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That was the Quo month that was ... July 2011

1st - Quo collect Nordoff Robbins Lifetime Achievement Award

After a long association with the charity, Quo are the 2011 recipients of the Nordoff Robbins Lifetime Achievement Award sponsored by Sony Ericsson. They collected the award on 1st July at the star-studded Silver Clef Awards held at the Hilton Hotel in London's Mayfair, and had this to say about the honour: "We've supported Nordoff Robbins for some time. The work they do, helping people through music, giving them hope, is a really amazing thing. We are proud and honoured to be receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Silver Clef Lunch. To be receiving this Award from an organisation who have been transforming lives through music for over 50 years makes this an even greater honour." (Early reports that a fire at the hotel affected Quo were incorrect as the fire occurred in the evening, long after the band had left the hotel.)

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3rd - Quo concert at Cornbury Festival, Cornbury, UK

Quo headlined the final day of the Cornbury Festival on July 3rd. The band played the new set and Francis clearly mentioned the new album by name three times during the gig, which was something of a first! Some good fan photos of the band in action can be found here and here.

The following short review of the festival as a whole appeared in The Oxford Times.

"ORGANISERS of the Cornbury Festival have thanked music-lovers for helping to make the weekend-long event a "huge success".

Up to 13,000 people packed the site for the festival, which was brought to a rousing close last night with a set by veteran rockers Status Quo.

For the first time the event was held over three days, rather than just two as in previous years, and took place at a new site at Great Tew, near Chipping Norton.

Revellers were treated to three days of fine weather and a typically eclectic line-up featuring a mix of classic bands and new artists spanning everything from rock and pop to folk and blues.

Highlights included sets by multi-platinum selling singer-songwriter James Blunt, folk-punks Bellowhead, Kinks frontman Ray Davies, singers Cyndi Lauper, Imelda May and Sophie Ellis Bextor, and vintage rock act The Faces – joined by Simply Red star Mick Hucknall.

Among those soaking up the sunshine were Top Gear star Jeremy Clarkson, who lives near Chipping Norton, food writer AA Gill, and Blur bassist-turned-celebrity cheese maker Alex James, from Kingham.

Set up eight years ago at Cornbury Park, in Charlbury, the festival’s move followed a deal between organiser Hugh Phillimore and major music promoter 3A Entertainment. It secured the future of the event, which, despite huge critical acclaim and enormous popularity, had previously failed to make a profit and last year went into liquidation.

Festival-goer Ruth Clarke, from East Oxford, was enjoying her fourth Cornbury.

She said: "Cornbury is always a highlight of the summer – and this year’s has been the best yet."

Promoter Mr Phillimore said: "I was really pleased with the level of support we had. I’ve had so many people coming up to me and saying how much they love the new site.

"I want to say huge thanks to people for coming with us to Great Tew. Without their loyal support there would be no festival. This weekend’s success means that Cornbury’s future is totally secure.

"We are here to stay – and are already talking about which bands to book for next year."

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15th - Quo concert at The Quarry, Shrewsbury, UK

Quo played to a 7000-strong crowd at the Shrewsbury Quarry on 15th July. Support bands The Big Figure and 10cc were very well-received and did a great job of warming up the audience, before Quo performed the new set and the event was closed with an impressive firework display. The following review of the gig, entitled "Status Quo get fans to rock all over Quarry", appeared in the Shropshire Star newspaper on 16th July.

"Status Quo had their fans rocking all over Shrewsbury’s Quarry as they entertained a crowd of about 7,000 people with a selection of their greatest hits.

Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt and company took to the stage in Shrewsbury just after 9pm yesterday.

They got the crowd immediately on its feet and dancing to the band’s 1973 hit Caroline.

Over the course of a set lasting for about an hour and a half, the group rocked their way through many of their best loved tracks, interspersed with more recent songs from their latest album Quid Pro Quo.

The band saved some of their most well-known songs for the end of the gig, getting the crowd bouncing up and down and singing their hearts out to Down Down, Whatever You Want and set closer Rockin’ All Over the World.

They returned to the stage for a short encore, playing rock ’n’ roll music before the night was rounded off with a firework display, which lit up the skies over Shrewsbury.

Earlier in the evening, fans of 1970s rock were given an additional treat as 10cc gave a crowd-pleasing performance as the main support act to Status Quo.

They warmed up revellers with renditions of hits such as Donna, The Things We Do For Love and I’m Not in Love.

And they delighted the locals among the crowd by changing the lyrics of Dreadlock Holiday to “I don’t like Shrewsbury, I love it”.

The concert went down well among the thousands who packed the park for the concert and were delighted to see Status Quo in town.

Sue and Dave Coles, from Telford, were among the first to join the queues outside the gates in the early afternoon and made their way to the front of the audience to get the best possible view of the acts.

“We travelled up by train and were walking through the Quarry at 2.30pm and then we went for a bite to eat, but we were eighth in the queue when we came back,” said Mrs Coles.

“This is the second time we have seen Status Quo. We saw them 25 years ago when they were supporting Rod Stewart. I didn’t think we would see them playing in Shropshire and we have had our tickets since January.

“It is a great atmosphere and everybody is so friendly.”

Mr Coles said: “Everyone is here for a good time.

“We might all be getting older but it is a very good age group.”

They were joined at the front of the audience by Rose and Shian Cryer, a mother and daughter from Ellesmere, who described themselves as massive fans of Status Quo, were also delighted to see the band in town

Rose said she had seen the band ten times, while her daughter had watched them perform live on two occasions.

“It’s nice to have them in Shropshire. I haven’t seen them for three years, but last time I was down right at the front as well,” she said.

Shian added: “They get better with age and their new album is absolutely great.” Others further back in the crowd said they were focusing on having a good time at the Quarry concert.

Brian Davies, whose group of friends from Shropshire and Aberystwyth had come along with a picnic, dining table, chairs and even a gazebo, said they were up for a good time.

“We are pretty well prepared, Whatever the weather, we will have a good time,” he said.

Meanwhile, Judy Whittaker from Bridgnorth, said she hoped more big names would be coming to Shropshire soon.

“I hope to see a few more gigs like this in Shrewsbury. I think it is terrific.,” she added.

Steve Woodman from Castlefields, who came to the gig dressed in a purple wig, and said he regularly goes to live music events in Shrewsbury added: “I attend the folk festival each year.

“I have a respectable job but things like this are a chance to let my hair down.”

Mr Woodman said he hoped council officials would look to put on more live music events in the town in future."

Fan photos of Quo in action in Shrewsbury can be found here, here and here.

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25th - Quo interview on Simon Mayo Drivetime (Radio 2)

Francis and Rick appeared on Simon Mayo's Drivetime show on BBC Radio 2 on July 25th. The interesting interview included the pair talking about getting together with Alan Lancaster to discuss options soon, so maybe there's some kind of reunion show on the cards? Simon also played "Two Way Traffic" and "Mean Girl" during the interview.

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27th - Francis interview on Alex Dyke Show (BBC Radio Solent)

Francis gave an interview on BBC Radio Solent with Alex Dyke on July 27th, ahead of Quo's gig on the Isle of Wight on August 3rd. Francis was in good form, talking about everything from their issues with Radio 1 in the 1990s to 'Quid Pro Quo', from memories of the Isle of Wight to the musical! Alex played "Rain", "Two Way Traffic", "Living On An Island", "Down Down", "Caroline" and "What You're Proposin'" during the course of his show.

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28th - Quo concert at Greenwich Summer Sessions, Greenwich, London

Quo performed at the Greenwich Summer Sessions on the beautiful evening of July 28th. The support band was Nine Below Zero and they were joined by Glenn Tilbrook (who joined in with their "Caroline" riff at the end of their set). The Quo set was slightly different to the familiar Summer set, with "Creepin' Up On You" moving to the encore (after some debate around the drum riser after the band re-appeared after the break!) making for a nice change for the 'regulars'. Some good photos from the gig are available here.

The following review of the gig comes from well-known rock journo Dave Ling.

"My neck aches and I’ve got a hangover. Last night Status Quo played at the Greenwich Summer Sessions, an outdoor show in gloriously idyllic weather at the Old Royal Naval College. It was good to catch up with my friend Steve O’Connell over a few pre-gig jars; I was on the Pimms – a lovely summer tipple. Promoting their rockiest album in many a long year, ‘Quid Pro Quo’, the band put on a fabulous, energetic and enthusiastic display… I can’t recall the last time I saw Rick Parfitt grin so much during a Quo gig. The three new tracks (‘Rock ‘N’ Roll And You’, ‘Two Way Traffic’ and ‘Let’s Rock’) were a good fit in a lively and engaging set. I could’ve done without the drum solo and ‘In The Army Now’, but ‘Living On Island’ is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine, and at least they didn’t play ‘Bu***ng Br***es’. In fact, I interpreted the decision to encore with a ‘Creepin’ Up On You’, a gritty, Parfitt-voiced rocker from ‘Heavy Traffic’, as something of a statement of intent. If there’s a High Voltage Festival next year, on such revitalised form Quo must deserve a place on its bill. Check out the set-list: ‘Caroline’, ‘Somethin’ ’Bout You Baby I Like’, ‘Rain’, ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll And You’, Medley: ‘Mean Girl’/‘Softer Ride’/‘Beginning Of The End’, ‘Two Way Traffic’, Medley: ‘What You’re Proposin’’/‘Down The Dustpipe’/‘Little Lady’/‘Red Skies’/‘Dear John’/‘Big Fat Mama’, ‘The Oriental’, ‘Let’s Rock’, ‘Living On An Island’, ‘In The Army Now’, Drum Solo, ‘Roll Over Lay Down’, ‘Down Down’, ‘Whatever You Want’ and ‘Rocking All Over The World’, with an encore of ‘Creepin’ Up On You’ and Medley: ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Music’/‘Bye Bye Johnny’."

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