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That was the Quo month that was ... June 2015

5th - Quo concert at Palmerston Park, Dumfries, Scotland

Quo ventured into Scotland to play a gig at the home of Queen of the South FC, Palmerston Park, in Dumfries on 5th June. A good crowd of about 5000 turned out for the first ever gig in this stadium and local support from big name acts Big Country and Reef probably helped ensure a good turnout.

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6th - Quo concert at Burghley House, Stamford, Lincolnshire

Quo played in the grounds of "England's greatest Elizabethan house", Burghley House, on 6th June. Some excellent photos of the band in action can be found here (courtesy of the FTMO Facebook page).

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12th - Rick "frying pan fraud" article in the Daily Mail (UK)

The following article about the Parfitts appeared in the UK's Daily Mail newspaper on 12th June, titled "Conned on the Costa... Quo star falls for £2,000 frying pan fraud: Rick Parfitt swindled out of money for luxury kitchen items by Swiss salesmen 'in slick suits'" and written by Simon Cable.

"After years of rock ’n’ roll excess and two divorces costing him millions, it’s no surprise Rick Parfitt finds it hard to pass up a chance to save a bob or two.

But the Status Quo guitarist’s hunger for a bargain has come back to bite him – and wife Lyndsay – after both were swindled by conmen claiming to be selling luxury kitchenware.

The couple were duped out of more than £2,000 within days of each other by crooks posing as Swiss salesmen ‘in slick suits’ and driving ‘luxury BMWs’ near their home on the Costa del Sol.

They bought what they believed were high-end kitchen products only to find they were cheap pots and pans made in China. The 66-year-old rocker was duped into shelling out £1,064 for the kitchenware, after being approached by the men during a trip to the nearby town of Guadalmina.

It was only when he returned to his Marbella mansion and unpacked the boxes he realised the pots, pans and cutlery were nothing more than ‘a load of old tosh’.

Unbelievably, Mrs Parfitt, 56, had also fallen for exactly the same trick and lost the same amount of money after being approached by the same group of men just two days before, during an outing to Nueva Andalucia.

The pair, who were not in the same home at the time, have now called in the police. Speaking out to warn others of the con, Mrs Parfitt said: ‘I cannot believe we both fell for it.

‘Neither of us are stupid or gullible, so it just goes to show how professional these guys are, very good at their act.’

Mrs Parfitt, who works as a fitness instructor, said the men approach their targets in a car park and claim to have leftover stock from a nearby exhibition, which they are willing to sell for a cut price because they can’t transport it back to Switzerland.

‘When they start loading the boxes into the boot of your car it all looks legitimate. It is only when you get home that you realise you’ve bought a lot of cheap rubbish.’

Always on the lookout for a bargain, the Parfitts married in Gibraltar in 2006 in a £46 ceremony. They now split their time in Spain between homes in Alhaurin el Grande and Marbella.

Status Quo sold more than 130million records, earning Parfitt an estimated £10million fortune.

But he has revealed he blew hundreds of thousands on drink and drugs, at one time claiming he was spending £1,000-a-week on cocaine in the Eighties.

He estimates his two divorces from Marietta Boeker and second wife Patty cost him £3million.

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13th - Quo concert at Rock Under Broen festival, Middelfart, Denmark

Quo made their first European festival appearance of the year in Denmark on 13th June, with a performance at the "Rock Under Broen" festival. The official festival website gallery includes a few good shots of the band in action.

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20th - Quo concert at Hatfield House, Herts

The extensive grounds of historic Hatfield House provided the setting for a Quo Summer gig on June 20th, it was just a shame no-one told the weather gods. Arriving at "gates open" at 5pm, the place was pretty deserted as heavy showers took hold and it was stop/start drizzle until about 7pm. The crowd did start to build though and, in typically stoic British fashion, the deckchair brigade set up their spots, eating picnics and sipping drinks under umbrellas until the skies cleared in time for the support band.

Rockers Walkway took the stage at 7.30pm and made a good job of entertaining the growing crowd with an energetic set full of decent rockers (reminiscent of The Darkness to my ears). They received a warm reception and deservedly so, a good start.

It was the usual precision job for the Quo crew in preparing the stage for Quo to wander on casually at about 8.50. There was a good-sized crowd by then and the weather was pleasant with some late sunshine dampening the lighting effects early on. Having not seen the band live since the end of 2014, the set was not stale for me and it starts well, with "Paper Plane" and "Hold You Back" being early highlights (with Rick having a hard time working out how to play the intro to the latter, much to the bemusement and then amusement of the rest of the band!). While the mid-set suffers a lull, the big numbers towards the end of the main set always get the crowd back in full flow and it was a stonking "Roll Over Lay Down" with Rossi's guitar work being noteworthy (in fact, he was having a ball all night, with plenty of improvisation). Rick looked slim and fit, with no sign of the usual sweating, and Leon looked a lot more comfortable than the last time I saw the band, throwing in his own nuances which was great to see. The Rhino/Andy interactions were great, resulting in some funny faces and a laid back atmosphere on stage. Only when Francis's "new" green Status guitar packed up did he look a little annoyed but Lloyd was onto it very quickly with a replacement.

This was a solid Quo performance, not the tightest I've ever seen them, but with Rossi in a good mood, it was always going to end well. The band seemed to be enjoying themselves and the crowd went home happy, so there's plenty of life in the old dog yet!

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25th - Quo concert at Kunst!Rasen, Bonn, Germany

Quo co-headlined a show in Bonn on 25th June with Alice Cooper. A disappointing crowd of around 2500 (in a venue with capacity for 9000) witnessed the usual set from the band and the following excellent review appeared on the 3SongsBonn website.

"If you were a British teenager in the 70’s there were a select number of bands who seemed to appeal to everyone. Rockers with enough Pop for the teenies but also enough stomp for the ‘serious’ music fans. That ‘something for everyone’ appeal at the time has proved to be timeless, as evidenced by the appearance on Thursday of two giants of the era – Status Quo and Alice Cooper on a double bill at Bonn’s Kunst!Rasen.

The full story of this show involves, for me, a journey back to the end of August 1987. A colleague at work in Portsmouth was planning to head up to Reading for the Festival’s 25th Anniversary Year. We had neither a tent nor the necessary ready cash for both days so a decision had to be made: Saturday with ‘The Quo’ and The Georgia Satellites or Sunday with a bill topped by The Stranglers and Alice Cooper. Eventually we settled for Saturday with the extra promise of Canadian heavy metal darling Lee Aaron and a favourite Blues band of mine ‘Blues n Trouble’ – who didn’t appear, for reasons I never ascertained.

Here I am 28 years later and the perfect compromise: Status Quo and Alice Cooper on the same bill, on the same day, and no hour long wait for a portaloo. So, The two headliners from one of Britain’s finest Rock Festivals in one evening – and a disappointing crowd of maybe 2500 people (if crowd is the correct word for an arena holding 9000).

I don’t think there was any dispute that Cooper’s theatrics would mean his being the second to go on – Daylight isn’t the time to be welcomed to a nightmare. It seemed though that when Parfitt, Rossi and co stepped onstage to blast into ‘Caroline’ that the entire audience was wearing Status Quo T-shirts. Did they all have a Cooper one on underneath to switch round later I wondered?

Current talk in the media is that Rossi is close to calling it a day just short of a 50th Band Anniversary. He certainly looked anything but disenchanted with live music from where my camera stood. He posed for a moment and moved on just before you pushed the shutter button – only to look down the lens scratching his chin with a huge grin. Rick Parfitt also looked to be having a great time. Despite major heart surgery in the past and a heart attack in 2014, Parfitt looked full of youthful vigor. The ravages of time have meant a change of lifestyle and an end to smoking and drinking, but it doesn’t stop him wearing a T-shirt this evening proclaiming ‘Being Bad Feels Pretty Good’ .

The biggest smile of all seems to be perpetually on the face of bassist John ‘Rhino’ Edwards, and he certainly stood out, literally, from the quiet Andy Bown on keys and occasional but enjoyable blues-harp. I shouldn’t forget Leon Cave who’s bass drum looked rather barrel like – seeming rather small and only allowing room for an ‘SQ’ on it’s front – but despite this, reaching reassuringly back to produce the required Quo ‘thump’!

As a long time Quo, fan even I have to admit it’s hard to tell when‘Break the Rules’ ends and ‘Roll over Lay Down’ begins, but I would miss one of them if it wasn’t in the set. A change from Reading in ’87 was seeing a sea of cellphones waved in the air to capture ‘In The Army Now’ but otherwise not much has changed. Parfitt is still in jeans and T-shirt – only the gold ring in his ear hinting at wealth and the gravitas of being made an OBE.

Rossi is more ‘formally’ dressed in a collared white shirt and black chinos but also toting only a glint of gold in his earlobe as testament to his impression on British Rock history. He still has the chops to deliver a super solo though as evinced on ‘Roll Over Lay Down’. His face is so animated on ‘Wild Side of Life’ that I’d swear he was singing with his eyebrows. It’s still light when they finish a blistering set with the statutory ‘Rocking All Over The World’ and round things off with ‘Rock n Roll Music’ and ‘Johnny B Goode’. It’s a point at which I would happily have gone on my way home with great music ringing in my ears and my head – but as the saying goes, the evening was still young.

< Alice Cooper review omitted >

Yes people, a night with Quo and Cooper was an expensive proposition in comparison to many other shows doing the rounds these days. But, we had over three hours of great music played by legends and with an intensity that is sadly lacking in a great many stage shows from the ‘young guns’. Hopefully some of them will have been amongst the crowd and will have gone home knowing a lot more about playing live music from two of the best live bands ever."

A super set of pro photos of Quo on stage in Bonn can be found here.

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undated - Quo article in Classic Rock magazine (UK)

The July edition of the UK's popular Classic Rock magazine included a Quo article, titled "Parfitt hopes Rossi won't quit Quo yet" and written by Martin Kielty. An excerpt from the article follows.

"Rick Parfitt hopes Francis Rossi isn’t serious about retiring from Status Quo – but he’s ready to keep going if their partnership ends.

And he’d like the band to keep going until at least 2017, so they can celebrate their 50th anniversary before bowing out.

They recently completed their Aquostic UK tour, featuring a nine-piece orchestra playing classic tracks in an alternative format. And they’re gearing up for a full-power Quo trip at the end of the year.

Rossi tells Classic Rock’s Johnny Sharp: “I think I’ve almost finished running. I’m coming up for 66. I’ve still got that itch to be liked and the urge to play for an audience – but I think I’m over it.”

However, he admits he loved the acoustic experience, which brought the band their highest chart ranking in decades. “I’ve enjoyed it immensely,” he says. “I’d really like to do this again.

“We’ve lost money, but there’s something about talking to the crowd. You don’t have to shout so much because their ears haven’t been deafened. And I just love playing acoustic – I started out wanting to be the Everly Brothers.”

He adds: “I’d like more people to see it. I wish I was 40 so I could take it somewhere else.”

Rossi has discussed the possibility of retiring several times in the past. Quo guitarist Freddie Edwards notes: “He’s always like this. Before every show he says: ‘No, this is a bad idea. Shall we pull the show?’ Then as soon as he gets up on stage he loves it.”

Lifelong colleague Parfitt is prepared for the moment to arrive – but hopes it won’t happen for at least two more years.

He reflects: “Francis always wants to say this tour will be the last. And if he does want to quit, I’ll do something else.

“But it would be such a shame to bow out at the 11th hour and 59th minute, before making 50 years of hits, which is just around the corner.

“To me that would be such an achievement. If we made it, and he wanted to call it a day then, I’d shake his hand, cuddle him and I’d say, ‘Thank you. It’s been amazing. What a ride!’”

The full story appears in the latest edition of Classic Rock, on sale now in print, digital and via TeamRock+. Quo tour the UK with Wilko Johnson at the end of the year."

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