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That was the Quo month that was ... March 2022

2nd - Quo concert at Bonus Arena, Hull

Quo kicked off their UK mainland leg of the "Out Out Quoing" tour on 2nd March, with a gig at the Bonus Arena in Hull. The following short review appeared on the Chimeo website, written by Graham Clark.

"The Bonus Arena in Hull has only been open a few years giving the city a new 3,500 capacity venue.

Status Quo on the other hand, has been around for a little longer. When founder member Rick Parfitt sadly died you could be forgiven that the band would fold though to the vast army of Quo fans that would seem unthinkable.

Having a distinctive style in music sets you apart from your peers - put on an Abba or Bee Gees track and even before the vocals come in it is not hard to guess who is playing. The same goes for Status Quo.

The band has never been cool, not that they care that much as even after a two year Covid infused break their faithful following packed out the Bonus Arena.

Over a ninety minute set the band showed that they still can put on an entertaining show: there are no flashy gimmicks to distract from the music just a set of great rock songs fused with the cheeky chat of Francis Rossi between the songs.

Rossi often joked about the passing of time: "you never know if you will wake up in the morning," he jested.

The blue denim jeans of old have been replaced by crisp white shirts though the jeans albeit black ones are still present.

Richie Malone has settled well; rather than being a replacement for Rick Parfitt he added to the Quo experience bringing a youthful and energetic vibe to the stage.

Often the unsung member of the band, Andy Bown, demonstrated his musical dexterity switching easily from Keyboards, rhythm Guitar and Harmonic.

Wisely, the band did not just play the hits but decided to visit some album tracks from their lengthy career - Little Lady off the 1975 album On The Level and Softer Ride from the Hello! album were unexpected surprises.

It was interesting to hear the vocals that Parfitt normally sang being admirably covered by Malone and bass player Rhino Edwards showing that some time and effort had been given.

It would not be a Quo gig without such golden moments as Whatever You Want and Down Down proving that both fans and band alike have missed the communion that is a live concert.

As the band left the stage after a rousing version of Rockin' All Over The World it appeared that Quo still had the power to rock Hull."

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3rd - Quo concert at Globe, Stockton

Quo played at the Globe in Stockton on 3rd March and the following review of the gig appeared on TeessideLive, titled "Status Quo rocks Stockton Globe - 48 years after last appearance at the historic venue" and written by Naomi Corrigan. Some excellent pro photos from this gig can be seen here.

"Fans of legendary rock band Status Quo headed Down Down to Stockton's Globe for a poignant return gig.

The group - known for its bouncing live performances and banging hits - has enjoyed a 60-year career.

And they were the last band to play at the historic High Street theatre before it shut down in 1974.

So it was a poignant moment for the audience when the Quo made its return to the venue on Thursday for the Teesside night of the 'Out Out Quoing' tour.

Among those attending was super-fan Shane Healey, 49 from Norton, who has now watched the band 468 times!

"I never got to see them early years round here, I think 74ish," he said.

"So when I heard they were coming back here this time with the refurbishment I was like, 'Gotta be here, gotta have the tickets'."

Shane watched the Quo in Hull the previous night and in Ireland at the weekend.

"I'm doing another 14 in the next two months and then the ones going from November and December - got seven booked for that," he said.

Earlier on Thursday, lead singer Francis Rossi was seen checking out the theatre during a sound check.

He previously reminisced about the last gig at the Globe.

"The Stockton date came right at the end of the year, before a couple of Hammersmith dates, and the band were on amazing form by the time we hit the stage," he said.

"I do remember that it was a lovely grand theatre. Wonder why it had to close after we played there?! We were loud..." said Francis Rossi.

"Whilst no one show is more important than another it will be nice to return and the fact that we were the last to perform there will make the return poignant."

The Globe was restored to its former Art Deco glory by Stockton Council with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

On announcing the gig last year, Rossi urged people to support the local venue and musicians.

"Live music is hugely important. As an economic force, a creative outlet and as a way to have a great night," he said.

"Lockdown has taught us not to take any of this for granted. We are losing venues right across the country so seeing Stockton Globe being brought back into commission is cause for celebration."

Revisit the March 2022 event list  

14th - Quo concert at Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Quo rolled into Manchester on 14th March and their gig was reviewed in the UK's Express on 15th March, titled "Status Quo REVIEW: The rock band returns with a 'complete nostalgia-fest'", written by Paul Jeeves and reproduced below.

"Now a global pandemic can be added to the grand list of hurdles the perennial rockers have managed to overcome in a staggering 60 year career. Band leader Francis Rossi revealed the two years of lockdown were the only times since he first took to the stage in 1962 that he failed to perform live and admits harbouring fears he may "never work again".

Instead here we are and here we go with his band in the middle of a 14 date UK tour.

Taking to the stage of Manchester's stunning Bridgewater Hall venue - an amphitheatre more accustomed to housing The Hallé orchestra than the strains of heavy rock band - it seems the Quo had never been away as Rossi, sporting trademark waistcoat and jeans, defies his fast-approaching 73rd birthday to launch into a raucous version of Caroline.

In fitting with the salubrious surroundings the audience may not be as wild as those of yesteryear, but a sea of balding heads nod in appreciation as the on-stage energy never fails to drop as slice upon slice of 12-bar-infused classic rock is expertly delivered.

While Parfitt's absence remains a huge void, his replacement Richie Malone proves a fine player and his youthful exuberance alongside fellow 'youngster' Leon Cave on drums, adds fresh zest to the performance beside elder statesmen John 'Rhino' Edwards, Andrew Bown and grandmaster Rossi.

A surprise selection of tracks from 2019's critically-acclaimed Backbone album prevents the show slipping into a complete nostalgia-fest, while deeper cuts such as Hold Ya Back, Rain and Softer Ride satisfy the hardcore.

But for many of the audience it's the home straight barrage of Whatever You Want, Down Down and Rockin' All Over The World that heralds an explosion of unbridled air-guitar joy. As the final notes of encore song - 1972's Paper Plane - ring out, the awful silence the pandemic brought to the nation's stages seems a deep and distant past. How fabulous the status quo has been resumed."

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30th - Interview with Francis on MyLondon

The following interview with Francis, titled "Rock legend Francis Rossi's quiet life in Croydon doing jigsaws and crosswords" and written by Ayaan Ali, was published on the MyLondon website on 30th March.

"Francis Rossi is a well-known rock legend. The musician rose to fame after forming the popular band Status Quo with schoolmate Alan Lancaster. During their prime years, the pair had a staggering 60 chart hits in the UK making them a hit sensation during the 70s and 80s.

These included songs such as "Down Down", "Rockin' All Over the World", "Whatever You Want" and "In the Army Now." After many years of stardom, and at the age of 72, Francis has now settled down in Croydon, South London for a much quieter life, a stark contrast to the rock-and-roll lifestyle he'd previously lived.

It may not come as a surprise to many that for rock stars, partying and drugs often go hand-in-hand, though it may shock some that Francis reportedly blew a whopping £1.7 million on cocaine. However, in his own words, Francis' life now is considerably "very boring", and not as extreme as it once was.

Speaking to MyLondon, Francis Rossi said that he was born and raised in Forest Hill where his dad owned a shop and an ice cream van. It was due to these fond childhood memories that the rock legend wanted to find a home close to the area.

Speaking about growing up in South London, he said: "We used to go to the first supermarket in Croydon which was Caters. And my mum used to love to go to Kennards for lunch and Grants. We used to go to all those a lot for buying Christmas presents and fireworks, all that sort of stuff.

"I've got little old black and white pictures of Purley, Croydon, Coulsdon - they're stuck to my wall. I've got pictures of East Croydon station as it was. It's just tremendous. I remember [all of that] from my childhood because we grew up in that black and white, post World War Two [era where it was a] smoggy s***hole of bomb sites.

"But you do remember it affectionately, even though you remember it was cold and you had black soot coming out your nose and the frost on the inside of the windows." It wasn't until much later in life that Rossi moved to Croydon, though, after falling in love with Purley's Webb Estate.

He explained: "In the 1970s my manager lived in Buckingham Way and I was down to see him and was driving around and thought 'I like it here'. And then I turned into the Webb Estate, I saw it and I was only 21 or 22 and it made me aspire to do well in the capitalist way. I thought 'earn money and you'll be able to live there' - and I did that."

In 1974, Rossi bought his first home on the Webb Estate, which the star said is "perfect" for him "it's boring." He now lives their with his wife and four of his eight children.

"I like the Webb Estate because it's still pretty secluded. I just fell in love with it when I was younger and I'm a person of not too much changed. I stay at home as much as possible, indoors. I've never had a rock 'n' roll party while living here."

"They [his neighbours] were very lucky, people used to complain about things when I first moved in, but they were just lucky it wasn't [his late bandmate] Rick (Parfitt). The Webb Estate is perfect for me because it's boring."

Revisit the March 2022 event list