Quo headlined the annual The Collars & Coats Gala Ball held at Battersea Evolution on 11th November in aid of the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. With tables starting at £3500 (up to £10,000 for a platinum table), not many Quo fans were in attendance! The event was hosted by Peter Andre and aimed to raise funds for new kennels.Revisit the November 2011 event list
Statoz Quo's first venture onto Victoria soil would see them sampling the manifold delights of the Gippsland country town of Moe on the 19th November.
Despite some inclement weather, the band all arrived safely and were soundchecking by the time we arrived at the Moe RSL at about 4pm. The large room with a decent stage looked promising but, more importantly, the band sounded promising too. With a competent sound guy, a few tweaks through renditions of "Something 'Bout You Baby I Like", "Little Lady" and "Don't Waste My Time" led to a loud & rockin' full version of "Creepin' Up On You" with the sound deemed to be spot on by the Quo fans handily placed to provide advice on the subject!
After some brief respite from the cosy confines of the RSL, we were soon back to indulge in some typical RSL dinner fare - with the exception of those patrons who'd gone for the "dinner and show" package, who were treated to a one-off special menu dedicated to Quo! Main options included the "Roll Over Lay Down" and "Whatever You Want" while desserts on offer included "Paper Plane" and "Down Down"! This was a nice touch by the venue and indicative of the friendliness we would all encounter at the Moe RSL during the event.
The band took the stage at about 8.30 for their first set and received a warm welcome from the travelling Victorian fans up front (numbering about a dozen) as well as some locals opting for safety a little further away from the obligatory Vox wall of death. Showing no signs of fatigue after their recent run of gigs in NSW and WA, Statoz started well and got better and better as the evening went on. Some unfortunate technical issues plagued their sound (remedied during the break between sets) but no-one seemed to mind as the band belted out hit after hit. Kicking off with "Paper Plane" (with the trick "Caroline" intro), it was big songs all the way including classics like "Don't Waste My Time" , "Down Down", "Hold You Back" and "Rain". Despite the chronologically-challenged introductions by the bass player (note to Mr Lingard, not every Quo song was released in 1975!), this first set was very enjoyable and the band's more regular gig schedule has done wonders for their tightness. Steve's leads were excellent, Dave's rhythm and Gary's drums a well-oiled engine room, and Tony's thumping bass was thankfully of a better standard than his memory of release dates! Rounding out the first set was a treat for the diehards in the shape of "Big Fat Mama", a rocking rendition leaving the front row air guitar crew in need of a cold one (or two) before the next set.
A decent length break gave the Vic fans a good opportunity to catch up while the band caught their breath and mingled with the appreciate mob calling themselves the Moe crowd. The second set saw the technical issues with sound resolved (no more 'snap, crackle and pop' thanks!) and Statoz could focus on rocking us out for another hour or so. They threw in a few treats along the way, including a stunning "Backwater", the riff classic "Don't Think It Matters", a surprising "Gerdundula" (devoid of any guitar neck swapping shenanigans) and even a rendition of "Happy Birthday" for the 42nd (more chronological inaccuracy!) birthday for my good self. Good on ya, guys! Crowd-pleasing singalongs with the likes of "Anniversary Waltz", "Rockin' All Over The World" and "Bye Bye Johnny" finished us off, rounding out a top night's entertainment from the Queenslanders.
The band played as well as I've seen them and seemed to feed off the air guitar exploits of the diehard nutters down the front, lapping up their moments of live Quo. The band are in good form, the more regular gigging is of great benefit to them, and they're a worthy tribute to our favourite band in Australia (not sure what the band themselves would make of the Aussie national anthem chucked in along the way though!). On behalf of the Victorian fans, I'd also like to say a huge thank you for putting us on your tour schedule, it was a big effort for one gig down South and we really did appreciate it.
Francis was interviewed by Billy Bunter on BBC Radio Merseyside on 23rd November. Introduced by Billy as an "original member of one of the best boy bands still around", the interview was played in by an unusual song choice, in "Do It Again" and played out with the somewhat more predictable "Better Than That". The interview focused on the Quo Festive tour with Francis talking fondly of Roy Wood.Revisit the November 2011 event list
Francis and Rick were joined by Kim Wilde and Roy Wood as guests on BBC Breakfast on November 24th to promote the "Quo Festive" tour. They talked about plans for the tour (including their one day of rehearsals and the idea that all three acts would appear together to end each show?). Kim did most of the talking and appeared the most enthusiastic about the festive tour but the rapport between the Quo boys and Roy Wood was very obvious too. They also talked about the first meeting of Rick and Francis, as well as the ponytail removal.Revisit the November 2011 event list
Francis and Rick were interviewed on Channel 5's OK TV on November 24th and Rick decided it would be a good idea to sport a grey wooly hat for some reason! There was a funny moment early in the interview when they were asked whether they met at university and the style of the interview was very jovial, with both Rick and Francis seeming to be engaged and enjoying it. They also inevitably talked about the Quo Festive tour.Revisit the November 2011 event list
Quo released "Better Than That" as the third single release from the album 'Quid Pro Quo' on November 25th. The track came bundled with live versions of "Two Way Traffic" and "Let's Rock", recorded at the Cornbury Festival earlier this year and was sadly only available for download only, something of a mistake as the additional live tracks (previously unavailable elsewhere) would have ensured a successful physical release thanks to the collectors market.Revisit the November 2011 event list
A recent interview with Rhino, in which he answered questions posted on the Quo message board, was broadcast on the German site Status Quo Rock Radio (SQRR) on Sunday November 27th at 20:00 CET (19:00 GMT).Revisit the November 2011 event list
John Govier stood in for Judi Spiers to interview Francis on November 28th on BBC Radio Devon. "Whatever You Want" was used to lead in the interview, before they discussed Quo's history, the "Hello Quo" documentary, the UK tour (and rehearsals for it), favourite eras, and advice to young musicians. John also gave Francis a lyric quiz (he managed two out of three) before playing "Living On An Island". Some questions then came in from listeners (one of which led Francis to reveal he'd been doing something recently with Alan Lancaster!), before the interview was closed out with "Better Than That".Revisit the November 2011 event list
Francis took part in a lengthy interview with Danny Baker on BBC London on November 28th. This was an excellent interview example, devoid of the usual stereotypical questions and bringing out the best in Francis.
Kicking off with "Down The Dustpipe", the format involved Francis picking numbers from 1 to 20, against which Danny had listed 20 Quo songs in a random order. The song would be played and then Francis had to tell a story about that song. Next up was the John Fogerty version of "Rockin' All Over The World" and Francis told the funny story about them being on the same bill at a recent Montreux festival. Next was "Caroline" and he talked about the evolution of the song from the original shuffle written with Bob Young and also at length about its recording.
"Gerdundula" came next and Francis talked about Gerd and Ula and the influences that led to this song. Next up was "Gentleman Joe's Sidewalk Cafe" and Francis had a very strong reaction to this one! He talked about the debate about whether this would be the A-side to the "Pictures of Matchstick Men" single or not and how much he hated the song (one of the few Quo songs he claims to hate). Next up the superb "Break The Rules" and Francis revealed that the solo from the recording is impossible to play due to the techniques used during its recording. Going back in time again, next up was "Ice In The Sun" and he talked about the tuning and (Kim's dad) Marty Wilde's involvement. Danny described this as "a gorgeous song".
"Paper Plane" came next and Francis revealed that it was conceived by Bob and him after endulging in some Bob Hope (rhyming slang for dope). "I Who Have Nothing" got an outing next and Francis said he'd talked to Alan Lancaster about this song recently and he joked that it was "a piece of work"! Next up was "Mean Girl" and Francis described it as "waffle" (dismissed by Danny) and went on to discuss the hardcore/floating fan distinction. Another oldie in the shape of "Spicks and Specks" was next and some inevitable promo for the "Quo Festive" tour soon followed. "Pictures of Matchstick Men" got an airing and Francis talked about miming performances for TV. The move from Pye to Vertigo was discussed next before playing "Down Down" and he talked about the evolution of the lyrics with Bob Young.Revisit the November 2011 event list
Francis and Rick appeared on the Steve Wright Show on November 30th, with Roy Wood and Kim Wilde in yet another promo for the "Quo Festive" tour. Steve played "Rockin' All Over The World" before the interview. Kim again led proceedings and then they talked about the old circuit with The Move and Quo, before discussing specifics of the tour. The interview was played out with "Better Than That", it still being on the Radio 2 A-list.Revisit the November 2011 event list
Francis made a brief contribution to a BBC documentary about the Vox amplifier company. The documentary was advertised on the BBC website as follows.
"In the early 60s, British pop groups succeeded in conquering the world. But as the Beatles, the Stones, the Shadows, the Dave Clark Five, the Yardbirds and many others took to the stage, they had one thing in common. They were sharing the platform with Vox amplifiers. Some of the nation's top professionals, including Queen's Brian May and Bruce Welch of the Shadows, along with the factory workers of the time, recount the story of how an unlikely small company in unglamourous Dartford hit the big time and defined the sound of the 60s in Britain. Presented by Iain Lee."Revisit the November 2011 event list