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That was the Quo month that was ... March 1996

2nd - '4 Bills And A Ben' at Teddington School

A mere two week gap between 4 Bills gigs did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of their faithful following - with just about time to recover from those Bury St Edmunds’ hangovers, we reassembled at Teddington School. The well-equipped, large school hall is one of the largest 4 Bills venues and it turned out to be one of their best performances in front of a capacity audience.

Unusually, two support acts eased the wait for the 4 Bills to appear. 8.30 saw local blues outfit "Smack Dab" take the stage for a 40-minute set of quite heavy guitar-based blues. The excellent guitar work was well received, but an even better reception awaited the next act. Rhino introduced "Spicy Melon", a four-piece including Mark Rich (son of Jeff) on lead guitar. Although having "an average age of seven", they showed little sign of any nerves and played a super 15-minute rock set. The Lenny Kravitz number, "Are You Gonna Go My Way?", was there once more and they even tried one of their own tunes. The highlights were Free’s "All Right Now" and Jimmy Hendrix’s "Purple Haze", both displaying Mark’s natural talent on the guitar. The lead singer showed a great deal of confidence, prompting the audience for involvement and a very proud Jeff Rich watched from the mixing desk at the back of the hall. Mark having won a music bursary, it may not be too long before there’s another famous Rich - so look out for the name "Spicy Melon"!!

By the time the 4 Bills took the stage at 10.20, the hall was packed and the dance floor was toe-to-toe. Steve Byrd was back on lead guitar while Paul Hirsch continued on keyboards. The keen Teddington audience played right into Johnny Warman’s hands, feeding him copious amounts of adulation - their efforts were well rewarded, though, by the longest 4 Bills set I’ve seen.

In the first 90 minutes (!), we were treated to hit after hit played loudly and vigorously. "Substitute" was back in, while "Proud Mary" featured "Nutbush City Limits" slotted in the middle! It was also interesting to see Rhino taking on a more leading role - indeed. the set was started by Rhino exclaiming "Radio 1 sucks!!" - the perfect compliment to Warman’s dominant style. This version of the 4 Bills played together as well as I’ve experienced, they were just spot on with excellent communication between all the members of the band. Even this superb performance, however, was not enough to please the Teddington audience and more applause brought the band back for another 15 minutes, to take us well into Sunday!

Once again, neither band or audience were in any hurry to leave either the stage or venue. A great show, enjoyed by an appreciative audience and also enjoyed by the 4 Bills I’m sure. Three bands in one evening (including the 4 Bills on top form) for a tenner, must be the bargain of 1996!

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7th - Quo on "GMTV"

Following Quo’s issuing of a writ to Radio 1 for not playing their Top 40 records, the band appeared on GMTV to state their case. Presented by Eammon Holmes and Anthea Turner, the lads joined Mr Motivator for a very amusing exercise session with Andrew doing some meditation! Eammon did interview Francis about the writ in more serious fashion, though, and Francis seemed very committed to the whole legal process.

Also organised was a phone-in vote on whether Quo should be played on Radio 1 - an overwhelming 91% were in favour! The show played out with the video for "Don’t Stop".

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8th - Quo on "GMTV"

Quo’s popularity ensured another GMTV appearance for Rossi and Parfitt to discuss the Radio 1 writ situation. This time around they were joined by Paul Gambicini and a heated argument ensued, with Paul seeming unconvinced as to the merits of Quo’s case - but both Francis and Rick gave a very cool and sensible interview to state their position and maintain the momentum of their efforts.

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11th - Quo on "Talking Telephone Numbers"

Another promo performance of "Fun Fun Fun" for Quo and The Beach Boys appeared on Philip Schofield and Emma Forbes’ ‘Talking Telephone Numbers’ (ITV) game show. The small stage just about accommodated all the combined band members and equipment, but an energetic performance was given nonetheless - Rick in fact was a bit too enthusiastic and managed to break one of his strings! Mike Love looked funny wearing his flat cap too! A good performance, which looked natural and was pretty well mimed.

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13th - Quo concert at Falkoner Theatre, Copenhagen

The following review of the Copenhagen gig comes courtesy of Morten Rassmussen.

I saw Quo in the Falkoner Theatre in Copenhagen yesterday (Wednesday 13th) and enjoyed every minute of it. They played for 1 hour 40 minutes (including encore). The hall holds about 3000 people but there were *only* about 2500 there. The sound wasn't that good - but the crowd still went nuts. Quo (and especially Frame) were in good form, but it seemed to me that Quo were a bit shaky at some points - but still, it was the first concert on the current tour wasn't it?

The set list (not in the right order, it's difficult to write with your head *deeper and down*!) was

The support band was a Danish crap bad taste outfit called 'Royal Hunt'. They are big in Japan, but their late 80s progressive soft metal left me stone cold, though the majority of the crowd seemed to enjoy them.

Final note - during RAOTW, Rossi noticed that I kept pushing my glasses back up on my nose (hope you know what I mean) and he laughed at me (in good heart) and did the same thing himself!

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16th - Quo on "Shane Ritchie Experience"

The tacky wedding game show, ‘The Shane Richie Experience’ (ITV), gave another chance for Quo and The Beach Boys to promote "Fun Fun Fun". The large brightly lit stage swamped the eight guys and the shortened version of the track was accompanied by some naff camera work. The show was played out by a very poorly mimed "Rockin’ All Over The World" including Shane and The Beach Boys pretending to play along on guitar. A good party atmosphere, though, and a nice change to the standard promo efforts.

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28th - Quo on "The O-Zone"

The trendy 15-minute BBC2 pop show, ‘The O-Zone’, featured an interview with Francis and Rick about the Radio 1 writ situation. Given on a pavement cafe, the interview was largely serious but had its lighter moments. Both Francis and Rick looked smart, but Rick seemed a little tired and Francis, unusually, took an active role in the proceedings. Radio 1 controller Matthew Bannister was also interviewed and footage of the Brixton performance was included.

A particularly surprising interview on the BBC in light of the writ, the Quo boys’ dialogue was informative and well-aimed at the show’s target audience.

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30th - Quo on "Barrymore"

The first national TV performance of "Don’t Stop" came on ‘Barrymore’, the Saturday evening variety show introduced by Michael Barrymore. Quo were the star guests and this appearance turned out to be one of their most memorable promos. On the large well-lit stage, Quo first performed "Don’t Stop" then Barrymore conducted an interview in his own inimitable style.

He began by talking to Francis and Rick but also involved all the other members of the band, nicknaming Jeff "Dougal" and Andrew "Roland" (after the make of his keyboard). Rhino was very laid back even after Barrymore remarked "you’ve got no name" and Jeff looked pleased to get so much attention ("he likes being on telly", commented Francis and Rick). Barrymore also asked Rick "Are you behaving yourself?", to which Rick replied "Well sort of, you know me!", all very light-hearted banter. The band then played "Rockin’ All Over The World" (after Barrymore’s introduction) and he also joined them to "play" guitar. At the end of the show, Jeff appeared to bid goodnight with Barrymore demanding "Say goodnight, Dougal"!

At over ten minutes, Quo’s appearance on ‘Barrymore’ was a great promotional effort, combining an exclusive performance of "Don’t Stop" with a particularly amusing interview involving the whole band (for a change).

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31st - Quo on "Surprise Surprise"

On Cilla Black’s ‘Surprise Surprise’, Quo and The Beach Boys appeared together for yet another "Fun Fun Fun" promotion. Cilla surprised Val (a Beach Boys fan) and Louise (a Quo fan), and they then met Francis, Rick and Mike Love. The venue then switched to, of all places, Purley water park where a small stage had been set up near the large pool. "Fun Fun Fun" was performed well but we could have done without the naff dancers in swimming gear. The public in the pool also got involved, along with the two guests. Cilla also seemed to be enjoying herself and this was a successful promo appearance, albeit with a strange choice of venue!

Revisit the March 1996 event list