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That was the Quo month that was ... June 2009

4th - The Five B's Band (featuring John Coghlan) gig at The Jolly Tar, Nantwich, Cheshire

John Coghlan and The Five B's Band played a stonking loud gig at The Jolly Tar near Nantwich, on June 4th. We arrived early at about 6pm, so had a lot of time to kill as the gig was not scheduled to start until 9.30pm! Luckily, a vacant pool table was available and twenty quid's worth of games at 50p a shot were completed, along with a fine bar meal in this friendly canalside pub. Meanwhile, "The Five B's Band" had been setting up and Lee caught up with old friend and lead singer, Mike Grady, as well as drummer, John Coghlan. It was also good to meet Jimmy and Chris from 'Stated Quo' for the first time. The pub had filled up nicely by the time the band took the stage at just before 10pm and they kicked off with a Queen number, in "Rock It (Prime Jive)" before heading into the Quo tracks with "Paper Plane" and "Roll Over Lay Down". The band also threw in plenty of non-Quo songs, with The Shadows and The Beatles featuring strongly (with songs such as "FBI", "The Rise And Fall of Flingel Bunt", "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Twist and Shout"), but it was the Quo material that most were there to see - in the shape of "Backwater", "In My Chair", "For You", "Rain", "Hold You Back", "April Spring, Summer and Wednesdays", "Over The Edge", "Roadhouse Blues" and an impressive finish with "Big Fat Mama". A snatched photo with John and a few more words with Mikey and it was time to head home - but the gig would be ringing in our ears for quite a while to come!

The full set list follows.

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5th - Quo play private birthday party

Quo played at a surprise birthday party for business David Blunt in the UK. The story was reported in some of the major UK newspapers, including The Express and The Star.

The Express article was headlined "Quo Stars Hired for a Birthday" and was written by Gareth Bebb: "BUSINESSMAN David Blunt got the birthday surprise of his life when veteran rockers Status Quo turned up to play live in his garden.

David’s son Phil hired the legendary band to perform at his 60th – and kept it a secret from guests until the last moment.

Stunned David initially thought they were a tribute act to his favourite band and said to his son, “They’re almost as good as the Quo.” Beaming Phil replied: “It is the Quo!”

The extravagant surprise cost £80,000 and saw Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt perform an hour-long greatest-hits set as 250 guests revellers boogied away in a marquee at the luxury home at Wath, near Rotherham, South Yorks.

Phil, an accountant, managed to keep the gig secret despite 15 roadies spending a day setting up a stage and lights.The band has had 63 British hit singles over 42 years.

The Star article was headlined "Quo drop in for birthday bash": "ROCK fan David Blunt may have expected some entertainment for his 60th birthday - but he was staggered when it turned out to be Status Quo! The veteran rockers were booked as the birthday surprise for millionaire Keepmoat PLC chief executive David Blunt - and performed in the back garden of his son's South Yorkshire home.

The unforgettable gig was played out in a marquee in front of 250 party revellers at the Wath home of his son Phil after 15 roadies spent a day setting up.

Phil, aged 28, said: "It was a brilliant day - I still can't believe it really happened!

"It's not every day you can say you had Status Quo playing in your garden.

"He wanted a party, and the family decided to make it a bit special, but we didn't know what we were going to do.

"We had the idea of putting on a band and of course Quo were top of the list. We rang their agent up and were told they were available."

Phil, an accountant at the Doncaster-based social housing contractors, added: "We met the band before the gig and had a photo taken with them - they were down to earth blokes.

"We made sure nobody knew they were there, the stage was screened off. We had a little jazz band on beforehand and when their set ended we sang happy birthday.

"Then, after we blew the candles out on his cake, the curtain dropped and Status Quo walked on.

"I don't think anyone could believe it - it was surreal."

The band played for about an hour and treated guests to a set of their greatest hits.

Phil added: "This was an absolute one off...when it's his 65th birthday we're taking him to the pub.

"It took a fair bit of organising, but it was a night we'll never forget."

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6th - Quo concert at Bedgebury Pinetum & Forest, near Goudhurst, Kent

Quo kicked off the "Summer season" of outdoor and festival gigs with a UK show in Kent on June 6th. To a sell-out crowd of 6000, they played a similar set to the last tour and were again supported by Luke White. Photos of the band in action at Bedgebury can be found here and here.

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10th - Quo concert at Westfalenhalle, Dortmund, Germany (with Deep Purple)

Quo played the first of a couple of double-headers with Deep Purple in Germany on June 10th in Dortmund. The support band was The Hooters and Quo had to play a slightly shortened set due to time constraints on the double-header bill.

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13th - Quo concert at The Great Wide Open, Mühldorf am Inn, Trabrennbahn, Germany (with Deep Purple)

Quo played another double-header with Deep Purple in Germany on June 13th at The Great Wide Open festival. The support bands were The Hooters and Roger Hodgson, with Quo playing a slightly shortened set before Deep Purple closed the show. Photos of all the bands in action can be seen here.

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20th - Just Quo gig at Club Helensvale, Queensland, Australia

Queensland-based Quo tribute outfit, Just Quo, played a blinding set to a good crowd at Club Helensvale on June 20th. A great set of photos of the band in action can be found here.

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22nd - Quo concert at Vega Musikkens Hus, Copenhagen, Denmark

The second of three Scandanavian gigs saw Quo hit Denmark on June 22nd with a rocking show in Copenhagen. This was more of a club gig to a packed house of about 1500 and some photos of Quo in action can be found here.

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24th - Quo concert at Tahiti Festivalen, Kristiansund, Norway

The third and final Scandanavian gig saw Quo back in Norway on June 24th with a festival show in Kristiansund. With an excitable crowd of about 2000, Quo played a full set and photos of the band in action can be found here and here.

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24th - Glastonbury article on BBC News website (UK)

A short interview with Francis about the forthcoming Glastonbury Festival appearance hit the BBC News website on June 24th. The interview was conduced by Ian Youngs and titled "Talking Shop: Status Quo".

"Veteran rockers Status Quo will wake up the Glastonbury festival faithful with a main stage slot on Sunday lunchtime.

It will be the first Glastonbury for the band, who recently celebrated their 40th anniversary and who are expected to play hits like Rockin' All Over The World, Whatever You Want, Caroline and In the Army Now.

But with a dislike of mud and smelly toilets, singer and guitarist Francis Rossi says he's not relishing the prospect.

Have you ever been to Glastonbury?

No, I'd never go to a festival. Someone asked if we would be staying to watch the other bands. What for? Do you go to the bloke next door and watch him work?

Why do you dislike festivals?

I've been to them - I've been this side [performing] and it's bad enough this side, let alone that side [as a festival-goer]. There's too many people. You've got dodgy, stinky toilets, I don't like those much, and I don't like muddy fields. And if the weather's particularly suspect I don't like being outside. Someone asked if this is the weirdest thing I've ever done. No, I've played at the bottom of a quarry, we've played in castles, I've played in a sandstorm, I've played in a tornado.

Aren't you interested in exploring Glastonbury's delights?

We have some place else to be - we'll get on the bus and eat and go to wherever we're going to next.

Are there any festivals you have liked?

One of the best is the Skanderborg Festival [in Denmark]. It's in this forest and they don't disturb the trees, you work in between the trees and there's all these stages up. It goes on 24 hours a day for three or four days.

I remember walking onto that gig and as we were coming up, this guy came up covered in blood. He said, 'I killed my friend'. Yeah, all right, we've got to get on. Security took him away and we went on. I kept thinking, somewhere out there there's a dead friend.

What's the current status of your ponytail?

What ponytail? I had it taken off about two or three months ago and I'm still rubbing the back of my head because I'm still fascinated with having no hair. I've had long hair since I was 16. I feel quite rebellious because I've got short hair. There's millions of people with short hair but to me it feels different. It feels great.

What's happened to it?

We were playing the other night and this woman said, 'I've got the ponytail'. I thought, where have you got the ponytail? Luckily, she said, 'It's at home'. When I saw it cut off, it was far from a ponytail. No pony could have that. It looked like a sprig come off its bum. So I was very glad to lose it.

How did it feel to turn 60 recently?

It's a big number isn't it? That whole age thing has really hit me. We all get the Victor Meldrew thing - you start seeing things that are ridiculous. They keep moving the decimal point.

Did turning 60 make you think about retiring?

No, not whilst Uncle Mick and Uncle Keith are doing it. They set the precedent and we just follow. We're still that generation that's trying to prove that my parents' generation wrong. Everybody at the time was laughing at the Stones and the Beatles, saying it's not going last, they don't have an education, it's never going to go anywhere. And it did. And it is valid. And it's still a great job.

Do you think Glastonbury will be the catalyst for a Quo chart comeback?

What's this comeback? I'd smack your legs. We had a hit album in November, and the year before we had a small hit. Admittedly they're not in the charts for months at a time. But we still need that affirmation that we're successful, even if we get in the top 10 or top 15 for a week or two.

Will you be belting out the classics at Glastonbury?

We'll do the same set we did the night before. Our set has got one track from the last album, two tracks from the album before that, but it's only an hour. There will be all the favourites, and some new ones. I never have expectations for a gig. Don't tell me it's important - I'll mess up."

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24th - Glastonbury article in The Sun (UK)

A brief article about the forthcoming Glastonbury Festival show appeared in the Sun newspaper on June 24th. The interview was conduced by Kate Jackson and titled "It's Status Woe".

"FOR most rock bands, playing the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury is a dream.

This Sunday, Status Quo will be up there – but Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi, both 60, are underwhelmed.

Here, they tell KATE JACKSON why finally playing Glasto WON’T be the highlight of their 42-year career. FRANCIS says: “When we were younger, Glastonbury was a kind of second-rate festival for the country folk, maybe with a weird band like Hawkwind.

"The music industry does this. It fascinates me how that gig has become groovy — it’s the same with the Brit Awards."

And Rick’s attitude to his forthcoming appearance is equally casual.

"It’s got this stigma attached to it where people say, ‘Once you’ve done Glastonbury your cred will go up,’ " he says. "I don’t see that it will. Quo is Quo. We do what we do and I don’t think our cred will ever go up.

"It’s another gig, another festival. I’m sure it’ll be great, I’m looking forward to seeing the other bands. I don’t know who’s on but I’m sure it’ll be fun."

Francis adds: "When I was growing up I had a huge ambition to play the Paris Olympia, because I had read about the Stones playing there. But when I first played there years ago it was a dirty hole, I was so p***** off. Then there was Whisky A Go-Go in Los Angeles — what a let-down. Nothing lives up to expectations."

Rick reckons it would be even worse if they were at Glastonbury as fans. He says: "I’d hate to be in the middle of a field of 50,000 people when it takes half an hour to get to the loos and half an hour to get back. I would not be down there for a million quid."

Why did they agree to play, then?

"The money’s always nice, I’m not knocking it," says Rick.

"But truly it’s the satisfaction of going out there and getting a reaction. It’s your ultimate reward."

Francis adds: "When there’s a collective consciousness of 160,000 people there with this ‘Wow, Glastonbury’ feeling, there must be something."

Well, they will just have to wait and see."

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28th - Quo concert at Glastonbury Festival, Pilton, Somerset

Marking something of a landmark for Quo, they played at the world famous Glastonbury Festival on June 28th. Their appearance was heavily covered by the media before the show (including an appearance on Gabby Logan's "Five Live" show and an interview with Sky News, both shortly before they went on stage) and received great reviews following their stunning hour-long show. Taking the large Pyramid Stage at midday, Quo looked out across the largest crowd for an opening act in the history of the festival (yet another Quo stat!) and played the following set.

The Quo set was later broadcast on BBC4 and photos from the event can be seen here and here.

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