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That was the Quo month that was ... November 2004

4th - Quo concert at Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham

The first set list change of the UK leg of the "XS All Areas" tour took place in Nottingham with the welcome addition of "Thinking of You" mid-set. The following review of this gig comes from the Nottingham Evening Post.

"The lights were low, all was quiet...when all of a sudden the curtain lifted and the crowd went wild with applause for Status Quo. Nottingham folk of all adges were rocking and rolling to songs such as Caroline, Something 'Bout You Baby I Like, Break The Rules, and 4500 Times.

The band played various songs from their new XS all Areas greatest hits collection. These included tracks like All Stand Up, Creeping Up On You, Rain, Paper Plane, Big Fat Mama, and Roll Over Lay Down. It was awesome. Everyone was clapping singing and dancing, the atmosphere like one big party. The band were flawless in there performance and their timing was immaculate. The stage set and light show were absolutely stunning.

The critics have been slating the band's three chord compositions for years yet Francis and Rick have always refused to compromise and the fans have loved them for it. After all, they have been making hit records for almost 40 years and sang some of the classics such as Down Down, Rockin' All Over The World and Rock 'n' Roll which left the audience wanting more. After one hour 45 minutes including a 15 minutes encore the band left to a standing ovation.

Status Quo are a classic people's band who know how to entertain and I would recommend to anyone, go and see them. I defy anyone to stand completley still and not enjoy themselves."

The next review comes from the Egigs website (penned by Luke Seagrave).

"Even the most hardened die hard Status Quo fans have to admit that in recent years Status Quo's albums have not been particularly good - also the fact that all they ever seem to release currently is either compilations of their music from years ago including their most recent album 'XS All Areas' or they do cover versions - although to be fair it hasn't all been Rick Parfitt's and Francis Rossi's idea to release those sort of albums - that decision lies with the record company.

However despite inconsistent quality with their albums, you can always guarantee that their live show is going to be consistently amazing. That is exactly what it was at Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall. It was Status Quo at their absolute best- some would argue that after touring for 39 years- they should be this good, however to see a band have such passion and enthusiasm for playing to a live crowd after 39 years is quite frankly nothing short of remarkable - if I was in a band, I'm almost certain that after just maybe five years I'd be bored, so utmost respect to Status Quo for searching deep within themselves to find something to keep them passionate about playing live after all that time.

For people who have never seen this band before - you have to be warned that the volume at which they play at is incredibly loud - you wont be able to hear for days after being at a Status Quo gig.

The famous, almost legendary, backline of amplifiers was still a major part of the set design. These don't half pump out some volume - enough to make your chest cavity feel like it is being repeatedly hit by a boxing world champion.

I wont insult your intelligence by listing the songs they did, as you will know it was all their classic material that was played - they slipped in their forthcoming single 'Thinking Of You' but apart from that this was a show that consisted of mainly all of their classics - the only exception is that 'In The Army Now' was missed out.

This gig was fun, colourful, loud, very entertaining, and above all it had good old-fashioned rock music! Once again Status Quo still know how to be one of the greatest live bands around- roll on their 40th anniversary tour!!"

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5th - Quo concert at Guildhall, Portsmouth

During "Gerdundula", Rhino was having problems with the sound of his guitar. His frustration over-boiled as he headed over towards the drum riser and then proceeded to smash the guitar to pieces! He completed the rest of the song on air guitar...!

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5th - Francis interview at 'This Is Bournemouth' (UK)

The following article - featuring an interview with Francis - appeared on the This Is Bournemouth web site on November 5th. It was written by Jeremy Miles.

"YEAH, we've all heard it a thousand times. Status Quo: the three-chord wonders who just keep churning out the same song again and again and again.

In fact, set the end of that last sentence to music and... A cut of the royalties will do nicely, thanks lads!

But somehow, despite all the disparaging remarks, The Quo not only survive, they thrive.

Nearly 40 years after they met at a holiday camp, the twin leaders of this extraordinary band, Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt, are still going strong.

They survived the artifice of pop, the near fatal excesses of heavy rock to become household names.

But still they keep rocking, albeit with a little more time off between their brain- and body-shattering tour schedules.

As they headed for the British leg of their ongoing world tour, including a show at the BIC on Saturday, November 6, I caught up with Rossi in a Berlin hotel. He was looking forward to a two-week break between the European shows and the start the UK tour.

"Frankly, we need the time off," he told me. "There was a time when we'd just play night after night for weeks on end but we're not as young as we used to be and anyway our gigs are hard physical work.

"It's not like being in Oasis and wandering about the stage with our hands in our pockets. We really build up a sweat."

Anyone reading Rossi and Parfitt's latest autobiography, XS All Areas, would be forgiven for wondering if their knackered state isn't the result of the massively debauched lifestyle they used to enjoy.

It makes eye-watering reading: Rossi would routinely get through a couple of bottles of tequila and three grams of cocaine a day, along with "hundreds of cigarettes and joints".

Meanwhile, Parfitt was so out of it that he'd wake up and ask his wife why the dining room furniture was at the bottom of the swimming pool. Wearily, she'd tell him that he threw it in there the night before.

It was a death-defying existence, one that turned their lives into a Spinal Tap-style parody.

Against all odds they both cleaned up their act. Today, Rossi laughs when I tell him I'm not surprised that he's tired. He argues (somewhat unconvincingly) that they weren't really that different from anyone else.

"Every Friday night people come home from work and then hit the town.

"They get drunk and they get stoned. The only difference is that they don't carry on doing it seven nights a week.

"We did - for 10 years - and that's really not a very good idea."

The clean-living 21st-century version of Quo arrive in Bournemouth on November 6. Rossi and Parfitt will be at Borders bookstore in The Square to sign copies of X-S All Areas before their concert at the BIC that evening."

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8th - Quo concert at Winter Gardens, Margate

The setlist for this gig in Margate was as follows.

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9th - Quo concert at Regent, Ipswich

Photos from the Ipswich gig can be found here.

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13th - Quo concert at Octagon, Sheffield
13th - Quo appearance on "The Great British Pop Test" (ITV1)

Quo's first concert at this oddly-shaped arena was very well received by the local crowd and it was filmed by the ITV crew. During the "Great British Pop Test" - which included a whole round dedicated to questions about Quo - they crossed to Sheffield for a "live" snippet of "Rockin' All Over The World" (it was not in fact live, but time-shifted by about 30 minutes).

The Test also featured an interview with Rick and Francis recorded on the Quo tour bus.

A large set of photos from this gig can be found here.

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16th - "Live Aid" DVD box set released worldwide

Postponed slightly from its original release date of November 8th, the offical release of the long-awaited DVD box set from 1985's Live Aid concert took place worldwide on November 16th. This substantial 4-DVD set features extensive footage from both the London and Philadelphia, with the Quo set cut down to just "Rockin' All Over The World" and "Caroline". The official Live Aid DVD web site contains all the information about this set, which hit number 1 in the UK DVD chart immediately upon release.

The following words from Francis Rossi appeared on the BBC Entertainment web site, entitled "Stars recall Live Aid spectacular", shortly before the release of this box set.

"In these things, I always want to go on first - I gave up being worried about being on last when I was about 30. There was a lot of discussion about whether "Rockin' All Over The World" would open the show or end the show - in the end, we opened with it, or we would have had to sit around for 12 hours.

We were all very well-behaved that day. The camaraderie between artists was a great thing - there was a lack of ego stuff. And we were playing to a crowd who were really part of it - they hadn't just paid out just to turn up, they were part of the event.

We didn't raise as much money as we could have done, though - big business, oil companies could all have advertised it for months before the event, but they didn't.

We were going around all day with these new mobile phones - they were huge great things you had to run off a car battery. But nobody ended up using them because you couldn't get any reception there."

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19th - Quo concert at City Hall, Hull

Matt threw in an impromptu drum solo during a break in "Gerdundula", let's hope this becomes a regular feature! A large set of photos from this gig in Hull can be found by clicking here.

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21st - Quo concert at Southport Theatre

A great set of photos from this gig in Southport can be found here.

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22nd - "Thinking of You" released in the UK

Another new single, "Thinking of You", was released in the UK on Monday 22nd November. The single was available in a unique combination of formats - a traditional CD single was accompanied by a limited edition 7" vinyl picture disc as well as a collectors special 2-disc CD & DVD set.

The CD single (on Universal with catalogue number 9825824) is a three-tracker - the title track (in a radio edit form), a live version of the "Mystery Song" medley from the Montreux Jazz Festival show (July 4th, 2004) plus an interview with Trevor Dann (the man who, as controller of Radio One, controversially banned the 1996 single "Fun Fun Fun"!).

The vinyl picture disc (catalogue number 9825823) features the cover of the CD single as its artwork and the flipside runs "Something 'Bout You Baby I Like / Break The Rules" also from the Montreux show.

The 2-disc set (catalogue number 9825822), aimed at collectors and helping to bolster sales, comprises a copy of the CD single along with an otherwise-unavailable DVD featuring the official promo videos for the singles "You'll Come Round" and "Thinking of You".

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23rd - Quo on GMTV (UK ITV1)

Quo appeared on the UK morning TV show "GMTV" on November 23rd as part of the promotional effort for the new single, "Thinking of You". First up, Rick and Francis were interviewed by Eamonn Holmes (who embarrassingly mis-introduced Rick as Nick!), then the band performed "Thinking of You" in the studio before rounding off with another Rick and Francis interview conducted by Lorraine Kelly.

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24th - Quo concert at Fairfield Halls, Croydon

25th - Quo concert at Fairfield Halls, Croydon

25th - "XS All Areas" book signing at WH Smiths, Croydon

Some photos of the first Croydon show - along with more from the book signing session - can be found here.

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30th - Rhino article in the Cambridge Evening News

Rhino visited a school in Haverhill, Suffolk, and his visit received the following coverage in the Cambridge Evening News on November 30th in an article entitled "Not rockin all over the town, teens tell Rhino".

"Status Quo guitarist Rhino Edwards didn't play a note during a visit to a school, but gave his views on anti-social behaviour. Rhino Edwards, lead bass with the legendary band, was taking a break from a world tour to join in an anti-social behaviour seminar at Castle Manor Upper School in Haverhill. He was invited by Inspector Mark Jepson, Haverhill's sector commander and Quo fan.

Rhino toured Haverhill and said that it looked like "a rough town", but Insp. Jepson said many people had dismissed Status Quo as a "three chord wonder". Rhino said "There are rough places everywhere. It strikes me as being a tad run down and the main drag looks a bit grim, but I have seen many places that are a lot worse." Youngsters told him there was little for teenagers to do in Haverhill and they hoped to organise a big concert."

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undated - "Pictures of Matchstick Men" used in Gordons Gin advertising campaign (UK)

The following article from the UK Guardian newspaper (from November 18, 2004) describes Quo's involvement with a large advertising campaign for Gordons Gin. The article was titled "Gordon's looks to Status Quo in quest for youth" and was penned by Stephen Brook.

"Gordon's gin has turned to rock group Status Quo and a radically different animated advertising campaign in its quest to promote itself as a hip brand for the under-30s. British actor Terence Stamp provides the voiceover for the advert, which features the Status Quo song "Pictures of Matchstick Men".

The animated "painting by numbers" ad shows numbers streaming across London and into a pub, where they swirl into a glass of gin, promoting the message that behind the colourless drink is a colourful taste.

Brand owner Diageo hopes the advert will boost sales during the crucial Christmas season, which accounts for a third of Gordon's annual sales.

"The brief was to talk about big colourful taste, but in a way that was British with a twist," said Mark Sandys, marketing director for Gordon's.

Diageo is spending 1m on the TV campaign, which launches on Monday and will run until Christmas."

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undated - Interview with Rhino on the Loyal Family website

A superb new and very open interview with Rhino (conducted in the very condusive atmosphere of a pub!) can be read by visiting the Loyal Family website.

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