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That was the Quo month that was ... July 2005



1st - Francis interview in The Times (UK)

The following article, entitled "It's not my party" and written by David Sinclair, appeared in the 'Sounds' section of the UK Times newspaper on July 1st.

"20 years ago the Quo opened the show. This time they’re not even in it. David Sinclair met a grumpy Francis Rossi.

LIVE 8 may be shaping up to be the greatest show on earth, but mention the event to Francis Rossi, of Status Quo, and his response is a weary groan.

“It’s like the second shag, isn’t it? The first one was great, so you get straight back in there and it’s, Whoa, maybe not... I don’t think Bob (Geldof) thinks he can re-create the magic of the first one, but I think the public are hoping he will. It ain’t gonna happen.”

The singer and guitarist, now 56, has fond memories of the first Live Aid, when Status Quo opened the show with their version of John Fogerty’s Rockin’ all Over the World, the song that turned into the unofficial anthem of the event. It was a coup de théâtre, made all the more remarkable by the fact that the Quo had gone on first only because no one else wanted to start the show.

“We didn’t realise it would be such a big deal. As a band at that time, we weren’t particularly getting on, weren’t particularly interested. We didn’t really know what Bob was on about. We didn’t even have any product out. It didn’t dawn on me until the gig was under way that it was going to be anything so huge.”

This time, as Rossi is quick to point out, everyone knows that the stakes are sky high, and the Quo have found themselves passed over in favour of bigger acts. The show in Hyde Park tomorrow will open with U2, together with Paul McCartney and Chris Martin performing Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the song that begins with the classic line: “It was 20 years ago today...” It is sure to be a spine-tingling moment, but Rossi is feeling more than a little brassed off.

“Bob was never going to give us the opening slot again because one of the biggest acts in the world wants to open this show. I’m trying not to be cynical about this, but it’s interesting how it has all become about prestige and status. Now, there’s been a load of arguing. Initially McCartney was going to go on first, but since Pink Floyd got in, they want to go on... it’s all that kind of stuff. And it’s all, ‘Oh no, I couldn ’t go on after that, and I couldn’t go on before them, I’m bigger than this.’

“It’s all that s*** going on. And I thought it was for charity. It all seems a bit peculiar this time.”

So peculiar, in fact, that the Quo will not be appearing on the Live 8 bill at all. According to Rossi, the group informed Geldof that they would be available to do an early slot because they were already booked to do a show in Ireland. They were offered a slot in Hyde Park at 6pm, which was too late, so it seems that they were forced to turn down a place in the greatest line-up for the honour of a gig supporting Meat Loaf in Killarney, Co. Kerry.

Rossi was dismayed when various radio stations and newspapers started campaigning to get the band back in to the Live 8 line-up. “All that stuff saying, ‘Put the poor sods on; they need the gig.’ How embarrassing. We definitely don’t need the gig. We’re up to our eyes in gigs.”

Rossi talks darkly and vaguely of a range of problems that he claims have beset the organisation of the Hyde Park show, including an alleged fine of £350,000 that the organisers will have to pay for every hour the show runs over its time limit, the last-minute rush to secure a licence to fly helicopters in and out of the site and even the absence of such obvious acts as the Rolling Stones and Oasis.

Much of it sounds like the mutterings of a malcontent. But his general point about how the innocent spirit of the original event has been replaced by a more hard-nosed bout of jockeying for position among the heavy hitters of the music industry rings true. Even Geldof has been forced reluctantly to remove himself from the Hyde Park line-up. “Let’s face it, I don’t sell enough records to justify a space on that bill,” he said.

“I feel a bit sorry for Bob,” Rossi says. “He must be under intense pressure. There’s all these acts trying to get on. Hopefully the show will do what it’s meant to do. All this bollocks about who’s playing first and who’s on last is irrelevant. It’s whether it can raise that political awareness needed to reform the debt and the aid situation in Africa. That’s what really counts."

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2nd - Quo concert at Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney, Ireland

The setlist from Quo's limited support slot to Meatloaf follows. For photos from this gig, click here.

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6th - Quo concert at Chichester Festival, West Sussex

Quo pulled off another fine festival performance at the Chichester Festival on July 6th. Playing the slightly shorter 'Summer set' (with no "Big Fat Mama" or "Paper Plane", they entertained an intimate crowd of about 1200 in a large tent (with none of the heat issues of recent 'tent gigs'!). Support came from Never the Bride and local outfit, The Mulberries.

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8th - Quo concert at Rottneros Park, Sunne, Värmland, Sweden

Quo played to 8000 fans in Sweden and were supported by old rockers, Smokie. A review of the concert (albeit in Swedish but featuring a good live shot) can be found here (Quo get a good review, but Smokie got the Swedish "thumbs-down"!)

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9th - Quo concert at Vig Festival, Denmark

Quo played on the Saturday of the large Vig Festival in Denmark. Great weather and an encouragable Danish crowd of some 12-15000 ensured the festival show was a good one. One memorable moment was when Rick hid behind a curtain alongside the PA speakers, with the same look on his face as he had when turning up in the jukebox in the "Anniversary Waltz" video! Rhino pushed him behind the drapes for a second or two too, both of them ended up laughing their heads off. The setlist follows.

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10th - Rick Parfitt Jnr performance at British F1 Grand Prix

In the run up to the British F1 Grand Prix, the official Quo web site carried this statement about Rick's son performing at the after-race gig.

"Rick's son Rick Parfitt Jnr will be playing at the British Grand Prix on Sunday July 10th to an estimated 60,000 people, in support of Jules Holland. The gig will directly follow the Grand Prix.

This year has seen Rick jnr headline the notorious Kitsch Lounge Riot evenings in London, where he has sung with stars like Suggs, Cyndi Lauper and Paul Young. He also headlined the Sony BMG Elvis no. 1's party with Tony Christie, was flown out to New York to sing with Foreigner and even found time to be scouted by a major label!

"This will be an awesome experience for me" Rick said,"The grand prix concert is a fantastic event...and of course I'm nervous but Dad said to imagine everyone naked so I'll just have to give that a go!!"

Rick Jnr will be singing some old favorites and will be debuting some exciting new material...he will also be joined on stage by Faye Tozer formerly of the band STEPS for a song.

Tickets for the Grand Prix and can be purchased at www.passport2sport.co.uk or call 0870 850 0950 for more details."

At the actual event, he started off nervously but quickly found his feet. His set was wide and varied - including "Summer of 69", a Darkness song, "Teenage Dirtbag", an original called "Picture of You", Robbie Williams/Kylie's "Kids", stadium-rocker "Living on A Prayer" - all topped off with "Rockin' All Over The World".

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12th - Air Guitar record attempt article on MSN

The following article, titled "Festival bid for air guitar record", about an air guitar world record attempt at Guilfest appeared on msn.co.uk on July 12th.

"Fans at a leading music festival this weekend will be asked to take part in an attempt to set a world record for the biggest air guitar ensemble, it has been announced.

Music fans attending the Guilfest event in Guildford, Surrey, will be given the chance to take part in the record-breaking bid.

The air guitar spectacular will take place on Sunday when legendary guitar band Status Quo will headline the festival.

Air guitar experts including previous UK champion Farmer John will be on hand to give training to festivalgoers.

Festival co-ordinator Justin Coll said: "Hardcore Status Quo fans are pretty much all equipped with air guitars but there will be an air guitar for everyone on Sunday when we look to set the record."

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15th - Quo concert at Rochester Castle

Quo played in the historic surrounds of Rochester Castle on July 15th, supported by The Andy Cortez Band. Some good photos from Quo's performance can be seen here.

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16th - Quo concert at Blickling Hall, Norfolk

Quo played a concert at the National Trust's Blickling Hall in Norfolk on July 16th. Rick Parfitt Junior did a great job of warming up the Quo crowd and was warmly received (click here for photos of young Rick in action!).

For photos of Quo in action, visit here or there. The following review of the gig appeared in the Eastern Daily Press.

"Status Quo may be celebrating their 40th anniversary as among Britain's favourite and most enduring rock bands but they are having no mid-life crisis if Saturday's open-air Blickling Show is anything to go by.

From the opening chords of perennial show opener Caroline to the farewells of Bye Bye Johnny, Quo, and frontman Francis Rossi in particular, had the audience in the palm of their hands.

From the lad playing air guitar on his dad's shoulders to balding fifty somethings headbanging away to Down Down, it was a classic Quo show pleaser all the way.

Having been to countless Quo shows over the years, this was the first time I had persuaded my wife and two youngsters to come along, and they were bouncing with the best of them to party tracks such as Hold You Back and Break the Rules. They're veterans of some 2000 gigs, reckons Rossi, but the band's enthusiasm is clearly undiminished by it. Despite still using the same battered old guitars they started with, frontmen Rossi and Rick Parfitt form a still dynamic, if slightly slower, duo.

Add in Rhino Edwards on bass and Andy Brown on keyboards, harmonica and sometimes guitar and newcomer Matt Letley on drums, and the recipe for success still exists.

The heavy rock brigade will have been pleased still to hear Forty-five Hundred Times, Rain, Down Down, Gerdundula and Roll Over Lay Down, while the more popular Something Bout You Baby I Like, Again Again, and Whatever You Want were there alongside recent tracks from the Heavy Traffic Album such as All Stand Up, Solid Gold and Creepin' Up On You.

Enduring with their most famous hit, which is as true today as 28 years ago when it was released, Quo are still Rockin' All Over The World, and will be for many years to come."

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16th - Quo mentioned on E4 (UK)

The E4 show "Jarvis Cocker's TV Pop Rules" included a clip of Quo during a rehearsal in a big warehouse. All the backline rig was setup and a brief snippet of Rick's "Caroline" intro was shown before Jarvis walked into the building.

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17th - Quo concert at Guilfest, Guilford, Surrey

Quo headlined the third and final day of Guilfest 2005, on July 17th. Headline acts for the first two days were The Pogues and Paul Weller, whilst Quo were joined on the BBC Radio 2 Main Stage on Sunday by Daniel Bedingfield, Lulu, Marillion, Chas & Dave, The Zombies and the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain! Notable appearances on the other stages during the day included Rhino's son's band Toothpaste Factory (on the "Surrey Advertiser Stage" at 3:30pm) and regular Quo support band Hurricane Party (in the Rock Sound Cave).

Some photos from the Quo concert can be found here, whilst the following extensive Quo bio appeared on the festival web site.

"Status Quo are:

Francis Rossi is the front man. His instantly recognizable voice and the twin guitars of Rossi and Parfitt are the main ingredients of Status Quo. Known to everyone in the band as 'Frame' or 'The Gomorr' (the grand old man of rock and roll), he is married to Eileen, has eight children from two marriages, and lives in Surrey, England.

A typical Gemini, Francis on stage is an outgoing and charismatic showman but has been labelled a recluse because he rarely goes to parties or big social occasions, preferring to stay at home (If you saw his house you'd understand why!). Musically he still loves playing, performing and writing as much as ever and is always involved in the production of Quo records. When not touring, Francis keeps fit by swimming and exercising. He is a collector of Koi Carp, likes clay pigeon shooting and is probably the English pasta-eating record holder.

Rick Parfitt is one of Englands' greatest rhythm guitarists, his rock solid style has always been the core of the Quo sound. Also known as 'The Womorr' (The Wild Old Man Of Rock and Roll) , he has written some of Quo's most memorable songs including '"Whatever You Want", "Backwater" "Living on an Island"' and "Rain". If you've seen Quo live you'll know the rush you get when Rick steps up to the front of the stage and hammers out the intro to 'Caroline' or 'Paper Plane'.

The enduring partnership of Rossi and Parfitt is the thing that keeps Quo rocking and even though they are very different characters, after more than 30 years together they are still the best of mates. Once known as the 'Wild Man' of rock, Rick insists that he has learnt to relax and now is a 'Mild Man' of rock, (If you believe that you'll believe anything!!)

Andrew Bown, otherwise known as 'Acid Man' because of his acerbic wit, is the multi-instrumentalist of the band and whilst he wouldn't admit it, is a fantastic musician. Besides the keyboards, harmonica and guitar that you see him playing on stage with Quo, he is a great bass player, in fact not many people are aware that bass is his main instrument. He is also by his own admission the worst drummer in the world!

Andrew is also a connoisseur of fine wines and noted consumer of the same. Andrew remarried on May 8th 2004 in London. He and his wife Ronnie (Veronica) live with three of their four children in Barnes, South West London. A full member of the band since 1976, he has contributed some great songs to the Quo hit list including 'Whatever You Want' and 'Burning Bridges'.

John 'Rhino' Edwards has played with many other artistes but for him there is only one band and he is where he wants to be, in the engine room of Status Quo. He is known to all as 'Rhino' and also as 'The Bludgeon' because he is the clumsiest man in the world and somehow he manages to break things wherever he goes.

An enthusiastic supporter of Brentford Football Club and a 'Do it Yourself' (demolition) expert, he is married to Kathy and has three children, Mae, Freddie and Max. Rhino loves touring and when Quo are on the road, he and Andrew can often be found wandering the streets, taking in Art Galleries, seeing the sights and tasting the local brews. With possibly the biggest stereo system in West London and the best neighbours (not), he is a musicoholic, always listening to new and old records of all kinds and recording tracks in his home studio.......loudly. With Rhino in the band, Quo will never stop rocking.

Matthew Letley, born on 29th March 1961, he's recorded and toured with (amongst many others) Bob Geldof, Aha, David Essex, Hank Marvin, Gary Brooker, Snowy White and Vanessa-Mae. He also played with Rhino, Francis and Rick on tracks for Rhino's solo album Rhinos Revenge. Matt plays Remo Drums, Zildjian Cymbals and Drumcat Electronics, and is an experienced sight reader. Matt is a great guy, and unlike the other members of Quo he's a quiet guy. But once on stage, he becomes a real animal."

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22nd - Quo concert at Beaulieu National Motor Museum, New Forest

The following review of Quo's concert at Beaulieu on July 22nd appeared in the Southern Daily Echo, written by John Hoskins and titled "Rocking and rolling, but running out of steam".

"You didn't need a direction finder, you simply followed a leather-faced fan nonchalantly inflating a plastic guitar with the word Quo emblazoned on his dyed hair. Headbangers united assembled for their summer ball.

The decibel giants played court against a background of manicured lawns and the elegant facade of Beaulieu Palace, a setting much in contrast with their humble origins of London working mens club as they switched from 60s psychedelic music to their distinctive 12 bar rock and boogie sound they have so profitably maintained from the 1970s.

The musical institution that is Status Quo came, saw and had to make little effort to conquer the committed from the very moment Rick Parfitt ripped into Caroline. They have been rocking for almost as long as the classical cars in the adjacent motor museum have been rolling, enabling them to notch up record sales in excess of 113 million, earn themselves 19 gold discs and an international following of fans. They blitzed their way through four numbers from their Heavy Traffic album and were at their best in their traditional crowd pleasers for the 3,000 plus devoted.

However, this was a curates egg of a performance that neither started or finished convincingly. The band are very much in the November of their years and perhaps a major outdoor location is beyond them, sadly reminding the less committed that their greatness is like Rome and Athens - it lies in the past.

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22nd - "The Party Ain’t Over Yet" video filming

The filming of the video to accompany the new single, "The Party Ain’t Over Yet", took place in unusual surroundings on July 22nd. The following article - titled "Rockin' with the Quo" and written by Paul Furley - appeared on the BBC Gloucestershire website after the filming.

"Question: what does a wish list of three glamour models, two vintage bi-planes re-designed for wing walking, eight German cheerleaders and a cast of 15 extras (by fluke including yours truly) all gathered together near Cirencester with a free bar get you?

Answer: the ingredients for a new music video, if you are the brains behind Status Quo’s new single The Party Ain’t Over Yet (TPAOY).

Renowned revelers

The Quo have probably done most things – legal and possibly illegal (!) – in their 40 year career, but surely not even renowned revelers Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt and co. have attempted to play while flying a couple of hundred feet high up in the air. At least not until now.

As pop promos go, you have to admit this was impressive – it knocks the pants off of driving around London on the back of a flatbed truck (Wanderer, 1984) and is up there with filming on HMS Ark Royal (Jam Side Down, 2002).

Hiring the facilities for the day must have cost a few bob too but the Quo clearly don’t do things by halves.

As with anything which requires any amount of filming, the video seemed to take forever; so much for the rock and roll lifestyle - Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts summed it up best when asked for his thoughts after the first 25 years with his band and replied “5 years of work and 20 years of hanging about”.

The plot

The plot of Quo’s new vid – gleaned roughly from the scenes that were shot and a sneaky look at the director’s plan – is the band transforming a mundane scene by flying in on the wings of bi-planes and, by the sheer up tempo and enthusiastic force of TPAOY, creating the ultimate party atmosphere where suddenly everyone has the time of their lives.

As a concept it works, the video fits the song which has the catchy hallmarks of John David’s previous compositions for Quo (Rollin' Home and Red Sky, both 1986 and I Didn’t Mean It, 1994) but with a booming drum bridge towards the end of the song which makes it, even in the poor acoustic environment of a converted aircraft hanger, rock the way Quo songs should.

The Quo army can be reassured 40 years on from the embryonic meeting at Butlins in Minehead the party still ain’t over yet.

The diary of the day

Quo timeline: Thursday July 21, 2005

7:50 A member of Quo roadie goes into a superstore in Cirencester attempting to buy sufficient booze to get the road crew through the day only to be told they cannot sell alcohol before 8:00. He utilises the opportunity to raise extra cash from colleagues to buy more drinks in 10 minutes time.

14:00 Quo, the band’s road crew and camera crew for the day gather at Rendcombe Aerodrome, home of a wing-walking aerobatics display team along with extras, cheer-leaders and glamour models for the filming of the video.

14:15 The last of the extras (your intrepid BBC Gloucestershire reporter) arrives quarter of an hour late after having managed to get lost in the County he was born and dragged up in. Apologies to one of the fixers are met with re-assurance that filming doesn’t start until 15:00.

14:51 Rhythm guitarist Rick Parfitt passes the time remarking on the eye candy that there’s a very good reason why he isn’t married. It soon becomes apparent that if you’re going to spend most of the day hanging about pleasant surroundings help ease the boredom, especially for those not prepared enough to bring a good book.

15:00 Filming starts with daredevil Parfitt the first of the band to take to the skies, accompanied naturally by a trademark white Fender Telecaster guitar. Parfitt flies on one plane, while another in tandem has a mounted camera to film him. He is followed by frontman Francis Rossi (after a brief delay due to a search for his in ear speakers), bassist John “Rhino” Edwards, keyboard player Andrew Bown and drummer Matt Letley.

16:48 Extensive research reveals the German cheer-leaders are the Pyromaniacs from the Rhein Fire American Football. Quo played at the final of the World Bowl in 2002 when the match was staged in the Fire’s own stadium. The Pyromaniacs have travelled over this morning and go home tomorrow. They also have their own glossy calendar with the girls swapping their pom poms for bikinis.

17:25 More extensive research reveals one of the glamour models has made the less spectacular trip from Essex.

18:05 Having overcome his aversion to flying by wing-walking Andrew Bown declares “it ain’t natural flying around up there” and clearly looks relieved to have both feet back on the ground.

18:30 The proposed meal break time passes, those who have pre-ordered steak are told the pub has run out and have to choose an alternative.

18:32 Matt Letley is filmed drumming through his part to The Party Ain’t Over Yet. His playing is beat for beat perfect and drowns out the backing track used as a guide. During this rendition the Pyromaniacs complete a series of impressive stretching exercises in the bar area.

18:38 Letley plays a second rendition of the song, with only his part being recorded, but this time he is accompanied by the Pyromaniacs who have spent the earlier part of the afternoon learning their new routine.

18:53 The video director requests a take with everyone on stage before the meal break. Rossi, Parfitt and Edwards all manage to play and sing the song despite the obvious distraction of a glamour model assigned to each of them. Anyone else - cheerleaders, extras and family of the band (Harry Parfitt - son of Rick) all stand in the gap in front of the drums on stage to try and create the ultimate party atmosphere. Jumping around like a lunatic comes easier to some than it does to others, one take is enough for the director and your reporter’s neck, but at least all the extras can now declare they have performed with the mighty Quo. Parts of the chorus are now becoming familiar, but the poor acoustics in the hanger prevent they lyrics being heard clearly, for that reason all vocals on the video, as usual for the industry, are mimed.

19:05 Meal break and procession a la Wacky Races to the pub. A 40 minute time allowance for eating is exceeded.

20:18 Return to aerodrome.

20:32 A good deal of Quo’s equipment including an entire drum kit has been moved out of the hanger on to the airstrip 200 yards away for the band to play out in the open while the bi-planes with the regular aerosuperbatics girls on board dance in the sky above.

20:57 A worried roadie - forced to watch from distance due to Quo being filmed in wide shots from three separate angles - shouts, screams and then orders down a walkie talkie for the notoriously accident prone 'Rhino' Edwards to stay away from the equipment set up behind the band.

21:16 Francis Rossi returns from performing out in the open declaring in no uncertain terms that he is frozen with the wind decimating the warmth of the setting Sun. Andrew Bown returns looking equally cold wearing a dressing gown on top of his regular clothes.

21:23 Not to be outdone by his father, Harry Parfitt takes to the skies, wing walking on one of the planes while Parfitt senior watches on.

21:28 It takes the Quo’s roadies 12 minutes to bring the equipment back into the hanger.

21:33 In a novel idea from the director, the extras, models and cheer leaders walk semi randomly behind the band as they perform the song.

21:44 After being quiet for much of the day Francis Rossi shows he is the complete professional going through endless takes of him being filmed close up singing the verses to TPAOY. Rick Parfitt helps by lying on in front of the drum kit surrounded by glamour models and by walking behind Rossi, deliberately stumbling and nudging his old pal in the back while he tries to sing.

22:30 The glamour models kiss Quo goodbye and leave to catch their train back to London Paddington as Rossi continues more solo shots.

23:16 Everyone is told to gather in the bar area of the 1950's style diner at the hanger for the final party shots. The grand old man of rock and roll (Francis Rossi) sits wisely on the sidelines flanked by cheerleaders, while the wild old man of rock and roll (Rick Parfitt) goes for it on the dance floor, dragging a reluctant Rhino into the hub of the action where the main difficulty is to party like mad, but avoid the steady-cam camera that is strapped to a camera man who mingles among the dancing. At the end of the song, Rick Parfitt dives on to the floor to prove the effort he has been putting in.

23:31 A second party take is requested by the director at double pace, Rick Parfitt invites a trio of female extras to join him in collapsing on the floor at the end “you’ll be in good company” he quips.

23:36 As promised Rick Parfitt falls on to the floor at the end of the rendition with the camera focused right in on top of him. He is the only person left on the floor, but gets a huge cheer. After hearing all evening that the party wasn’t over yet, at that moment it was. Having struggled to keep up with the time table during the day, filming finished 24 minutes early."

Classic Rock journo Dave Ling was also invited along to the filming and here's what his diary had to say about the amazing day he spent with his idols.

"Phew! Back on terra firma. Wing-walking with the Quo yesterday was a wonderful experience. Daredevil Rick Parfitt enjoyed the experience so much that he went up several times, complete with guitar! Francis Rossi and the rest of the band, who'd been mocking Rick for his stupidity, then wanted to get in on the act. Here are my pix from the shoot; there should be some awesome arial shots soon, from another plane that accompanied us each time.

Complete with American Football cheer-leaders and glamour models dressed as nuns, the video will look stunning. To be honest, it felt very strange to be larking about in a Gloucestershire airfield in the blazing sunshine with one of my all-time fave bands while security alerts were going on in London, but I was also there to do some interviews and in those situations all you can do is get on with things.

Truth told, at first hearing I wasn't too crazy about 'The Party Ain't Over Yet...', the Quo's 33rd album (!!!), but obviously I didn't mention that till the stunt had taken place - those harnesses have a nasty habit of slipping! The band really turned the corner with the 'Heavy Traffic' album, and I'd hoped they would really push on and make a hard rockin' follow-up.

As Rossi and Parfitt both said, 'The Party...' is more diverse than its predecessor. But the more I play it, the more I like it. The song 'Gotta Get Up And Go' is definitely a cousin of the classic 'Softer Ride', which can't be a bad thing."

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23rd - Quo concert at Summer Pops, Big Top Arena, Liverpool

Quo made another tent appearance, this time in Liverpool on July 23rd. Some photos of the band in action under big top are available here and the setlist was as follows.

The event's website had this to say following Quo's appearance.

"Evergreen rockers STATUS QUO rocked over the Pops in grand style, their ability to turn on a crowd confirmed once more after a fantastic performance that had the Big Top Arena in rapture.

British Soul and Pop legend PAUL CARRACK had got the crowd in a great mood with a greatest hits set that included Mike and The Mechanics classic 'The Living Years', Ace's 'How Long', and Squeeze's 'Tempted' - all tracks for which he provided his hugely under-rated voice.

The evening had begun with local hopefuls ABE, a new Merseyside-based four-piece who were warmly received by the audience.

The atmosphere hotted up when Francis, Rick and the boys took to the stage and gave a full-on 90 minute set including all the hits. 'Rocking All Over The World', 'Down Down', 'Sweet Caroline' were just three highlights of an amazing evening. The atmosphere in the Big Top Arena was electic throughout."

A similarly positive review also appeared in the local Daily Post newspaper, by Phil Miller.

"IT'S easy to make jokes about Status Quo, but it's certainly hard to fault them; this is one band that does exactly what it says on the tin.

There are probably no half measures where Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi are concerned, you either love them or loathe them and at the Summer Pops I have to admit I loved 'em.

They seemed as fresh as a band still thrilled at just having broken into the big time.

While many bands have a "message" to get across, the only message Mr Rossi imparted was "Stand up and start rocking", not that the Summer Pops audience needed much encouragement.

Every one of the very good-natured crowd was on their feet from the first chord of Caroline and that pretty much set the tone for an evening of stonking riffs and the kind of choreographed stage antics that can only come with a lifetime of performing to adoring crowds.

And the crowd was as much a part of the night's show as the band itself.

There were the die-hard fans, dressed for the part, the closet rockers who still like to put in an appearance now and again, and a horde of youngsters, including my seven-year-old son.

This seemed a well-planned set with little time wasted between numbers.

There were, of course, the inevitable phallically-posed guitars which might seem a rock cliché, but Quo invented all the clichés so they can do what they like, and we all liked what they did, as they powered their way through their back catalogue including Gerdundula, Down Down and Rockin All Over the World, to an encore of classic tunes including a tremendous version of Rock and Roll Music.

And the seven-year-old's verdict? They were much better than McFly or Busted and, even, better than Green Day. And you can't say fairer than that."

Another good review appeared in the Liverpool Echo, penned by Raphael Callaghan.

"The night did not get off to a good start for us.

We arrived to hear just a portion of the final, fashionably mournful-sounding song from unadvertised Southport band ABE, as their short set had begun well before the advertised start of 8pm.

Support act proper Paul Carrick was rapturously received for his set of catchy, bordering on soulful songs, ideal for a balmy Summer night. But, hey! This was Saturday, the penultimate Pops of the season and the largely middle-aged crowd had come to P-A-R-T-Y!

As luck would have it, the ultimate party band, Status Quo, were on hand to provide the music. The Big Top’s bars were doing a roaring trade and, to the opening riffs of “Caroline”, the tent became the local pub, with Quo the pub-rock band. Albeit the loudest in the world, of course.

The 4,500 full house went bananas as hit after hit was churned out relentlessly in Quo piledriver style - “Something About You Baby I Like”, “Break The Rules”, “Wild Side of Life”, “Roll Over Lay Down”, “Whatever You Want”, “Down Down” and “Rockin’ All Over The World” - the only omission being “In The Army Now”.

Keyboard player Andrew Bown added excellent harmonica, but most eyes and ears were on guitarist front men Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi. Both are rhythm men supreme, but Rossi unleashed some good solos, particularly on “Roll Over Lay Down”.

The two occasionally performed their own little ballet; side by side, heads down, one a die-cast model of the other, two pairs of white trainers in perfect synchronisation as they swayed back and forth. Of course analysts would say Quo’s music was rock without the roll; 12-bar without the blues. But that’s irrelevant to the hordes of fans, and who needs analysis when you’re simply having a good time?

I’ll deduct a point for the scrappy Chuck Berry encore which really was just an excuse to thrash about.

A chap was selling Status Quo mugs as we left the arena. The Quo’s 40th Anniversary Tour this winter is sponsored by Kit-Kat and the band appear on Coronation Street this Autumn. Oh yes, very Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Last Words form my partner; “They did nothing for me. It was like listening to a pneumatic drill for one and a half hours.”

Well, everyone’s entitled to their opinion

RATING - 9/10 - “Crowd Pleasers”

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23rd - State of Quo gig at The Hotel California, Tranmere

Providing a feast for Quo fans, State of Quo elected to play a gig immediately after the Quo appearance to give some of the fans more of what they wanted, older Quo played with energy, enthusiasm and attention to detail. A disappointingly small crowd turned out but the band did their usual best to entertain those that made the effort.

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26th - Francis and Rick interviewed on Oldie 95, Hamburg (German radio)

Francis and Rick made the trip to Hamburg to appear on the 60s, 70s & 80s radio station " Oldie 95" on July 26th. They gave a short interview, during which they talked about Live8, Live Aid, the new album and Hamburg (their "favourite city in Germany", of course!). The new single, "The Party Ain't Over Yet", was not played though, just the usual "Rockin' All Over The World" and "In The Army Now".

Francis and Rick, two handy rock stars! Rick strums an acoustic, Francis laughs...

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26th - Quo special "Eins Festival" on German digital TV ARD

A 3-hour Quo TV special was broadcast in Germany on July 26th. It included:

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28th - Quo concert at Epsom Downs Racecourse

Quo performed to a crowd of over 10000 at the close of the day's racing at Epsom on July 28th. The planned encore was culled due to a time curfew on the event, the resulting set list follows.

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30th - Quo concert at Crathes Castle, Banchory, Aberdeenshire

In the hallowed grounds of the Scottish National Trust's 16th-century Crathes Castle, Quo played to a crowd of about 5000 on July 30th. Support band Andy Cortes warmed up the masses from their distinctly chilled state before Quo hit the stage and reeled off their now typical shortened Summer set.

The following review - titled "The Party Ain't Over Yet for Veteran Rockers Quo" by Alison Daly - appeared on the ThisIsNorthScotland website.

"Dark grey clouds threatened rain for the capacity crowd who had come to hear Status Quo live on the lawn at beautiful Crathes Castle. But the weather stayed dry to the relief of the ocean of diehard rock fans.

Support was provided by the Andy Cortes Band. Andy, a 17-year-old blues guitar sensation who has been compared to Eric Clapton, has just signed a six-album deal with Universal. But it was clear who the "all-ages" audience had come to see as they started to get restless waiting for their idols to appear.

Just before 9pm veteran guitarists Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt along with the rest of the band, burst on to the stage looking as fresh, fit (and thin!) as they did when they started out together 40 years ago.

They opened the show with their 1973 hit Caroline quickly followed by Something Bout You Baby I Like and Break The Rules giving the crowd the opportunity to sing along and strum their inflatable guitars.

Francis Rossi confessed he was cold and prompted a "how many layers of clothing are you wearing?" competition before removing his trademark waistcoat.

It didn't take them long to warm up the crowd and effortlessly roll out hit after hit. They performed a four-track medley from their Heavy Traffic album and needed no fancy stage effects to wow their fans.

Rossi quipped: "I like this one," as they launched in to Wild Side of Life, a clear favourite with the audience.

They were quite literally jumping when the band belted out Down Down and Whatever You Want. And their 1985 Live Aid intro Rockin all over the World left the crowd begging for more.

The band had a brief break before they were lured back to perform their final encore of Rock 'n' Roll and signing off with the aptly entitled Bye Bye Johnny.

After belting out no fewer than 24 tracks it was clear the band enjoyed performing to the loyal North-east fans. Quo will make their third visit to the area this year when they play the AECC in December to celebrate their 40th anniversary tour.

They will release a new album soon called The Party Ain't Over Yet. On this evidence, I'm sure it's not!"

The local newspaper also had a review, titled "Rock Legends Turn It On for fans at Crathes" by Alan Gorham.

"Status Quo may be the most unfashionable band on the planet, but they know how to make a crowd pogo like nobody else. Heads were bobbing up and down throughout the rock and roll legends' set at Crathes Castle on Saturday night as part of NTS Live on the Lawn.

From children on dads' shoulders to 50-somethings, the one-time psychedelia merchants had thousands headbanging. It seems little about the aging longhairs' routine has changed since I last saw them nearly two years ago, at the AECC's Press and Journal Arena.

They still take the stage to a synthesised rendition of Pictures of Matchstick Men, the 60s tune which launched their career but which now receives only a passing mention.

From then on, it's about as predictable as a rock set could be. We all know the hits that follow, from Caroline and Down Down to Whatever You Want.

Thing is, no matter how basic they are or how little a musical challenge they present the listener, you can't fault them for it. Just ask the generations of fans at Crathes who cheered non-stop and sang along to every word.

Three chords have been more than enough to see Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt enjoy phenomenal success."

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31st - Quo concert at Hatton Country Park, near Warwick (cancelled)

The following press release appeared on the official Quo web site as a result of the cancellation of this much-awaited Midlands gig.

"The gig scheduled for Sunday July 31st at Hatton House in Warwick has been cancelled due to the promoter John Hessenthaler Productions Ltd going into administration.

For the past few days both the venue and Quo's management and agent have been attempting without success to put together a rescue package with the Administrators in order for the show to go ahead.

The Administrator - Ensors Chartered Accountants of Ipswich, Suffolk - will now be writing to all ticket holders this week to explain the procedure for claiming back their money. The band sincerely apologises to all ticket holders for a situation which is totally out of their control. "

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