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That was the Quo month that was ... July 2021

22nd - Francis interview on Devon Live (UK)

The following interview with Francis appeared on the Devon Live site on 22nd July, titled "Status Quo legend Francis Rossi looks forward to 'white-knuckle ride' at Devon gig" and written by Guy Henderson.

""I Talk Too Much" is the name of the one-man show Status Quo front man Francis Rossi is bringing to the Palace Theatre in Paignton on August 7, and it's true.

In fact the 72-year-old, who opened Live Aid and collected an OBE during a 50-year career which shows no signs of slowing down, talks so much that Devon Live nearly misses him.

The garrulous guitar man has over-run - sharing a lengthy anecdote on a previous interview - and we almost miss our slot. But we get our man in the end.

"There you are," he says. "I can't help it. I talk too much."

He has plenty of material, after all. Status Quo first graced the hit parade in 1968, and have since sold 118 million records. Only the Rolling Stones have had more albums in the charts than Quo.

Their distinctive blues 'shuffles' have created a unique sound.

The band fronted by Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt - who died in 2016 - opened the Live Aid concert at Wembley in 1985 with Rockin' All Over The World and had played more than 6,000 live shows before Covid-19 stopped them in their tracks.

Quo's massive gig in London's Hyde Park in September 2019 was their last before lockdown, and a planned 2020 tour was scrapped.

But now as restrictions lift, the band will tour again in 2022, and Francis is ready to share a few stories in the meantime.

"This show is something new for me," he said. "It will be live and unscripted, so god knows what could happen.

"It'll be a white-knuckle ride for me, but fans will get a real unvarnished insight into what's happened over the years."

He'll have a guitar on stage to demonstrate how some of the Quo classics came into being, and will take questions from the audience.

Francis said: "It'll be a chance for me to discuss why I think we ended up where we ended up, although it is all unscripted.

"Last night stuff came up that had me just wandering off at tangents. I play a few tunes and various stories come up."

The band's status as National Treasures is bound to come up, although it's a title Francis doesn't particularly enjoy.

"After all," he says. "There are people who can't stand us."

And the band's 2013 Fiji-based gangster movie Bula Quo is likely to feature.

"Rick and I were not left to our own devices there in terms of comedy," says Francis.

"It was going to be far more violent than it ended up, but the backers wanted it to have a 12 rating.

"We weren't left alone to let the humour grow. But it was an experience."

The break in performing live since September 2019 is the longest in the band's history, but Francis has been putting the time at home in Surrey to good use.

"It hasn't been hard," he says. "I'm quite content to be at home.

"We couldn't play live, and neither could anyone else. It's no good pining over it.

"It's a lockdown. My hands are tied.

"What have I done? I've painted four sheds and a lot of garden furniture, and got through quite a bit of gardening.

"I love the garden, and have done since I was in my mid-Twenties.

"Even then I didn't care what people thought about me, as long as I could be in this place."

Francis keeps fit for the road with a bit of swimming, walking and cycling, and keeps a degree of comfort on his current spoken word tour by using the same luxury bus the band used for stadium tours.

On stage at the Palace Theatre, he will be accompanied by host Mick Wall, who co-wrote his recent autobiography. The show will also feature exclusive video clips, along with tales and revelations featuring some of the giants of the music business.

It may also include his thoughts on the current vogue for music streaming, which gives fans almost limitless access to music for very little while paying performers peanuts.

The small pay-outs make it hard for new bands and artists to make their way in the business, but also make it tough for established acts to sustain what they are doing.

"It's shooting me in the foot!" he says. "They are doing to musicians what some parts of the clothing trade do in sweatshops.

"Will we make another Quo album? It doesn't fill me with enthusiasm.

"We'll be struggling, trying to get people to buy a hard copy, which is increasingly hard to find.

"But doing a show like this is gratifying. At least doing this there is a certain amount of just desserts - as in I do this, and I get this in return."

The tour is already under way. Francis, who 'doesn't much like hotels', is sleeping in the luxury Quo bus.

It is giving him plenty of time to reminisce, and find new anecdotes for his audiences to enjoy.

"We're just a lucky bunch of guys who have had quite a bit of success," he says, and with that he's off, talking at 19 to the dozen, stretching the shorthand skills of another local newspaper reporter - just talking too much."

Revisit the July 2021 event list  

30th - Francis interview with David Hamilton (Boom Radio, UK)

Francis was interviewed by David Hamilton on Boom Radio on 30th July. In the brief interview, Francis talked about the background to the "I Talk Too Much" speaking tour and said he doesn't find any of the audience questions difficult, is not offended by any of them and that "some are interesting, some are funny".

Quo's 2022 touring plans got a mention and Francis admitted that he's "got a bit rusty" during the COVID-induced break, but he's still been practising regularly. He mentioned being apprehensive about the "Quo thing" and that the band will spend more time in rehearsals than normal before resuming activities early in 2022.

The interview was played out with "What You're Proposing".

Revisit the July 2021 event list