A chilly early Melbourne Winter night would see a healthy crowd trekking out to the Peninsula Lounge to see a double-header tribute show in the form of Piledriver and Kiss Thiss, on Saturday June 2nd.
We arrived early to find the Piledriver lads setting up, with their full stage setup on display including the cool "Piledriver" stacks. A few familiar Quo faces started to arrive, but were outnumbered (at least in T-shirt displays of allegiance) by the Kiss contingent helping to fill up the large band room. Slightly later than their billed start time, the dulcet tones of The Drone began pumping out of the PA and it was time for Andrew, Wayne, Co and Ron to hit the stage.
The classic opener of "Caroline" filled its slot as perfectly as ever and was great fodder for this sort of audience, with the neutrals getting into it from the first chord. It was obvious from the start that the band would enjoy this outing, with an encouragable audience to help them along. "Roll Over Lay Down" was a revelation, with Wayne's lead work being especially outstanding as evidenced by the Quo die-hards' very vocal seals of approval! The familiar songs saw the dance floor filling up nicely and the unexpected "Wild Side of Life" got a great reception from the entire room and was a welcome change to the "Piledriver" set, serving as an excellent segue into "Rockin' All Over The World".
It is still in the oddities that Piledriver shine most brightly for the Quo faithful, with material like "I Saw The Light" and "Blue Eyed Lady" pandering to their wishes, but also being surprisingly well received by the mixed audience at this gig. There were more than a few Kiss be-shirted folk nodding their heads in timely fashion along to the hardcore 70s tracks, which was great to see. The solo work from Co was top notch and the interaction between him and Wayne was spot on, with a little guitar neck swinging and plenty of smiling on show. Even modern songs like "Belavista Man" (another strong performance from Co here) went down well, proving that Quo's music really has the power to unite fans from across a broad spectrum.
Whilst the intro to the "Mystery Song" medley was not the band's finest hour, the rest of this hour-or-so set was spot on - from Andrew's infectious enthusiasm leading the band up front, through the guitar combo magic that is Wayne and Co, to Ron out the back doing his thing as usual with precision and great backing and lead vocals.
The band clearly fed off the considerable energy and enthusiasm on offer from this rock-oriented audience to pull off their best overall live performance to date. The smiles on stage said it all and the body language was all good, the guys were having a great time ... and so were we! Although the Kiss band to follow would feature pyrotechnics, the only fireworks Piledriver relied upon were great songs played well to a grateful audience and that made for a very potent mix.Revisit the June 2007 event list
Quo appeared on the popular Swedish TV show, Bingolotto, on June 5th. They played the familiar pairing of "Whatever You Want" (view this on YouTube) and "Rockin' All Over The World", with all the band looking in good form and Rick sporting the Union Jack facelift on his white Tele.Revisit the June 2007 event list
In their first live outing of 2007, Quo headlined the NDR2 Expo Plaza Festival in Hannover on June 8th. After their longest break in over 20 years, the band hit the stage to a huge crowd and played the familiar set from late 2006. Other acts on the festival list were local Kai Wingenfelder, ever-popular Kim Wilde, and OMD, before Quo finished off from a late start of about 10:30pm.
Some great photos from this show (including the first evidence of Rick wearing a pink shirt on stage!) are available here and YouTube has video clips of Creepin' Up On You and Whatever You Want.Revisit the June 2007 event list
Playing their third show in as many days, Queensland Quo tribute Statoz Quo appeared at the Wintersun festival on Queensland's Gold Coast on June 10th. A great set of photos from the show is available here.Revisit the June 2007 event list
As part of the reunion for the popular UK TV show, Tiswas, Quo made an appearance in honour of their many appearances on the old show. Original hosts, Chris Tarrant and Sally James, gave the band a big introduction and then the band started singing live to a backing track of "Gerdundula". After the first verse, Francis was looking nervous - and rightly so! Halfway through the second verse, the fireworks start to go off. After this, the band were keenly awaiting the next drama... and they got it when they were showered with rubber bricks and engulfed in smoke. The mandatory buckets of water were then thrown over them (lucky those electric guitars were not plugged in!) before the inevitable finale of the Phantom Flan Flinger. All credit to the band, though, they played on regardless and actually managed to get to the end of the song.
Video evidence of the band's humiliation can be found on YouTube.Revisit the June 2007 event list
After torrential rain, Quo took the stage at this open air concert in Nürnberg to glorious sunshine on June 21st. They played the familiar setlist, but with full "Big Fat Mama" and the shortest possible encore of just a couple of minutes of "Bye Bye Johnny" (which did not go down well with the 2,000-strong crowd). Video of "Roll Over Lay Down" from this show is available on YouTube.Revisit the June 2007 event list
State of Quo made a triumphant return to their homeland gig at The Limelight club in Crewe on June 22nd. Their epic two and a half hour set included full versions of such classics as "Runaway", "Blue Eyed Lady", "Over The Edge" and "Slow Train". Photos from the show are available here and here.Revisit the June 2007 event list
A healthy crowd of about 4000 turned out to witness Quo in action in Bonn on June 23rd. For those of us not lucky enough to attend, there are some awesome photos online here and also check out the following YouTube video clips of a few songs from the usual set.
Quo performed with Nazareth in Dortmund on June 24th. A superb set of photos from the Quo show is available here.Revisit the June 2007 event list
June 28th saw Quo hitting Berlin to a crowd of 3000 at the Zitadelle. There was a slight set change, with "Juniors Wailing" being replaced by the "Mystery Song" medley. A set of photos from the Quo show is available here.Revisit the June 2007 event list
Continuing their busy schedule of gigs in Queensland, Statoz Quo played at Bribie Island RSL on June 29th to an enthusiastic audience. The gig is captured in photographic form here.Revisit the June 2007 event list
Some wonderful photos of Quo in action at Osnabrück on June 30th are available here.Revisit the June 2007 event list
In preparation for the Princess Diana memorial concert on July 1st, the UK's Radio Times magazine ran a feature about the performers appearing at the concert. Rick says in the article "The first time I met Princess Di was at Live Aid back in 1985". He goes on to say "We had dinner a few times after that - occasions where people from my world would meet people from her world - and there was no stiff upper lip, no airs and graces. It was like she was the girl next door. The language would sometimes get a bit risque when we were around, but she didn't seem to mind. I always thought of her as one of the lads.
I'll always remember the reaction from people when you said, 'Oh, we had dinner with Di last week'. Everybody wanted to know about her. To think that I got to know her - even just a little bit - is fairy tale stuff. When I was a kid, starting out in my rock band, I never dreamt that was going to happen. I'm sure the concert is going to have its poignant moments, but maybe it'll bring closure to some of the things that have been said and written about her. Personally, I think it would be nice if people didn't keep dredging up all this rubbish about her private life, but if people think they can make a few quid with a bit of gossip, they will. It must be awful for her lads to keep having to read it. Hopefully they've got to a point where they don't take any notice. I've never met the princes, and that's one of the things I'm looking forward to. It's going to be a wonderful day. Forget what you think about the royal family; she was a girl who captured the hearts of people and she's left an incredible legacy."Revisit the June 2007 event list