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That was the Quo month that was ... May 2007

9th - Statoz Quo debut show at Nambour RSL, Queensland, Australia

What's the usual gestation period for a Quo tribute band? In the case of Queensland's latest addition to the Quo scene, Statoz Quo, a short three months was all it took from conception to the first public outing - with their full-house at Nambour RSL on May 9th. This would be something of a holy grail moment; not only enlisting the services of original Quo keys player, Roy Lynes, but also performing on the hallowed turf of the Nambour stage graced by Quo during the 2003 tour of Australia.

Expectations were undoubtedly high for the first gig of Statoz Quo (featuring Mick Foster on lead guitar & vocals, Troy 'Merlin' Waller on rhythm guitar & vocals, Gary Peters on drums, Tony Lingard on bass and Roy Lynes on keyboards) and they pulled out all the stops in terms of production and staging. The decent-sized stage afforded them the luxury of piling up their Marshall stack-laden backline, draping the Statoz Quo backdrop loud and proud, and deploying an impressive array of lighting gear.

Kicking off slightly later than the advertised start time of 8pm, the band powered into the classic opener of "Caroline" to a full house - and blew them away! The band showed few signs of nerves and Mick did a great job of the lead work on this crowd-pleasing song. True to recent Quo form, "Something 'Bout You Baby I Like" was up next and was well-received despite being played too fast. Next, the iconic "Don't Waste My Time" with its intricate lead work, but the new band were more than up to its task and all did an admirable job of doing justice to this great song.

It was then time to wheel out Roy Lynes to bang out the "Rockin' All Over The World" intro and the band drew a full dance floor for this ever-popular Quo anthem. Less familiar fodder, in the shapes of "Railroad" and "Red Sky", saw the band experimenting with the boundaries of what the RSL crowd would stomach, with the latter being rewarded with plenty of dance floor activity (and appreciative smiles from the few hardcore Quo fans around the audience!).

Venturing further along Hardcore Avenue, the band tackled the now familiar "4500 Times/Rain" combo and pulled off an excellent attempt with 4500 being hard and heavy (in no small part thanks to Tony's great bass work, those years of "State of Quo" experience certainly showed here) and "Rain" drawing enthusiastic audience response. Next up, two 'Heavy Traffic' songs in "All Stand Up" and "Creepin' Up On You", the former of which the band absolutely nailed and the latter unfortunately being played too fast and in the process losing its truly great driving rhythm.

Statoz then headed back almost thirty years to pull "I Saw The Light" out of the archives - this unexpected selection worked surprisingly well and the audience seemed to enjoy its thing in spite of almost certainly not being familiar with the song. The awesome "Backwater" followed and managed to clear the dance floor, more a reflection of the RSL audience than the quality of the band's performance though. Bravely, the band continued with the really old material and produced a classy rendition of "In My Chair", the bluesy feel of which was enhanced by Mick's excellent lead work and a return to dance action was vindication of the song selection. "Juniors Wailing" was perhaps one bluesy guitar-laden song too many, though, but for the Quo officianados it doesn't get much better than this and the vocals and lead work were exemplary.

To wrap-up the hour-long "set one", Roy again took up the keys for a blistering trio, in "Old Time Rock and Roll", "Down Down" and "Roadhouse Blues". The first cover went down brilliantly and was one of best received songs of the night. The band played this energetically and Roy's beaming smiles reflected enjoyment at a job well done. "Down Down" was the highlight of the night for me - the band did an excellent job, with a modern Quo interpretation of this popular song, although the intro didn't look too promising with a few false starts. To round out the first set, "Roadhouse Blues" went well with Roy providing some authentic touches.

The band appeared to be grateful for an interval, but all came off stage buzzing after their first live set in front of an audience. Persistent on-stage sound issues needed to be remedied as did some less than optimal front of house sound, especially with the low level of the lead guitar. The assembled crowd happily amused themselves while the band regrouped and prepared themselves for the next onslaught.

As the lights dimmed and Statoz Quo again took the Nambour stage, "The Way It Goes" turned out to be a wise choice of opener for "set two". This infectious song was performed well, woke the RSL crowd from its interval slumber, and got people dancing again.

Moving back in time again to the 'Blue For You' album, next up was "Rollin' Home", unfamiliar territory for most of this audience but the band did a reasonable job of it apart from a stuffed intro. A couple of crowd pleasers, in "Little Lady" and "Roll Over Lay Down", improved the atmosphere and saw the band getting into a good groove.

The band has been hinting that they'd perform at least one song out of left field - and they certainly did, when they broke into "Lonely Night"! This was a very interesting choice for an Australian audience given that The Angels' "Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again" (acknowledged to be at least musically ripped off from "Lonely Night") is such a well known song in this country. The dance floor filled up nicely for this good reproduction of the song, whether some of the audience realised they weren't listening to the Angels song, I guess we'll never know!

The remainder of set two comprised of seven songs featuring Roy again on keyboards. He missed his cue to return to stage, busying himself with socializing in the audience, so the band took a moment's rest while Roy clamboured back onto stage to kick off this part of the set. He rapidly redeemed himself with his contribution to the excellent "Down The Dustpipe", before the band were back in covers territory with "The Wanderer". This song was not as successful, with some incorrect lyrics and band interaction issues with the main lead guitar solo, so the band were glad to move on to a fan favourite in the shape of "Spinning Wheel Blues". Mick did a good job on this song and it all went well, giving them a springboard into "Break The Rules" to keep the audience on their feet in this crucial popularist section of the set. "Paper Plane" came next and the band again pulled it off well, before steadying themselves for "Whatever You Want". Roy was tasked with the intro and the classic "Pictures of Matchstick Men" synth intro used to such great effect by Quo themselves as the build up to this track worked well for him (I guess they couldn't afford a helicopter to complete the Quo effects!). Sadly, the intro was the best part of the song and the band really murdered this one, with several missed cues causing havoc with the bulk of the song. Not to be disheartened though, the band completed their set with another crowd-pleasing rendition of "Rockin' All Over The World" and left the stage to appreciative applause (and requests for more!).

For their first gig, the band performed very well, challenging themselves with a setlist covering the full length of Quo's career. Individual performances were all strong, with Gary and Tony showing their Quo live experience and Mick and Merlin needing a few more live shows under their belt to fully realise their potential in this act. The setlist needs to be honed to suit the RSL circuit audience too, with a few oddities thrown in to please the inevitable small Quo fan following the band will generate in Queensland. The band's effervescent manager has the band lined up with gigs to fill the rest of 2007 and they can only go from strength to strength.

A great set of photos from the show is available here.

Revisit the May 2007 event list  

10th - Quo appearance at "OK!" magazine's 11th birthday party (UK)

The following article appeared on the Metro website on May 11th, reporting on the celebrity-studded "OK!" magazine birthday party held on may 10th.

"The usual celebrity suspects helped celebrate OK! magazine's 11th birthday last night in style.

Pregnant model Katie Price, aka Jordan, rubbed shoulders with TV presenters Cilla Black and Vanessa Feltz while reality TV stars Danielle Lloyd, Jade Goody and Sophie Anderton couldn't resist putting in an appearance, the Daily Express reports.

Mum-of-two Katie let her hair down after husband Peter Andre's meningitis scare, while Pete was said to be "over the moon" at being allowed home after 12 nights in hospital.

An onlooker said: "Katie was smiling from ear to ear and is obviously delighted that Pete is on the mend. She looked stunning - she really glowed due to her pregnancy."

She posed for photos in a little black dress complete with silver buckle which rested just above her baby bump.

The bash at London's Old Billingsgate Fish Market included entertainment from Status Quo and party-goers were also wowed by a Son et Lumiere show."

Revisit the May 2007 event list  

11th - Piledriver cover band gig at the Jam Tin Studios, Melbourne

The unlikely industrial heartland area of Cheltenham would see its Friday night slumber rudely awakened by a few hours of loud music eminating from the large Jam Tin Studios complex.

We arrived as the Deep Purple show was coming to an end, finding the venue by following our ears on this chilly Melbourne night. Minimal signage finally led to the inauspicious corridor entry to the dangerous sounding (but not even mildy intimidating) "Skull Bar".

The small bar was warm from the midroom heater and the decent crowd of Quo and Purple fans crammed into it. After catching up with the usual Piledriver fans, the band set themselves up on the minimal stage and treated us to a few blasts of Telecaster riffing from Wayne, some lead twiddling from Co and some gut-punching drums from Ron - all by way of a soundcheck of course.

At just after 10.30, the lights dimmed and the Piledriver homespun "drone" warmed up the sizable sound system. As Co kicked off "Caroline", it was clear that Piledriver had been rehearsing and were showing themselves to be match fit despite few recent live shows. The sound quality here was excellent - as was expected at a professional rehearsal studio complex - and served to highlight the great work from each and every member of the band.

The song selection remains a highlight of every Piledriver show, covering the full gamut of Quo's career from the very early "Down The Dustpipe" and "Railroad" to contemporary fodder in "Belavista Man" (which gives Co another chance to shine on lead vocals). "I Saw The Light" stayed in the set and gave the Quo officianados something to smile about, as did the typically unusual tracks like "Blue Eyed Lady".

Commendable performances included Wayne's lead work on "Railroad", "Creepin' Up On You" and "Backwater" while Andrew's lead vocals go from strength to strength (as does his stage presence). Co had also clearly been working on his solos and a 'less is more' approach worked wonders. Hunched behind the drums, Ron provides an unhurried and magically accurate rendition, even dropping in vocals on a few songs.

90 minutes passes quickly when you're standing in front of the Piledriver stage air guitaring along to some of Quo's finest moments, played with true enthusiasm and accuracy - but it would be the awesome "Big Fat Mama" that rounded out the show all too soon and the band left the stage to great applause from the positively thrilled audience.

The next Piledriver show on June 2nd is set to be a ripper, if this show is anything to go by, bring it on guys!

Revisit the May 2007 event list  

26th - Statoz Quo cover band gig at Goodna RSL, Queensland, Australia

New Queensland cover band, Statoz Quo, followed up their successful debut concert at Nambour with a well-attended show at Goodna RSL. With a slight change in line-up, the band featured keyboards throughout the set and a slight re-ordering of their setlist also helped the show flow better. A great set of photos from the show is available here.

Revisit the May 2007 event list