For the first time in Quo's history, tickets for a tour were made available via a pre-sale on the band's official website. The ten-date "Quofestive 2012" tour sees Quo playing the big UK venues in December, with Bonnie Tyler joining them in Cardiff, Birmingham and London. The tour dates are as follows:
The setting was quintessentially British - a large stage set in front of the historic Kew Gardens palm house surrounded by lush greenery. The weather was also distinctly British - light drizzle all afternoon turned heavier as concert proceedings officially kicked off at about 6.30pm.
First up was Kristyna Myles, a talented young singer backed with acoustic guitar who managed to secure this 'busking' spot to raise funds for the homeless charity Centrepoint. She was well-received and seemed genuinely surprised by the warm reception afforded her by the ever-increasing crowd. As she left the stage after about thirty minutes, the drizzle had turned to rain, but in true stiff upper lipped fashion, the picnicgoers (behind the standing rabble against the barrier) remained steadfast in spite of the Great British Summer. A besuited Rhino was spotted standing out in the rain...
A short wait saw the stage prepared for The Straits and this excellent Dire Straits tribute played a quality 45-minute set of all the expected gems from the back catalogue (with the notable exception of "Money For Nothing"). The standard of performance was high with particularly fine guitar and keyboard work throughout and they again received a generous response from the now large audience. Rhino's son Max (and also his 92 year-old mother!) were spotted enjoying this set too!
Clearing away their gear and preparing the stage for Quo took a while with plenty of squeegee activity to remove the copious amounts of water deposited on The Straits during their set. Almost unbelievably - at least for those whose superstitions include the "Quo Cloud" - the rain stopped at about 8.30! Lloyd and co. were all done by about 8.45 and the drone kicked off shortly afterwards, to a huge response from what was now a very sizable crowd (especially considering the conditions) of 5-6000.
There were few surprises in the setlist, but no one seemed to care as they kicked off energetically with a great rendition of "Caroline" and never letting up along the way. Audience participation was excellent throughout and especially so on the usual crowd pleasers. Francis made a few barbed comments about the fact that the band were playing subject to noise restrictions due to it being a residential area, so he encouraged the audience to sing as loud as they could and pointed out the "quiet" planes passing overhead every minute or so heading into Heathrow! He also complained about it being cold, but it really wasn't, in fact it was quite humid. Highlight songs of the night for me were "Roll Over Lay Down", "Big Fat Mama" and "Down Down", but everything went down well including Quid Pro Quo's "Rock 'n' Roll 'n' You".
As we sang the last few "Bye Bye"'s, the rain returned but could do nothing to dampen the heightened spirits of the hyped up crowd. The fireworks also still worked in the rain, marking the official close of proceedings. Quo had knocked out a top notch performance to an encouragable audience, with Francis yet again proving himself to be the supreme frontman, able to lead his troops - both on stage and in his audience - with enthusiasm, energy, authority and charisma. While Rick has lost some of his rock star image with his less ample locks, his rocking performance - especially superb vocals - has lost nothing and the engine room was in a state of fine tune with Matt sparkling and Rhino, as always, giving it his all. Mr Bown had a good night too, the man from nearby Barnes being on home turf here.
This was a very enjoyable gig - Quo were in fine form, the audience were encouragable but sensible, and the setting simply lovely. While the weather could have been better (some British understatement there!), it didn't stop the big Quo crowd enjoying themselves.Revisit the July 2012 event list
Photos of Quo performing at Carlstens Fortress in Sweden can be seen here.Revisit the July 2012 event list
Photos of Quo performing at Halmstad in Sweden can be seen here.Revisit the July 2012 event list
The long-running advertising campaign run by Coles in Australia using the "Down Down" tune as backing for their "Down Down Prices Are Down" campaign took another step with the airing of a version of "Down Down" rerecorded by Quo themselves at Abbey Road Studios. The video featuring the band playing big red hand guitars (the logo for the ad campaign) was first aired in Australia on 11th July and also made available on the official Quo web site.Revisit the July 2012 event list
Photos of Quo performing at Hasslö in Sweden can be seen here.Revisit the July 2012 event list
Photos of Quo performing at Stockholm in Sweden can be seen here.Revisit the July 2012 event list
Quo played to a large crowd in the beautiful surroundings of Eastnor Castle near Ledbury on July 28th. The usual Summer set was performed and some good photos of Quo in action can be found here.Revisit the July 2012 event list
A remixed version of the Quid Pro Quo track, The Winner, was "officially" released on the 9th July when it was made available on both Amazon and iTunes. The remix was a tie in with the London 2012 Olympics, being titled "The Podium Mix" and the single was playlisted on Radio 2 in the lead up to the start of the Olympics. This version was also made available as a free download from the official Quo site on July 27th, albeit a lower quality MP3 than the 'paid' downloads.Revisit the July 2012 event list