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That was the Quo month that was ... March 2010



8th - Francis and Rick on the Kerri-Anne Show (Channel 9, Australia)

Newly arrived in Australia, Francis and Rick appeared on the popular morning TV programme, The Kerri-Anne Show, on Channel 9 on Monday 8th March. Despite their long trip, the pair looked fresh and relaxed and answered the usual questions with grace and good humour. A clip of "Rockin' All Over The World" featuring Alan Lancaster was ill-placed really, but they both came across well and the tour dates were promoted (despite Francis and Rick seemingly have no idea where they were playing and when!).

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9th - Francis and Rick interview on the Jono & Dano Show (Gold 104.3, Australia)

Francis and Rick were interviewed on the popular Australian drivetime radio programme, the Jono & Dano Show on March 9th, shortly after their arrival in Australia and before the first concert of the tour in Sydney on March 10th. The usual topics came up (40+ years in the business, the ponytail, the OBEs, Live Aid, etc.) and Francis made an interesting comment that he'd come to realise that the only problem between himself and Alan Lancaster was musical differences - this was especially interesting in light of what happened in Sydney the very next day...! As well as the interview material, snippets of "Whatever You Want", "Roll Over Lay Down", "Wild Side of Life" and "Rockin' All Over The World" were played along with "Down Down" in full.

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10th - Quo concert at Hordern Pavilion, Sydney

And so it began, the "tour we never thought would ever happen again" tour... in Australia in March 2010. For a few of the Aussie diehards, there was no excuse for not attending most or indeed all of the shows of this short tour of this enormous country and it was a long wait from the initial excitement of securing tickets way back in October 2009 before the real excitement began to take hold in early March.

After the burst of newspaper ads for the tour, a tour poster was a rare sight and only the classic rock radio stations around the country kept the enthusiasm going. Word got around that the band would be arriving in Sydney during the weekend before their show on the 10th and the first sighting of Rick and Francis would be on the Kerri-Anne show on Monday March 8th. They both looked fit and well and claimed to be ready to rock - this was a claim we were happy to put to the test over the next week or so!

We headed off from Melbourne early on the 10th and would be checking in to Rydges before lunch. After a wander around the city and catching up with some Quo friends, a short taxi ride led us to the Hordern Pavilion by 5pm. The entertainment district was already awash with the denim clad hordes we'd waited so long to see again, with the main port of call seeming to be the Fox & Lion pub opposite the venue. It was great to see so many familiar faces from previous tours and we saw no need to end the socializing to witness the Screaming Jets, but we did head over to the Pavilion to check out merchandise.

The crowd seemed to be in panic-buying mode and we opted to postpone our purchases until later (not a wise move!). While waiting around, though, I had a good chat to Mike Hrano who was obviously pleased to see so much activity around the merchandise stand and then we headed into the venue as the support slot came to an end.

With row three tickets in hand, we headed straight for the barrier and secured a spot right in front of Francis's mike stand. A large number of people swelled the barrier shortly afterwards and then security moved in telling us that the band wouldn't come on stage until everyone sat down, a likely story... Our protestations only led to more heavies moving in, so we wandered back in the general direction of our seats waiting for the lights to dim. As the light faded and the sound roared, a mad dash in the dark saw us regaining our previous spot on the barrier as the drone built up, forcing the hairs on the back of our necks to also stand to attention. The wait was almost over.

The band wandered onto the stage, Rick's Tele began the deafening feedback that heralds the start of "Caroline" and we were off, Quo in 2010 was go! It was obvious right from this first song that something special was happening right before our eyes - Francis was in such a relaxed and playful mood that nothing could go wrong from here. The crowd lapped up his enthusiasm and seemed into it from the first song, as Quo rattled off the familiar set list (well, not that familiar to some of the audience who don't follow the board). It was always going to be the older songs that hit the spot, so "Mean Girl", "Pictures of Matchstick Men", "Ice in the Sun", "Hold You Back" and "Rain" all went down a storm, but good receptions for newer material like "Beginning of the End", "The Oriental" and "Creepin' Up On You" meant that the crowd never went dead.

As Francis took a new guitar in readiness for "Down Down", we revelled in rock royalty just metres away having the time of his life playing this song. In limbering up, he twiddled the solo from "Little Dreamer" before launching into that classic opening riff. As the crowd waited for him to come back in, he begged for more from them and he got it, rewarding us with a stunning display and a wide smile - this was Rossi on fire and those flames breathed new life into the old favourite, classic stuff.

The other "big" songs draw big reactions from this close to sell-out Sydney audience, but the encore was but a short affair of "Juniors Wailing" and "Bye Bye Johnny". As the band waved their goodbyes, they looked remarkably happy with their night's work, as were the jubilant audience at the Hordern Pavilion.

This was a truly amazing Quo performance, with the band in such good spirits and Francis in particular looking as relaxed and happy on stage as I've ever seen him. Only later would we find out that the band had spent the afternoon before the show in the company of Alan Lancaster so we can only assume that the afternoon went well and Alan also stayed for the show so let's hope he enjoyed modern-day Quo pretty much as good as it gets.

We beat a slow retreat from the barrier with the idea of stcoking up on tour merchandise, only to find that almost everything had sold out after post-gig sales had cleared them out, a sign of an audience well happy. We would have less than 24 hours to wait before doing it all again, next stop Brisbane...

Francis doing some exercises in Sydney (photo by Lee Hawkins, please do not reproduce without permission) Francis pulling a face in Sydney (photo by Lee Hawkins, please do not reproduce without permission) Rhino doing a Pete Townsend impression in Sydney (photo by Lee Hawkins, please do not reproduce without permission) Rick and facelift in Sydney (photo by Lee Hawkins, please do not reproduce without permission)

Some fan photos from the Sydney show can be found here and here.

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11th - Quo concert at Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane

We were still on a post-gig high when we surfaced in Sydney's CBD on Thursday morning ready to do it all again. A sensibly-timed flight saw us arriving in sunny Brisbane at about midday and it was a pleasant, if somewhat humid, walk from our accommodation in Kangaroo Point down to the Southbank area. First up, the usual venue reconnaissance - the Convention Centre is a large complex with no easy access, but we did spot the tour truck parked underneath and unloading so could wander on confident in the knowledge that things were going to plan for the evening's entertainment.

We soon bumped into a couple of Quo fans (including OzFan) and enjoyed a lazy late lunch near the venue. After a quick change into more suitable gigging attire, it was back to the Convention Centre at about 5.30pm where the crowd was just starting to filter in. The merchandise stand was open and well-stocked, so we took the opportunity to grab what we wanted just in case they ended up with a selling frenzy like Sydney the night before. Familiar faces washed into the venue constantly for the next couple of hours and we enjoyed socializing and swapping Quo stories, as well as watching a largely unrecognized Matt Letley wandering amongst the crowds looking for family members. Roy Lynes went even more unrecognized as his ever smiling face made its way around the place. We also bumped into Mike Hrano and mentioned the merchandise stock problem in Sydney (of which he was unaware). With all this social activity going on, we again opted out of the support band slot but wandered in as soon as they finished in an attempt to secure a good spot on the barrier again...

A slight digression is in order here. Casting our minds back about four years, this very venue was the scene of one of the most unatmospheric Quo concerts I've ever had the misfortune to witness. As part of the "Double Trouble" tour in 2006, Quo and Deep Purple would play this venue with security insisting that no-one be allowed to stand-up. So, there was no barrier moshpit and only a handful of standing punters in this sizeable arena. To say the atmosphere was killed by this overzealous approach would be an understatement and neither band or fans had a great night back then. It was thus with some trepidation that we casually strolled into the same venue and placed ourselves squarely in front of Francis's mike stand right on the barrier...

More people opted for the same approach and there was soon a mass of standing fans between the front row and the barrier, but no real reaction from security. Surely this couldn't last? With the silliness of Sydney fresh in our minds, we were almost waiting to be told to sit down but the time never came and, before we realized, the lights dimmed and Quo were about to hit the stage! So it was barrier spot number two in as many nights, good stat!

Just as in Sydney, Quo appeared on stage in a very relaxed mood and the enthusiasm on stage was infectious, with Francis commenting that the Brisbane crowd were much noiser than their Sydney counterparts. We didn't detect much difference from the barrier, as both audiences seemed to be engaged and expressing their gratitude throughout the show. The setlist was the same as Sydney but the performance was a little more polished with Rick's voice in particular being in spectacular form. In terms of highlights, the crowd again played to the Rossi ego in "Down Down", "Big Fat Mama" rocked hard and "Roll Over Lay Down" was a belter (with Francis giving Matt a big thumbs up when they came back on to do the song after the drum solo).

Thankfully, security was more sensible in 2010 than in 2006 and the extra crowd involvement from this close to sell-out audience made the gig pretty special and gave us great hope for an excellent Melbourne performance to come on Saturday for the CD recording.

After waiting for the masses to head off, we stretched our legs with a ten minute walk to Brisbane's West End (somewhat confusingly located to the South of the city) to find the tiny Music Kafe that would host yet more live Quo tonight in the shape of tribute outfit, Just Quo. The place was already packed by the time we arrived and it was clear that they were not used to this size of crowd, with many having to spill out onto the street. The band were tucked into a very small stage area too, so not much in the way of on-stage shenanigans would ensue here! Just Quo took the stage at about 11.30pm and banged out a great hour or so of seldom heard Quo classics, filling in some of the gaps from Quo's live set earlier in the evening.

Think of tracks like "Don't Waste My Time", "Over and Done", "Blue Eyed Lady" and "Broken Man" and you'll get the picture. To say the gig was loud would be a huge understatement but the tightly packed audience of Quo fans (along with some interesting characters from the locality!) didn't seem to mind one bit! A brief break and then back on for a short encore before the 1am curfew hit. During the set, Rhino and some other Quo notables arrived and poked their heads in for a while, which was a top effort considering how packed it was. They would soon retreat to the relative comfort of the street outside where we had a good chat to Rhino, guitar tech Lloyd, affable Andy May and, once again, Mike Hrano. Roy Lynes was also in residence and had a great time meeting the fans. The chance to meet members of Quo, both past and present, along with other Quo names topped off an excellent evening.

Our 1.30am departure from the venue saw Rhino just starting a fresh glass of red wine, but we had an early flight to catch on Friday back to Melbourne... you've guessed it, ready to do it all again on Saturday!

Francis stretching a note in Brisbane (photo by Lee Hawkins, please do not reproduce without permission) Francis pulling a funny face in Brisbane (photo by Lee Hawkins, please do not reproduce without permission) Francis doing gymnastics in Brisbane (photo by Lee Hawkins, please do not reproduce without permission) Francis and Andy, back to back in Brisbane (photo by Lee Hawkins, please do not reproduce without permission)

Some fan photos from the Brisbane show can be found here and here.

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11th - Francis interview on the Grubby & Dee Dee Breakfast Show (Gold 104.3, Australia)

Francis gave a phone interview from Sydney on the Grubby & Dee Dee Breakfast Show on March 11th, before heading up to Brisbane for that night's concert. He sounded very upbeat and answered the usual questions, with particular focus on the OBE and meeting the Queen.

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13th - Quo concert at Palais Theatre, St Kilda, Melbourne

After the luxury of a night off, it was time for our hometown gig in Melbourne on Saturday March 13th. It was nice not to have to take a flight to do the show for once and I made the most of it by arriving at St Kilda's Palais on the gorgeous sunny Saturday at about midday. The side loading door was open and a few roadies were lurking around but no sign of other fans at this early stage. Wandering around the front of this fine old venue, next to arrive would be Statoz Quo's, Steve Brewster, and shortly after his bandmate Gary and partner, Margarita. With little action and the sun belting down on us, we decided to wander across the street to Greasy Joe's for a hearty lunch and a cooling drink before returning to the Palais an hour or so later.

A few more fans had arrived and the buzz around the stage door was great. The sun had passed far enough overhead that the substantial structure of the Palais was now providing shade for us to wait patiently for something exciting to happen. As various movements took place in and out of the stage door, Lloyd popped out to say that the band wouldn't be arriving until 4.30pm - the band had obviously decided to make the most of their luxury surroundings at the city's Langham Hotel rather than slumming it backstage at the Palais!

We elected to enjoy a drink over at the Esplanade Hotel before coming back at around 4pm. There were many more than the usual few diehards lurking around by the time Quo's two vehicles appeared down the street. To our dismay (and for the first time in recent memory at this venue), the vehicles entered through the secured rear gate and straight into the backstage area. Somewhat disheartened, we milled around for a while - until a familiar face appeared at the stage door. Francis popped his head around the door and promised to come out after the soundcheck! This got the waiting masses very excited, as did the clearly audible soundcheck. Though short, they managed to belt out an extended section of "Don't Waste My Time" leading to some hopes of the song coming back later on - but then we also heard Francis playing the lead break from "Blessed Are The Meek" so we were careful what we wished for!

True to his word, Francis appeared outside shortly afterwards and was of course mobbed by punters wanting autographs and photos. He was in a very relaxed mood (again), cracking jokes and making time for everyone to get the photos they wanted. This was really quite surreal and it only got more incredible when Rick appeared to do the very same thing! Francis stayed out for a good 15-20 minutes, Rick somewhat less, but the very fact that they came out to give the waiting fans such a treat was amazing and many great memories were created right there in a St Kilda street on a sunny Saturday afternoon in March.

As we headed off for a quick drink, it took us all a while to realise what a great - and rare - experience we'd just enjoyed and it certainly set us all up for an even better night ahead. Getting back to the Palais at about 6.30pm, the doors were still closed and the queues to get in were truly impressive. Spirits were good and expectations high, with the Live & Pure guys handing out flyers to drum up extra business for the live CD recording and Yvonne educating the Aussies about the existence of the excellent "Goin' Quoin'" book! As the doors finally opened and we headed in under the beautiful "Status Quo - SOLD OUT" signs, the stage was set for great times just ahead.

We spent some time in the upstairs balcony bar area before entering the stalls after the Jets had done their thing. With front row tickets in hand for this show, we discovered that they were on the far right side. The Palais is strange (well, it's strange in many ways, but specifically...) in that there is no gap between the front row of seats and the wooden barrier that arcs across the stage in a semi-circular fashion. The only real standing areas are then the four aisles, so we grabbed a spot on the first aisle from the right, about midway between Francis and Rhino. Security at the Palais have rarely been an issue and they let us be, so three barriers in three shows for us!

To see the Palais completely full, rowdy and ready to rock was a great sight to behold and the reception when the lights dropped and the drone kicked in was huge! The band again wandered casually onto the stage and Rick kicked things off with the unmistakable "Caroline". The first two shows of the tour had seen Quo get well and truly "match fit" for this show and every song they reeled off the now familiar setlist was performed with gusto, with Francis out front doing his relaxed rock god thing yet again. I've seen this band many many times over the last 25 years and this performance would be about as good as it gets.

Everything was right - Rick's voice was solid and gritty, just like a rock voice should be. Matt was on form, keeping perfect time so that the unquantifiable Quo "groove" was there. Andy was like a man possessed, tinkling and strumming in the way only he can, with facial expressions that could win competitions. Rhino the bass man doing his thing, revving up the crowd, and cracking those cheeky grins. And finally Francis - singing great (even remembering most of the words), playing amazing lead breaks and the sweetest little fills all over the place, and just lapping up the love from this Melbourne crowd. The only thing we had to worry about was those tell-tale coughs between songs from Mr Rossi, a sign that he was performing well in spite of a dodgy throat. He also enjoyed his quips with the audience and just had to mention again the poor backstage conditions at this old venue.

All too soon, "Rockin' All Over The World" heralded the end of part one but the crowd guaranteed themselves a good encore with their rapturous applause and, when the band came back, it was a nice surpise when we heard the opening bars of "Paper Plane" rather than "Juniors Wailing". Always a crowd favourite, this track went down a storm (and made the live CD a must have, of course!) with the Australian audience and "Juniors", "Rock 'n' Roll Music" and "Bye Bye Johnny" thrilled them till the very end. The band knew they'd done a good night's work, the audience knew they'd given their all, and the live CD guys knew they were about to sell a few copies!

The queue for the live CD pre-orders was very long and took a while to clear, but the queue at the merchandise stand for the general punters to get the CD was much longer and they must have sold a large number of CDs (and other merchandise) of the show, surely an indication that most of the audience saw this as being a top show and one worthy of a permanent record to enjoy in the years to come.

While the shows in Sydney and Brisbane earlier in the week had been excellent in their own right, Quo pulled out all the rock stops for the Melbourne show - whether that was for the benefit of the live CD or just a desire to put on the best show possible, we'll never know. What those of us lucky enough to witness it know, though, was that this was one of those very rare 10/10 gigs, spectacular!

Luckily most of us had only fairly short drives home from this gig, as we had early flights to catch on Sunday morning over to Adelaide... ready to do it all again at the Clipsal 500 show!

Quo at The Palais, SOLD OUT! (photo by Lee Hawkins, please do not reproduce without permission) Lee with Francis at the Palais stage door (photo by Lee Hawkins, please do not reproduce without permission) Lee with Rick at the Palais stage door (photo by Lee Hawkins, please do not reproduce without permission) Rhino on stage at the Palais (photo by Lee Hawkins, please do not reproduce without permission) Rhino winking on stage at the Palais (photo by Lee Hawkins, please do not reproduce without permission) Francis saluting on stage at the Palais (photo by Lee Hawkins, please do not reproduce without permission)

Some fan photos from the Melbourne show can be found here and here.

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14th - Quo concert at Clipsal 500 after-race concert, Adelaide

The morning after the night before... a very early start after the euphoria of the Melbourne gig to head out to the airport for an early flight over to Adelaide. The weary, but still very happy, travellers regrouped and were delighted to find out they could have enjoyed an extra hour or so in bed as the flight was delayed. Our Qantas flight was uneventful but we were impressed by the cabin service - a delightful young German attendant noticed our Quo regalia and wowed us with her Quo knowledge (which included the infamous ponytail removal), so good on our national airline for employing staff with such a fine appreciation of music.

After the quick flight and a short taxi ride into the city, we had some time to kill before we could check-in to our accommodation. Luckily, we were staying in North Adelaide and the delights of Melbourne Street (how very apt) were right on our doorstep so a late breakfast there set us up for the day. Check-in completed, it was time to think about heading towards the Clipsal 500 race. We opted to walk and it was a decent thirty minute hike to gate number seven, which thankfully had no queues and we were soon in the main race areas. Deciding that it was far too risky to enjoy any of the actual car racing in case we missed out on good concert spots, we found our way to the concert stage and were shocked that there were not too many people on the barrier. This was unsurprising for two reasons - firstly, it was only about 1.30pm and, more significantly, a large area in front of the stage was in fact cordoned off.

We set up camp on the grass behind the flimsy rope barrier and bumped into many familiar Quo faces over the next couple of hours. The main V8 race went on around us and big screens on the concert stage would keep us up-to-date. About 3.30pm, we noticed a few security guys starting to pull down the rope barrier on one side of the cordoned off zone, so that was it and we made a dash for the barrier proper, securing front spots yet again immediately in front of Francis. A fair crowd of others joined in, but it was all pretty amiable and we could come and go as we pleased for the next hour or so until the main race ended and the casual punters started drifting into the concert area. A few spots of rain and dark clouds caused some concern for the crews managing the equipment on stage, but no significant rain eventuated and the concert started as planned at 5.30pm.

First up, popular Aussie act 'Mental As Anything' banged out a 45-minute set of familiar tunes to a decent-sized crowd. While some of the lead singer's jokes fell flat, the overall set was well-received and seemed to be over quickly. Next to take the giant stage, Ian Moss, ex of successful Aussie band, Cold Chisel. Moss wooed the audience with spectacular lead guitar work and impressive vocals, with his stand-out song being an acoustic rendition of Chisel favourite, "Flame Trees", yielding great audience participation. Moss's 45-minutes was again well-received and the crowd was really starting to swell now as a look over the shoulder from our front spots would see a tightly-packed mob as far as the eye could see...

The penultimate act for the evening would be on stage next, in the shape of late 80s band, 'Noiseworks', featuring popular frontman Jon Stevens. He showed no signs of holding back despite a recent major heart operation and the familiar singalong pop/rock went down well with this, erm, encouragable audience with the highlight being "Touch", again prompting mass audience participation.

As it dropped fully dark and the more familiar crew started to appear on stage, it was almost time for Quo to take the stage. There was a fair amount of kit to shift to make way for Quo's setup towards the back of the stage and the crowd was now truly massive, around 20,000 by my estimation (the organisers have since claimed 30,000). This would be one of the biggest crowds had played to in some time and certainly their biggest audience in Australia since the mid-70s.

We already knew from the timetable that Quo would only have about one hour on stage, so it was always going to be a cut-down set for this show. One song we knew they wouldn't cut though was "Caroline" and the massive wave of sound pelting us from the enormous PA as well as Quo's on-stage amplification meant we felt every flick of Rick's wrist as he banged out that classic opening. The crowd went berserk and never really stopped, as one after another were ejected by efficient security down the front!

Almost from the off, it was clear that Francis was struggling with his voice and he even commented on it during the first break, but he soldiered on well and Rick and Rhino covered his vocals whenever they could. The flow of the set was significantly altered by throwing a few songs out, so next up was "Something 'Bout You Baby I Like" into "Rain" (which thankfully didn't turn the skies against us). Instead of moving into "Don't Drive My Car", it was straight into "Mean Girl" and "Softer Ride", much appreciated fodder for this well-oiled crowd. The fact that "Beginning of the End" kept its spot was a little surprising for this audience, but it went down well too before we skipped "Hold You Back" (how good would 20,000 fans pogoing along to that song have looked?!) and into the "Proposing" medley. Sadly, the band elected to leave out what had become a firm favourite couple, in "Pictures of Matchstick Men" and "Ice In The Sun", but the two good ol' Heavy Traffic songs kept their spots, go figure! Matt's chance to shine in front of the big crowd came with his drum solo before it was time for the "big" songs to amaze the audience in spite of Francis's difficulties. As the band left the stage at the end of "Rockin' All Over The World", during which Francis hardly sang at all, we wondered if an encore would happen, but it did and "Juniors Wailing" and "Bye Bye Johnny" were quickly dispatched before the band, and Francis in particular, hastily left the stage.

While it was a shame that the biggest crowd of the tour didn't get to see Francis in his best form, the band played very well again in Adelaide. Despite his sickness, Francis was still in good spirits and interaction with us down the front was certainly a highlight of the show. The sound here was fantastic and the light show must have looked amazing from further back in the massive crowd. In terms of the after-race concert slot, job done as the big crowd dispersed relatively peacefully into the night. After seven or so hours on the barrier with little to eat or drink, we rewarded ourselves on the long walk back to the hotel with a stop at a very pleasant drinking establishment for some liquid and solid refreshments! A few of the guys would head back from Adelaide and mark the end of their 2010 tour but, for two of us, the long trip to Perth beckoned for the final night of the tour.

The huge stage for the Clipsal 500 concerts (photo by Lee Hawkins, please do not reproduce without permission) Francis rocking the huge crowd at the Clipsal 500 (photo by Lee Hawkins, please do not reproduce without permission) Rick and Andy share a tender moment at the Clipsal 500 gig (photo by Lee Hawkins, please do not reproduce without permission)

Some fan photos from the Adelaide show can be found here.

Revisit the March 2010 event list  

17th - Quo concert at Challenge Stadium, Perth

The final show of the tour beckoned after the flight West to the remote city of Perth. It was good to get a couple of days off between the Adelaide and Perth shows, both for us to recover and also for Francis to rest his voice in the hope of a better performance after his bad throat woes.

The city was abuzz with St Patrick's Day festivities when we headed out of town to the venue at about 3pm. The short bus trip deposited us at the impressive Challenge Stadium site, which turned out to be a large leisure centre area including basketball stadium, outdoor oval and large swimming pool. We eventually happened across the concert venue to find all ways into it locked, perhaps not that surprising at 3.30pm on the afternoon of a gig!

A few fans were milling around inside (marvelling at the sight of a full tour poster, one of the few any of us had seen around Australia on our travels), but we decided to chance our luck outside near the loading area to see how far we could get. Much to our surprise, we could basically walk right up to the rear door without challenge and we duly stayed there for the next few hours. Various members of the crew came in and out and were all very friendly, as we'd come to expect during the tour. We stayed out of the way without making a nuisance of ourselves and everyone seemed comfortable letting us be there. The band arrived in two vehicles at about 4.30pm - Francis came over to us (we'd been joined by UK visitors, Yvonne and Paul by now) and said a few words, Rick offered a distant g'day as he headed in, but Rhino wandered straight over to us for a chat, shortly afterwards joined by a beaming Mr Andrew Bown. Rhino told us he'd spent the previous day touring out to the famous Pinnacles and seemed to have enjoyed the day. He was also raving about the "Northern Lights" he'd seen in Adelaide after the Clipsal 500 show (where a series of municipal buildings were illuminated to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Adelaide Festival of Arts) and suggested he was looking forward to seeing his family back home after being away for two weeks. Andy was in great form, immediately shaking hands and letting us know how much he'd enjoyed being in Australia again, great to hear!

After chatting with them, we headed into the venue at last and the fans were streaming in at a steady pace though with noticeably less "Quo uniforms" in evidence than at the other shows on this tour. For the first time, we decided to enter the main auditorium early and catch the Screaming Jets set. We took up barrier spots for this spectacle and narrowly avoided being fallen on or knocked over by the bizarre antics of frontman, Dave Gleeson! With no sign of security on the barrier, even when the Jets departed the stage and more fans started to take up position, we thought we'd secured barrier five out of five...

It wouldn't be too long, of course, before the heavies moved in with the best excuse yet for clearing the barrier - "The promoter doesn't like people standing here"! I'm sure Mr Chugg has lost much sleep worrying about fans standing at the front for a rock concert, or maybe not. Anyway, the ritual of clearing the area had to take place and we adopted a number of other strategic positions before eventually being booted back to our proper row three seats. As the lights dimmed, it was the usual mad dash and we ended up just to the right of Francis, one person back from our beloved barrier, so we still had a decent spot from which to witness this last 90-minutes or so of live Quo on Australian soil.

Any reservations we had about the crowd (which had swelled to about 3500) were quickly disspelled as Quo appeared and "Caroline" started, they were ready to rock! As were Quo - and Francis's voice was thankfully back to normal. "Something 'Bout You Baby I Like" managed to test him though and he finished the song breathless and was heard to shout "That was fast!" to the rest of the band. Normal tempo soon resumed though and the set was the same as the other Australian gigs, sadly without Melbourne's "Paper Plane". Being up close and personal again made for great interactions with all the band members and they showed no signs of tiredness and didn't seem to be in any hurry to leave the stage despite the lure of the flight home being less than a day away. During the first break, Francis stepped out of his usual comfort zone to give a plug to Yvonne and her book, Goin' Quoin', as he'd been reading it - and admitted to learning lots of stuff about his own band from it too! Such digressions from the usual script are rare, so this was a great effort from Francis and hopefully inspired a few of the Perth crowd to go and find out more about the book.

It was good to have Francis back in form and the whole band feeds off his energy when he's on song, which he once again was here in Perth. While there were no surprises from a setlist point of view, the crowd was involved from the start and seemed to enjoy the full gamut of the material on offer, from the oldies like "Pictures of Matchstick Men" and "Ice In The Sun" to the newer material like "Beginning of the End" and the two Heavy Traffic songs. One blonde fan couldn't contain her excitement when the band played "Whatever You Want", jumping onto the far right of the stage, doing a dance around Rhino then moving onto Francis, before being escorted off the stage. None of the band seemed to mind this unexpected addition to the stage, with Rhino and Francis having a good giggle after she'd gone!

It was over again all too soon and, more significantly, it felt like an end this time with no more gigs to look forward to on this Australian tour. We thanked Lloyd and made our exit, stopping off to pick up a few more bits of merchandise at the newly-reduced prices (naughty naughty!) before making our way back into the city and ultimately back home to Melbourne.

This show was a fitting end to a stunning Australian tour. The band played superbly, the audiences were sizeable, the reviews were universally positive and we got a new live CD out of it as well. Hopefully the reception the band received here in 2010 will convince them that at least one more Aussie tour is a good idea - and we'll still be here ready to do it all again when they come back!

Francis points an accusing finger in Perth (photo by Lee Hawkins, please do not reproduce without permission) Rick takes centre stage in Perth (photo by Lee Hawkins, please do not reproduce without permission) Francis bending and Rick rocking in Perth (photo by Lee Hawkins, please do not reproduce without permission) Andy strumming in Perth (photo by Lee Hawkins, please do not reproduce without permission) Andy inspects Francis's fretwork in Perth (photo by Lee Hawkins, please do not reproduce without permission)

Some fan photos from the Perth show can be found here.

Revisit the March 2010 event list  

20th - "Statoz Quo" tribute band gig at Southport RSL, Queensland, Australia

Queensland's Statoz Quo played another well-received show at Southport RSL on the Gold Coast on March 20th. An excellent set of photos of the band in action can be found here.

Revisit the March 2010 event list  

25th - Quo concert at Sentrum Scene, Oslo, Norway

Back in Europe after the Australian tour, Quo performed the first of six shows in Scandanavia with a gig in Oslo on March 25th. The band stuck to the same set as the general Australian tour set and photos of the band in action in Norway can be seen here.

Revisit the March 2010 event list  

26th - Quo concert at Lillebaeltshallen, Middlefart, Denmark

The second show of the mini-Scandanavian tour saw Quo performing at Middlefart in Denmark on March 26th. Photos of the band in action in Denmark can be seen here.

Revisit the March 2010 event list