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That was the Quo month that was ... November 2006

3rd - Quo article in Birmingham Evening Mail

The following article, titled "Our Andy hits the road with Quo" and penned by Quo fan Andy Coleman, appeared in the Birmingham Evening Mail on November 3rd.

"I'VE been rockin' all over the world with Status Quo.

Well, not exactly the world, but I did join the band in Amsterdam for the opening gig of their Just Doin' It world tour which reaches Birmingham NEC on December 9.

Despite guitarist Rick Parfitt's operation to remove a tumour from his throat, which led to four months off the road for the Quo at the beginning of 2006, the band are now busier than ever.

Rick is a special guest tomorrow at Music Live at the NEC and two Quo DVDs are being released, as well as a hardback 40th anniversary book containing hundreds of photos, memorabilia and memories.

The Just Doin' It Live DVD, out on Monday, was recorded at the NEC on May 21 and features the full two hour show, a behind-the-scenes documentary and a collection of fans' photographs submitted for the disc.

A special edition version includes a live CD, postcards, poster, car sticker, 60 page booklet and signed set list.

The One and Only DVD brings together past performances.

"We plan to start work on a new album in March, then it will be more gigs over the summer and again next November and December," says front-man Francis Rossi. "It would be nice to do less. I want to find out what it's like to be bored."

Life on the road for the Quo is made as comfortable as possible, however.

Backstage at Amsterdam's Heineken Music Hall the dining area has candles on the tables and the band and crew are presented with a menu from which to choose their meal.

Main course options include sirloin steak, baked cod and garlic prawns and ravioli stuffed with spinach. Fresh fruit salad and strawberry cheesecake are among the dessert choice.

On the wall is a big-screen plasma television tuned to BBC World and in the dressing room is a half finished jigsaw. I meet up with Rick in Quo's dimly lit 'Mood Room'.

"I don't like bright lights until I hit the stage and it's showtime," says the 58-year-old.

He tells of his relief that the throat tumour was benign -but he's still not fully recovered.

"My voice is around 85 per cent what it should be. I worry about it every night before I go on stage, although a lot of that is psychological.

"At an earlier show in Switzerland I opened my mouth to sing and nothing came out. It was the most frightening moment of my life - the microphone begins to look like my enemy."

Rick is now receiving support not only from his old mate Francis and the rest of the band but also his new wife Lyndsay who was with him in Amsterdam.

"She's on the road with us because we don't want to spend time apart," says Rick. "It was a whirlwind romance. We fell in love and the opportunity to get married in Gibraltar arose. We're very happy."

Adds 57-year-old Francis: "I was the only other person who knew about it. She's good for him and I'm happy for him. Rick needs someone like that in his life. I don't attend weddings but I sent them a bunch of flowers."

As the gig approaches we talk about changes to the setlist for the 2006 tour.

"We've dropped 4500 Times and brought back In The Army Now, Paper Plane and Dirty Water," reveals Rick. "And there's a new encore medley."

Not that the songs will remain the same by the time the tour gets to Birmingham.

"We've had around 67 hit singles but different songs have done better than others in certain countries," says Francis.

"I don't particularly want to do In The Army Now because we didn't write it. And I'm not sure it's the right time to be singing 'Uncle Sam does the best he can'.

"It was banned during the Gulf War but it was one of our biggest hits so we feel we have to do it."

The gig proves the point about different audiences liking different things.

The Amsterdam audience is a 'hardcore' following - Quo fans who prefer the band's hard rocking early material to the later poppier singles.

The country-tinged Dirty Water receives a muted response, whereas 1975's Roll Over Lay Down, sends the crowd wild.

And the singalong Burning Bridges, which has become an encore favourite in Britain, is dropped - although I'm told it may reappear at the NEC on December 9.

The good news is that Rick's voice sounds great and when I meet him and his wife after the show he's relaxed and obviously enjoying life.

"Mission accomplished," he grins, giving me the thumbs up.

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4th - Rick appearance at Music Live Exhibition, Birmingham

Billed as Rick's "first ever 'solo' appearance", he appeared at the Music Live Exhibition at Birmingham NEC on November 4th to promote his guitar Facelift product. On a small but impressive-looking stand (stand C51 for those of you playing at home), Rick appeared with Mike Hrano to offer his wares and also took part in a live interview and signing session. The lifesize cardboard cutouts provided great photo opportunities too!

Photos of Rick at this event are available here, here and here.

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6th - Just Doin' It DVD released

Quo's first official live concert release for 15 years hit the shelves on November 6th with the release of the "Just Doin' It Live" DVDs. The DVD content was based around the Birmingham NEC show from May 21st, 2006, and available as two different DVD sets. The basic content was a standard (single) DVD (Warner Music, catalogue number 256463795-2) featuring the full NEC show plus three exclusive bonus features: firstly a Behind-The-Scenes documentary containing interviews with all five band members, then the video promo for the 2005 single "The Party Aint Over Yet" and finally a Fans Photo Gallery, which was compiled around the filming of the concert.

As well as the standard DVD, a Limited Edition Box Set was also released (Warner Music, catalogue number 256463794-2). In addition to the standard DVD, the box set also contained a brand new 14 track live CD (based on the same NEC gig), five exclusive postcards, a signed poster, a Quo car sticker, a 60 page colour booklet of previously unseen photos plus a set list from the NEC show.

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6th - Kasabian release "Pictures of Matchstick Men" cover version (UK)

Popular UK band Kasabian released their new single "Shoot The Runner" on November 6th, with the CD single version including their rendition of "Pictures Of Matchstick Men"! The single was the second release from their "Empire" album and it had catalogue number PARADISE43 on Columbia Records. The band first played "Pictures Of Matchstick Men" on a Dermot O'Leary session for Radio 2 during the Summer of 2006, but the version on the CD single was recorded in the band's studio.

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7th - Quo appearance on GMTV (UK)

Quo appeared on the GMTV show on November 7th, with the first slot being a short interview at about 7.30am followed by a mimed performance (with live drums) of "Caroline" (the 'Riffs' album version). Later, at about 9am, they went through the motions again with the same mimed version of "Caroline" for the Lorraine Kelly show!

In a first for the band, Rick and Francis took part in a live "webchat" at 9.30am, with viewers able to submit questions to the band and watch them respond live (via the GMTV website). The full set of questions submitted during the webchat follows.

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10th - Joint book and DVD signing event at Harrods, London

Rick and Francis took part in the first of a large number of DVD and book signing events on the UK mainland at Harrods on November 10th. Arriving in style by horse and carriage at 5pm, they were both decked out in suits and worked their way through a long queue of fans. Photos of the event can be found here.

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10th - "Piledriver" cover band gig at The Dream Nightclub, Melbourne

An enthusiastic audience welcomed Piledriver back to the live stage at The Dream Nightclub after a four-month Quo drought in Melbourne. In a break from recent tradition, Twin Lizzy took the late spot, with Piledriver taking the earlier timeslot and soundchecking as early as 9pm!

Once the lights dimmed and the smoke rose, we were all back in familiar territory as "Caroline" was belted out with accuracy, gusto and good humour. Next up was crowd-pleasing "Paper Plane" which was no mistake, Andrew, so please don't ask us to forgive you! Nicely in the swing of things, the next song was a revelation and this was a dream in The Dream, in the shape of "I Saw The Light" - talk about a surprise! Although the intro would benefit from a polish, the rest of the very first public airing of the song by Piledriver was simply awesome and a true highlight of their set.

Although the remainder of the set contained no great surprises, this was no bad thing, with the usual 'Driver array from early 70s (with tracks like "Down The Dustpipe" in their interpretation of the "Mystery Song" medley) to the present (in "Belavista Man"). "Softer Ride" is always a killer song and the band do it justice, "Blue Eyed Lady" is becoming a Piledriver signature track (and just shows that Quo were mistaken in never adding it to their own live set), and the "big" songs like "Whatever You Want", "Rockin' All Over The World" and "Down Down" are thrown in for good measure.

Despite the four month break, Piledriver showed little sign of rustiness and all members pulled off notable performances. Wayne's solo work on the white Tele just gets better and better, Andrew seems to be settling in to being Francis very nicely (with the typical excursion into the crowd to mingle with the air guitarists), Ron kept the engine room running well, and Co's fingerwork was sometimes just a blur as he navigated those frets (maybe some of those solos could just be left a tad simpler?).

The 75-minute set was over way too soon, but well-appreciated by the encouragable audience. Good to see some of the usual Piledriver fan suspects and also a top effort from the two Bendigo guys coming down for their first (and definitely not last!) Piledriver outing.

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12th - Quo concert at Corn Exchange, Cambridge

The first UK mainland show of the "Just Doin' It" tour took place on November 12th at Cambridge Corn Exchange. The band kicked the tour off in fine style to a packed house and photos from this show are available here.

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13th - Quo concert at Regent Theatre, Ipswich

Quo performed the first of two nights at Ipswich's Regent Theatre on November 13th. Photos of the band in action can be found amongst a set of recent photos here and also here, whilst a reasonable quality video of "Creepin' Up On You" from this show is on offer here.

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16th - Quo concert at New Theatre, Oxford

Quo performed the first of two nights at Oxford's New Theatre on November 16th. Photos of the band just doin' it can be found here.

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17th - Quo concert at New Theatre, Oxford

Quo performed the second of two nights at Oxford's New Theatre on November 17th. Photos of the band just doin' it again can be found here.

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17th - Quo on Children In Need (UK BBC1)

Quo were featured in two separate slots as part of the annual "Children In Need" appeal show on UK's BBC1 on November 17th. The first segment, entitled "How Clean Is Your Gig?", was recorded at the previous night's show in Oxford and showed the behind the scenes work that goes into keeping the Quo stage fit for a gig! At midnight, Quo re-appeared (following a swift trip from their gig in Oxford!) for a playback performance of "Rockin' All Over The World".

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19th - Rhino with Woodedz at "No Slap Just Tickle" at Hammersmith Palais

Rhino and his band Woodedz appeared alongside an eclectic mix of stars from music and comedy at London's Hammersmith Palais for "No Slap Just Tickle", which took place on the night of Sunday November 19th to increase awareness of the issues surrounding domestic violence in the UK. Besides Woodedz, the line up included Bill Bailey and his punk cover band Beergut 100, alternative poet laureate John Hegley, Eddie award winner Phil Nichol, The London Gospel Community Choir and others.

Photos of the Edwards clan in action can be found here.

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20th - Quo concert at Centaur, Cheltenham

The following review of Quo's show in Cheltenham on November 20th, entitled "The Quo Take Centaur Stage" and penned by Joyce Matthews, appeared in the Gloucestershire Echo.

"If your ears are ringing, your feet aching, voice croaking and hands sore from clapping, chances are you were among the lucky ones rocking with Quo. Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt and the boys brought their Just Doin' It tour to Cheltenham and boy, did they do it well.Rocking, stomping and boogeying through decades of hits, the 3,000 and more fans had a fantastic night.

The atmosphere was electric. The crowd roared and were rewarded with Caroline, a storming opening number. All the favourites were there from Roll Over Lay Down, Wild Side of Life, Down Down, Whatever You Want and Rockin' All Over The World - just too many to mention.

It was only last year, shortly after their first visit to The Centaur, that Rick had a throat cancer scare and they had to interrupt their tour until he got the all-clear.

Thankfully, the blond-haired rocker was on great form and having a ball, with the affable pony-tailed Rossi chatting and joking with fans.

Teens and twenties, families and those growing old disgracefully, sang, cheered, jumped about, played air guitar and forgot the world outside.

There was a smattering of Rossi outfits - long hair tied back, white shirts and waistcoats, and plenty of denim.

The rest of us were content just to relive the heady days of driving, head-banging rock 'n' roll. So thanks Quo, we'll be here again next year - let's hope that you are too."

Amazing professional photos of the band in action can be found here and more top-quality shots are available here.

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21st - Quo concert at Fairfield Halls, Croydon

The following review of the Quo's first of two nights playing Croydon's Fairfield Halls on November 21st comes from Dave Ling.

"Status Quo's gigs at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon - an intimate and friendly venue just down the road from Francis Rossi's gaff in leafy Purley - have taken on near-legendary status, helping me to fall in love with the band's music all over again. Last night was fourth time in as many years I've seen Quo at the Fairfield, and as my friend Paul Newcomb so rightly pointed out before the lights went down, these gigs have taken on an air pantomime (in the nicest possible sense). Save for one track ('Belavista Man') from the band's disappointing latest album, 'The Party Ain't Over Yet', the two hours onstage were filled with some of the best rock tunes ever written. OK, they still do a shortened 'Forty Five Hundred Times' in a medley with 'Rain', but hearing them do 'Dear John' - the video for which features a spotty, be-denimed and youthful DL, with my old pals Nigel Glazier and Steve O'Connell - for the first time in aeons brought back great memories. I love the fact that Francis still gives a mock-pained look when the audience respond with a roar of "No!" as he sings "Could I be younger?" during 'Most Of The Time', also his schoolmasterly glance of reprimand when they tease him by shouting: "Sell us an ice-cream" (that's how the Rossi family made their money). Long may the Quo rock on."

The full setlist for this gig was as follows.

Photos of the band in action at Croydon can be found here.

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24th - Quo concert at Colston Hall, Bristol

Incredible professional photos of the band in action at the first Bristol gig on November 24th can be found here.

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25th - Quo concert at Colston Hall, Bristol

Some fan photos are available here, whilst more great professional photos of the band in action, this time at the second Bristol gig on November 25th, can be found here.

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25th - Joint book and DVD signing at Bristol Borders

Francis and Rick held another signing session for the new SQ40 book and "Just Doin' It" DVD at the Bristol branch of Borders bookshop on November 25th, prior to their second show at the Colston Hall. Excellent professional photos of the signing session can be found here.

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27th - Quo concert at Opera House, Blackpool

Quo played a storming gig at Blackpool's Opera House on November 27th. Short video clips of a few songs from the gig are available - Caroline , Down Down, Juniors Wailing and Rock 'n' Roll Music.

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