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That was the Quo month that was ... May 2012

8th - Andy Bown interview on Roger Day Show, BBC Radio (UK)

Andy was interviewed by Roger Day for BBC Radio on May 8th, in what turned out to be a lengthy phone interview (with Andy in the BBC's London studio). Kicking off with "Tick My Box", Andy was immediately in good form and sounded delighted to be giving an interview. They talked about Peter Frampton, opening "Live Aid", Judas Jump and the "Unfinished Business" album, before playing "Ruby and Roy". The story behind the song was discussed next (a night out with Roy Wood in Aberdeen) before talking about working with Jerry Lee Lewis & Dusty Springfield. He then described how he came to be involved with Quo and ended up becoming a full-time member of the band. Andy's method of songwriting was discussed next, describing himself as "the laziest man in rock"! The interview was closed out with a listener question about "Dust To Gold" and Andy said how proud he is of this song.

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12th - Quo concert at Bike Lifestyle Festival, St Petersburg, Russian Federation (cancelled)

Quo's touring for 2012 got off to a bad start with the last-minute cancellation of their first (public) show for about six months, scheduled to take place in St Petersburg on May 12th. The official reason for cancellation was the incredibly strong winds experienced in the area in the lead up to the weekend of the festival, which were causing the stage and rigging to move. Rumours also surfaced of some issues with the permits for the festival, so the realreasons behind the cancellation may involve more than the weather!

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18th - Quo concert at Arena Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

The first full gig of 2012 would see Quo rocking Leipzig in Germany on May 18th, supported by The Baseballs. "Two Way Traffic" and "Paper Plane" had gone AWOL from the setlist unfortunately and the encore was a very short affair, but the crowd of 2000-3000 seemed to enjoy it nevertheless.

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19th - Quo concert at Freilichtbühne am Kalkberg, Bad Segeberg, Germany

Quo played outdoors to a 6000-strong crowd in Bad Segeberg on May 19th. Supported by Torfrock, the setlist remained the same as the previous night in Leipzig with "Juniors Wailing" kicking off the encore.

Photos of the band rocking Bad Segeberg can be found here.

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22nd - Original lineup reunion article in Classic Rock

The following article, entitled "Classic Quo are back" and written by Martin Kielty, appeared on the UK's Classic Rock magazine website on 22nd May. It was based on a recent article in Sweden's Nostalgia Rock 'n' Roll magazine where Francis spilled the beans on the so-called Frantic Four reunion.

"Francis Rossi has confirmed speculation that the original lineup of Status Quo are getting back together.

He, Rick Parfitt, bassist Alan Lancaster and drummer John Coghlan will tour the UK and record an album next year. But the project will exist alongside the current Quo, which will also release a new record.

The reunion brings to an end decades of acrimony and reunites the outfit that finalised its classic lineup in 1967, when Parfitt joined Rossi, Lancaster, Coghlan and keyboardist Roy Lynes – who left three years later.

After some early success they released breakthrough album Piledriver in 1972 and by the middle of the decade were one of the leading lights of British rock music. They’ve sold over 128million albums worldwide to date.

Coghlan left in 1981 amid personal tensions and has since been touring with John Coghlan’s Quo. Rossi’s relationship with schoolmate Lancaster crumbled in 1985 and the bassist took the band to court over rights to the name. The case was settled privately two years later.

Earlier this year the four musicians gathered for the first time in decades during filming of band documentary Hello Quo. They had a jam session which was meant to be a one-off for the movie – but led to more discussion.

Now Rossi tells Sweden’s Nostalgia Rock’n'Roll Magazine: "We’ll do a tour and write new songs. We’ve booked a tour in Britain in March next year – eight to ten gigs or something. If we had been gone for 20 years maybe we would have been able to book all the big arenas. But we have a modern-day Quo up and running, and quite successfully too. Who knows how the old band will be perceived?"

The frontman is also concerned about Lancaster’s health. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2002. Rossi says: "Alan looks like he couldn’t do it. He’s still frail and his legs are a bit shaky, but he’s getting stronger every day. He’s lifting weights and eating himself into shape."

Rossi offers some hints regarding their set list: "I want us to focus on the really old stuff like April, Spring, Summer And Wednesdays, which was Alan’s suggestion. We’ve decided to start the gigs with Junior’s Wailing. We’ll do 4500 Times. Maybe we’ll play Roadhouse Blues and other songs Alan used to sing. In that way it’ll feel fresh again, because we haven’t played those old songs for such a long time."

But he’s most happy about being able to talk to his old friend again. "Alan had been misled by his attorney, who’d fooled him into believing they could sue us for £30m," he explains. "The poor bastard has been so used. He apologised and we became friends again over a cup of coffee.

"I talked to Alan’s brother recently, a guy I thought would like to kill me. He cried over the phone. Then Alan’s cousin, a girl I used to have a crush on. I must meet Alan’s mum again. How I’ve missed those wonderful people. I mourn that I couldn’t meet his dad, who died recently, one last time. And his uncle also passed away – he was really important to me. Damn, I managed to get to 60 before I realised it. That’s life.

"So unnecessary, really, everything that went wrong. The nice thing is we can now be straight and honest with each other again."

But Rossi thinks neither version of the band will be around for much longer. "I don’t believe we’ll play together with Alan and John for long – they won’t cope," he says. "I don’t think Status Quo will be around much longer either. It’s increasingly difficult to cope with the energy discharge a concert requires."

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22nd - Edwards family concerts at The Westbury, London

Various members of the Edwards family played at The Westbury pub in London on 22nd May. The bargain priced admission (well, it was free!) included Woodedz, The Dead Famous and The Charge Of The Marlborough Light Brigade. (Also, The Dead Famous - featuring Freddie Edwards - headlined their own show at Monto Water Rats on 24th May.)

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26th - Quo concert at Ribs & Blues, Raalte, Netherlands

Quo headlined the Ribs & Blues festival on May 26th in the small Dutch village of Raalte. A large tent in the centre of the village formed the venue to play to a sizeable crowd of around 8000, taking the stage at 10pm to play the same set as recent shows.

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26th - Launch of new Quo book "50 Years And More"

A new Quo book, called "Status Quo 50 Years And More", was launched at the Raalte gig on May 26th. Written in English, the book is limited to 1,000 copies and contains more than 800 photos & includes a two-hour DVD featuring exclusive footage (60-minute interview with Colin Johnson and 50-minutes of interviews with Alan Lancaster and Rhino, plus 10-minutes from a private concert in Holland). The book also includes a rather excellent Quo gig listing, reproduced with permission from this site.

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