didn't look like a rock 'n' roll crowd.

But everything was different - it was one of the hardest Quo concerts I have ever seen and Quo (and especially Rick Parfitt) didn't stand still for one second. I had a friend with me who has seen Quo the first and last time in 1978 and after the concert he couldn't believe what he has seen tonight.

The setlist was the same as the last concerts including "In The Army Now" - but tonight was something special, they did a little bit of "Living Doll" and the "Shake Baby Shake" bit in "Bye Bye Johnny" because we requested it.

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12th - Quo Vadis at The Corner Hotel, Richmond

13th - Quo Vadis at The Icon, Bendigo

Just in case your Latin is a bit rusty, Quo Vadis - "where are you going?" Ask the Brisbane-based Australian Status Quo tribute show this question and the answer is "Victoria" - taking their well-known Queensland act down South in search of the Quo faithful in both city and country towns. With almost as much time spent on the road to the deep South as actually gigging, the band made a huge commitment - and took a risk. Would their fellow countrymen in Victoria prove themselves worthy of that commitment?

First up was a city-central show at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, an inner city suburb of Melbourne. A well-established live music venue, the Corner comes with an excellent room, good PA and quality sound - all wrapped up in that unmistakable dingy, slightly seedy guise of the best pub venues. The Thursday night gig (July 12) received a promising amount of publicity - ads in the Herald Sun daily newspaper, details on the Corner's web site, "Pick of the Day" live gig on the prestigious Melbourne CitySearch web site and noted in the widely-distributed free daily, the Melbourne Express. The usual Victorian fan network had also been doing its bit and all was set for a big night at this perfect Richmond venue.

Support band for the evening was an outer Melbourne covers act, by the name of "The Idle Frets" who entertained the small crowd from 9 till about 9.45. Featuring Quo mailing list member Mike Pelman on bass, the four piece knocked out a familiar set of 60s and 70s material which was warmly received and appreciated. They trod on slightly soggy ground with an ambitious cover of the uncoverable "Down Under" by Aussie act 'Men At Work', while the inclusion of a 'Proclaimers' song - in the shape of "500 Miles" - was difficult to forgive in the otherwise classy company that was their set. Highlights of their commendable support slot included the old faithful "Mustang Sally" and a good workover of Dragon's "April Sun in Cuba".

By the time Quo Vadis took the stage at just after 10pm, about 50 had packed into the large back room of the Corner, a disappointing turnout by any measure. Undeterred, Tony (as Rick), Tina (as Alan), David (as Francis), Gary (as John Coghlan) and Roy Lynes (as, well, Roy Lynes) kicked off in classic Quo style with "Caroline" and "Roll Over Lay Down". It wasn't long before the usual suspects were up front, the invisible axe-wielding gurus familiar to many a Melbourne Quo party did themselves proud and gave Quo Vadis their first taste of Quo fan-dom, Victoria style.

The band played on, tackling material from the 60s, 70s and 80s, in a set of over two and a half hours. Roy Lynes did the honours on the classic "Pictures of Matchstick Men" as well as an impromptu lead vocal on "Something 'Bout You Baby I Like". In his spare time, he strummed a guitar and played harmonica - oh, he played keyboard occasionally as well!

Quo Vadis seemed to be enjoying themselves, despite the tiny crowd. Every missed lyric was greeted with dismay by the die-hards up front, providing cues to every line and telegraphing every Quo move known to man. How could anyone argue with this? "Down The Dustpipe", "Mean Girl", "Big Fat Mama", "Spinning Wheel Blues", "Paper Plane", "Rollin' Home", "Blue Eyed Lady" - all classic old Quo and all lapped up eagerly by the Quo-famined Melbourne audience.

Highlights of the set, apart from the old unheard live songs, were the crowd-pleasers - "Down Down", "Caroline", "Rockin' All Over The World", "Don't Waste My Time" - and all too soon "Bye Bye Johnny" was marking the end of a long, arduous journey through thirty years of Quo music.

As they left the stage and the meagre crowd dissolved into the Richmond night, the band mingled with the few survivors and took some positives from the gig. Their first ever gig in Victoria was not the most well attended gig they'll ever play, but they felt the warmth, genuine appreciation and thorough enjoyment of those few people who made the gig worthwhile.

And, of course, any sadness at the close of another gig is always tempered by the thrill of the chase of the next one!

Although the date was not a good omen, Friday 13th, a 200km trip from my home in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne out to Bendigo in central Victoria went without incident. It's always a pleasure to visit this city - built on money from the gold rush 150 years ago, the place maintains an air of relaxed prosperity more akin to a large town than a city. Its people are friendly and, bathed in glorious Winter sunshine, the city looked resplendant as I looked over it from the mining-inspired lookout in Rosalind Park.

This is meant to be a gig review rather than a travelogue, so enough scene setting and onto the reason for my being there - the second of Quo Vadis' gigs in Victoria. The venue this time was less than traditional, a nightclub above a restaurant with a small stage jammed in one corner, by the name of "The Icon". Wandering up late afternoon, the band were already well on their way to being set up and making themselves at home. Everyone seemed very relaxed, especially Roy who was in fine form responding to requests for anything from the Beatles to Rolf Harris! Due to the late start of the gig (scheduled for 11pm), I headed off for a while to catch up with friends a little North of the city in the Quo heartlands of Huntly.

Returning to The Icon at around 10pm, a small crowd had started to gather - largely around the very welcome open log fire, a significant draw on this cold and foggy Bendigo night. Shortly afterwards, the band arrived and the punters started to trickle in over the next hour or so. With no support band for this gig, it was great to catch up with old friends and make some new ones along the way - all sharing the common Quo bond. It would be 11.15 before Quo Vadis would appear on the small and sticky stage ready to tackle whatever this Bendigo crowd could throw at them (not literally of course!).

Sticking with a similar set, heading off on their long journey with "Caroline" and "Roll Over Lay Down" is a winner every time. We all warmed up quickly, as did the band as they fought against some very ordinary mixing which did improve as their set went on. Roy was in fine fettle, doing his bits with aplomb and remaining on stage with the biggest grin even when he wasn't required to.

Just to extend themselves a little after Richmond, Quo Vadis decided to cover the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s in Bendigo, via creditable stabs at "Rave On" and "Roll Over Beethoven" in Quo style from 'Famous in the Last Century'. The 'newer' stuff didn't detract from the 'older' stuff at all though and it was again the familiar hits that got the Bendigo crowd bopping along. Tina had more success with her notable lead vocal on "Living On An Island" here too and "Rockin' All Over The World" was so good, they played it twice!

Given the venue, it was always going to attract the younger late night market and the gig was well attended - and enjoyed by the younger set. It was good to see a few youngsters not afraid to let themselves go in front of a Quo cover band, equally at home losing their credibility alongside the feuding air guitars of some more mature Bendigo notables.

The band split their set for this gig somewhere down the middle , with no off-stage shenanigans before the multiple encores leading to the end of the show. "Bye Bye Johnny" here turned into a long one, consuming along its way a number of otherwise worthy classics and destroying the otherwise impeccable lip-synching of one member of the audience! Another very long set of over two and a half hours and the band were tiring a little, as were some of the crowd!

A much larger audience than in Melbourne was a fillip for Quo Vadis who again played well with an enviable variety of Quo tunes at their fingertips.

As the crowd slowly sunk into the foggy mire, Quo Vadis packed up and contemplated the long journey out to Traralgon for the Saturday night gig before heading back to Queensland. Bendigo served as the end of this short road for me, but a back-to-back live Quo experience of any sort is great - and Quo Vadis do not disappoint.

I ask the question again - Quo Vadis - "where are you going?" There can be no doubt that the current line-up of this talented cover outfit are now working together very well indeed, following an extensive series of gigs in their home state of Queensland. Using Roy Lynes as a significant drawcard is a strength they cannot ignore and he lends a down-to-earth, likeable star to what is already a useful musical unit. Their choice of material is clever, covering the full range of styles and eras of Quo's own output. With long sets like these, Quo Vadis prove themselves to be capable of tackling pretty much anything from the original band they so faithfully try to reproduce. Shorter, more targetted sets may be the way to go to maintain and extend the popularist vote though, maintaining the momentum is maybe more important than maintaining the status quo in this respect.

I hope Quo Vadis take something very positive from their brief stint in Victoria. They may not have got the crowds they would have liked (and certainly deserved) but I think they saw the passion and gratitude etched on the faces of the real fans - and that alone must provide an impetus to carry on with what they are not only very capable in doing, but also clearly enjoy.

Good on ya Quo Vadis, knock New South Wales dead - but remember you're welcome back in Victoria any time!

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14th - Quo concert at Antenne Bayern Festival, Ingolstadt

The following review comes from Till Langhorst.

Saturday morning at 10 my phone was ringing - there was my friend Michael and he told me "hey Till we are on the guest list for the soldout concert in Ingolstadt". My plans for the day changed in one minute. Three hours later we were in the car for the next three hours to Ingolstadt.

There were 50000 people, it was a festival from a radio station. Also on the bill were DJ "fuckin" Bobo, No Angels (not one minute of live singing) and later on in the evening Mr. Sleeping Pill, Lionel Richie. Quo started between 6 and 6.30 and played 75 wonderful hard hitting minutes.

The special thing was that near the stage was a border and you couldn't go near the stage without a bracelet. All of these bracelets were in the hands of girls and some boys in the age between 8 and 18 who where there early on the day.

So the most of the people who were there to see Quo couldn't manage to be near the stage - this was very sad on one side because near the stage were only between 20 or 30 real Quo fans between 2000 people. The good thing was we persuaded some security guy after 15 minutes of talking to let us in and he couldn't refuse, so we were more or less the biggest persons near the stage and could see everything and also Quo could see us - very good during the gig and especially in the first half of their set they were more or less rocking for us.

The setlist was excellent they played all their hardcore songs with no compromise for the festival crowd.

Sadly the German tour is over and for me it was the best tour I have ever seen from Quo and I hope they will stay in this "hardcore" direction.

Greetings to all the wonderful Quo fans I have met in the last month - hope to see you again and again.

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18th - Rick Parfitt interviewed on The Richard Allinson Show (BBC Radio 2)

19th - Francis Rossi interviewed on Dutch Radio 2

Copies of both of these interviews are available in RealAudio and MP3 formats, from the Downloads section of Pete Quoling's web site at www.quoling.com

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19th - Quo and the Beach Boys "Route of Kings" concert at Edinburgh Castle

The following review, headlined "Good vibrations are rocking all over city" and written by David Torrance and Helen Puttick, appeared in the Edinburgh News on July 20th.

Good vibrations rocked Edinburgh Castle last night as Status Quo and the Beach Boys proved the music of the Sixties was still alive and kicking.

The Beach Boys began a nostalgic night for rock fans on the Castle Esplanade with a selection of surfing classics.

And ageing rockers Status Quo later stormed onto the stage to the roar of thousands of people who had braved the cold night air to see musical heroes from their childhood.

The two bands showed advancing years were no barrier to giving an energetic and crowd-pleasing performance against the stunning backdrop of the historic Castle.

An audience sporting Hawaiian shirts and faded denims, and everyone from grandchildren to grandparents, greeted each old favourite with cheers and applause.

The only disappointment of the night was that the two bands - who have met in the recording studio - did not perform together.

The Beach Boys took to the stage at just after 7.30pm as the supporting act with California Girls and the crowd responded by bouncing a beach ball around the esplanade.

"Itís great to be here," shouted lead singer Mike Love. "We started in 1961 - itís great to be anywhere."

But although Mike Love did start performing in the early Sixties, he was the only original member of the famed band at the Castle last night.

He was joined by significantly younger musicians from England, Canada and the United States who took the place of Dennis and Carl Wilson - both now dead - and Brian Wilson, who now tours on his own.

Elderly fans danced in the aisles for most of the night as the band upped the tempo with "And Then I Kissed Her" and "Donít Worry Baby".

"We looked out of the window this morning," said Mike Love as the band started playing California Dreaming. "And it made us think of this song."

However, the unusual July chill did nothing to dampen the crowdís mood, who were all on their feet for "Wouldnít It Be Nice?", "I Get Around", "Surfiní USA" and perennial crowd-pleaser "Good Vibrations".

But it was Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt of Status Quo striking their guitars that sent electricity around the arena.

With a backdrop of white speakers, which Rossi admitted took "three minutes" to design, it was the performance alone that captivated the crowd.

Accompanied by dozens of air guitars they began with "Sweet Caroline", then dived into "Iím a Wanderer".

The group stopped only to banter with one group of fans who held aloft a card announcing "Itís us again" and to sympathise about the cold, before ploughing into the next number.

But there was no rainfall and at one point the sky glowed pink, the Castle green and the sneakers of Rick, Francis and Rhino brilliant white - adding to the magic of the occasion.

Every number the band produced was greeted with enthusiasm and during "Roll Over Lay Down" the audience could be heard singing over the guitars. By the time they reached a "Rockin' All Over the World" finale, most of the audience was on their feet.

The favourite gave the band a dramatic exit and fans were left begging for an encore.

After some minutes they returned and bounced into "Weíre In the Army Now" before slipping into a medley of well-known tunes including "Great Balls of Fire", proving they could carry off more than their own repertoire.

Lindsey Brown, who is in her forties and lives in Lothian Road, said: "I have been to every final tour they have done and I thought tonight was fantastic.

"The atmosphere has been really good and they were great to dance to."

Drew Elliot, 51, of Bonnyrigg, who has also followed the band over the years, had a great evening. But he added: "I was disappointed Status Quo and the Beach Boys did not do a number together.

"I thought the Beach Boys were more professional."

However, nine-year-old Rory Cooper and his four-year-old brother Ben from Kinross were converted to their fatherís taste in music by the concert.

Dad Ramsay Cooper, who is in his late thirties, said: "I have been a Quo fan for years. I really liked tonight."

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20th - Quo and the Beach Boys "Route of Kings" concert at Warwick Castle

The following article appeared in the Birmingham Evening Mail on July 20th. Thanks to Kim Hochkins for bringing this article to my attention.

After more than 30 years in the business veteran rockers Status Quo continue to chalk up a series of firsts. Tonight they play their first ever show at Warwick Castle and earlier this year they performed their most intimate gig in front of just seven people.

"We're really looking forward to the gig at Warwick, it's a fabulous setting" says Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt. "We've got to beware the Quo Cloud though. It seems to follow us around whenever we play outdoor shows." There were no problems with the wet weather when the band played their smallest gig - because they were well and truly stuck indoors, playing a medley of songs for contestants on Norway's version of Big Brother.

"Our album Famous In The Last Century, was number four in the Norweigan charts at the time so someone suggested we go into the Big Brother house to give it a bit of a push. "I've never seen the programme but it was so bizarre because these seven people had been there for so long without seeing anybody else." "We set up secretly and they had no idea what was going on but it blew them away." "After the programme the album went up to number two, only kept off number one by Destiny's Child."

On the bill with Quo tonight are the Beach Boys. The two bands enjoyed a joint hit with Fun Fun Fun in 1996. "We first appeared with the Beach Boys in a show marking the decommissioning of the British Troops in Berlin," recalls Rick, "playing to a crowd of around 300,000 people." "We had a drink with the Beach Boys in the bar afterwards and that's where we came up with the ide of recording Fun Fun Fun." We've kept in touch but I don't think we'll be doing anything together on stage tonight as we haven't had time to rehearse. "But you never know what might happen......"

Quo's current motto is Never Say Never as its the title of their forthcoming 39 date UK tour, their biggest trek around Britain in 20 years. They play Birmingham NEC on December 15. "The tour title comes from a line in one of the songs Francis has written for our new album," Rick explains. "I wanted to just call it The British Tour but we were told we had to have a title." "But it's not the title of the new album which is all ready to be recorded. It's just a case of finding time to get into the studio." "I've written two or three tracks with our bass player Rhino Edwards and the whole thing sounds fantastic. The songs are really good, very powerful, and it has the potential to be a fantastic album."

There is a question mark, however, over who will play keyboards on the record. Band stalwart Andy Bown has quit touring with the group in order to care for his sick wife, but he's still hoping to contribute to the album in the studio. "We're not sure how its going to work out as we don't know where we'll be recording or when," says Rick. "In the meantime Paul Hirsh has joined us on tour and he's doing a great job." "Hes really affable and easy to get on with. He keeps himself to himself but the vibe within the band is good and everyone's on quite a high."


The following article, headlined "Pop Legends Quo and Beach Boys Storm Warwick Castle", was featured in the second edition of Birmingham's Evening Mail on July 21st, written by Andy Coleman. Thanks to Kim Hochkins for bringing this article to my attention.

Medieval Rockers! Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt warned fans of the "Quo cloud" that seems to follow them around at outdoor shows. Sadly his prophecy was fulfilled last night as the heavens opened and the rain fell.

Not even the inclusion on the bill of those kings of California sunshine The Beach Boys could stop the downpour which persisted for the whole show. Those who were not soaked after the long walk to Warwick Castle from the car park at the racecourse soon were when the small print on their tickets was pointed out by the stewards. The use of umbrellas was prohibited, although this rule was fortunately relaxed if you were willing to leave your seat and stand at the side of the field in which the show was being staged.

The performers worked hard to ensure the event was not a total washout, although the Beach Boys in Hawaiian shirts and shorts looked a little out of place in the wind and rain. Only Mike Love remains of the original line up but it was business as usual as he and Bruce Johnston, who joined in 1965, ran through their greatest hits aided by some side kicks, including Gidea Park's Adrian Baker.They even got the crowd dancing in the rain to "Fun Fun Fun".

Status Quo are old hands at giant arena and festival gigs and they wasted no time in turning the heat up with "Caroline", "The Wanderer" and "Something Bout You Baby I Like". A 10.30pm curfew meant a shortened set of 75 minutes but they managed to include a good number of fan favourites and re-introduced a medley to squeeze a few more songs in. The highlight was their 1976 hit "Rain" of course.

If you want to see Status Quo in drier surroundings they play Birmingham NEC on December 15. There are two more shows at Warwick Castle as part of the Route of Kings series of concerts. Van Morrison and Chris Farlowe perform tonight and Tom Jones tomorrow.

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28th - Filming of "Night Fever" (Channel 5) in Majorca

Quo appeared as the guest artists on Channel 5's fun karaoke show "Night Fever", filmed on the beach at Magalluf in Majorca, Spain, on July 28th. They performed "Rockin' All Over The World", "Whatever You Want" and "Old Time Rock and Roll". Rick was dressed for the occasion with an hawaiian shirt, while Francis was turned out in his usual white shirt, wasitcoat and jeans. The show is due to be aired in the UK in September 2001.

Revisit the July 2001 event list