A rare Quo gig in the Czech Republic saw the band arriving in Brno on Sunday 10th in readiness for the gig on Monday 11th. As the buses pulled into the rear carpark of the Bobycentrum, they must have wondered where they'd come - parking up in the shadow of the abandoned Luzankami soccer stadium. The Bobycentrum itself is a pretty tired-looking hotel and entertainment complex on the city fringe, with karting, bowling, bars and restaurants, plus the large indoor Laser Show Hall, in which Quo would be playing.
The day of the gig, similarly to many days prior, was very warm, into the low 30C's. A quiet beer with a German fan at the karting bar right next to the buses saw Francis and Andy wandering and later we chatted briefly with both Leon and Richie, both of whom mentioned it might be a tad warm in the gig...
A long line headed by yours truly (despite only arriving at 5.30pm) formed under the impromptu "Standi" sign at the back of the hall and doors opened right on time at 7pm and it was easy to secure a barrier spot right in front of Francis. The Quo youngsters weren't joking, the hall was stinking hot and only got warmer as the fans drifted in. The inside of the hall was much more impressive than the exterior suggested - with a flat standing area in the front of the stage then tiered "lounge" style areas behind. The groovy laser light installation under the roof was showing off as we waited for the action and large screens to the left and right of the stage would show video of the performance, a little unnecessary given the relatively small size of the venue.
With no support band, Quo were on stage on the stroke of 8pm. By this time, the lounge area appeared completely full and the standing area had also filled up nicely. The reception from the crowd was loud and immediate as the drone kicked in, this was obviously an audience up for a good time! Francis used his chats with the audience to complain about the heat and it was really very hot for both band and audience as the gig went on. Leon had two fans setup behind his kit but the others had to make the best of it, with Richie receiving water spray on his face from Lloyd in an attempt to stay cooler. The big screens were a bit distracting too as the band could clearly see themselves as they played, Francis describing the experience as "f***ing weird"!
Maybe because of the heat, the set was cut down to just 85mins, with "Backwater" and "Big Fat Mama" disappearing. The first song of the encore was "Burning Bridges", replacing "Paper Plane" from the Canary Island gigs, and Francis jumped a lot during this one despite the ridiculous conditions. There was a lot of fun going on between the guys on stage with Andy in great form and Francis being very playful throughout, he had a good night. There were great interactions between the band members and the close audience too, a tiny pit (just enough room for the photographers to stand) meaning the band could shake hands with the front row as they left the stage.
This was a great gig for us, enjoyed from a perfect position on the barrier and surrounded by nice people, no pushing and shoving, just people enjoying a fine Quo performance. This was a perfect way to end our three-date tour of Europe this time, thanks as always to Quo and the great people we meet on these travels.
An almost complete video of the Quo performance in Brno can be seen on YouTube here.
The following additional dates were announced for Francis's "I Talk Too Much" 2019 speaking tour on 22nd June, as follows: