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That was the Quo month that was ... November 2016

3rd - Francis article in The Observer (US)

The following article and interview with Francis appeared in The Observer (US) on 3rd November, penned by Jake Taylor and titled "Status Quo Founder Francis Rossi Finally Debunks the Three-Chord Myth".

"It’s been nearly 50 years since Status Quo burst onto the UK rock scene, and despite their lifestyle they’ve shown little sign of slowing down. As they set off on their last ever electric tour, frontman and co-founder Francis Rossi reflects on the band’s incredible success.

In the US, Status Quo is one of those British bands best known for not having made it in the US. Their late 60s psychedelic jam “Pictures of Matchstick Men” reached No. 12 on the charts here and that’s it. But in the U.K., they had a staggering 22 top 10 hits. And they moved the needle on the cool factor by being name-checked in Teenage Fanclub’s gem, “The Concept.” (“She wears denim wherever she goes / Says she’s gonna get some records by the Status Quo—oh, yeah.” So good.)

As one of the founding members of one of Britain’s most long-lived and successful rock bands, you could almost forgive guitarist-singer Francis Rossi for having a ready-made, cliché-filled answer to why his band are still filling arenas after nearly half a century together. But even Rossi — who clearly has no issue with speaking his mind — is a little bit stumped when it comes to secrets of the band’s longevity.

“Sheer luck? I really don’t know,” the 67-year-old guitarist and vocalist admits. “I always thought Status Quo, even in the ’60s, was the band least likely to make it and if they did, least likely to maintain it. Now I’m 67, we’re still selling out, still doing tours — I don’t understand it. I analyze most things, but I try not to analyze that. Or mess with it.”

Lucky or not, the fact remains that as the band with a record-breaking amount of U.K. chart singles — more than Queen or The Rolling Stones — Status Quo’s unique brand of anthemic, guitar-driven rock ‘n’ roll has captured the attention of legions of devoted fans over the years. As 2016 draws to a close, however, it brings with it The Last Night of the Electrics tour — and the retirement of the Quo’s energetic electric live show after all these years.

“The better the show, the worse you feel the following morning,” says Rossi. “So I wanted to stop and retire. I’m not sure Rick wanted to at that point, but obviously we were aware that Rick has been in the danger zone for some time, and as he’s said, now is the payback for all the wild times.”

Those “wild times” during the Quo’s most fruitful years garnered both Rossi and his bandmate Rick Parfitt a reputation for hedonism befitting of the stereotypical ideal of the ‘rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.’ For Rossi, however, this is nothing more than “the myth of show-business,” and he’s all too happy to reveal the truth behind the supposed glitz and glamour.

“It’s not as fabulous as it looks from the front — it’s supposed to look fabulous from the front,” he says. “We should never have been indulged but we have been. When they tell you Zeppelin, or the Who or Quo wrecked a hotel room — what’s so clever about that? You sign a cheque in the morning, what’s rock ‘n roll about that?”

Another myth Rossi is keen to dispel is the stereotype of Status Quo’s use of only three chords that has wormed its way into musical folklore. It might be, as Rossi says, “a great line,” but the frontman thinks it’s just another way in which music is being overcomplicated and overanalyzed.

“That whole thing about three chords, there’s not much music that isn’t three chords,” he says. “You get chord tricks that happen in decades, and that strange thing with everyone wanting something new. What for? I just want something great.”

“I want something that does something to me,” he continues. “Whether or not it sounds like, feels like, it’s great. One of the worst things that happens with music is people want to outline their own image and who they are with the music they like... it’s just music. If you want to intellectualize and become elitist about music, but it’s still music. I don’t care what genre it is, it’s a whole bunch of notes that are jiggled around again.”

Though much has been made of Rossi’s supposed fractious relationship with Parfitt — “our relationship is ‘ish,’ I think,” he says and laughs — the success of the band’s latest Aquostic albums have shown that the public appetite for the Quo remains large.

Yet when it comes down to it, the biggest surprise for Rossi and his generation of rockers isn’t that they’re still selling out arena tours, but rather that he’s still around to make music in the first place.

“I saw Phil Collins the other night — I’ve known him somewhat for some time and, like everybody, I was quite shocked that he’s in that condition,” he concludes. “But he’s out there saying this is what he does, and I like the way he’s named his tour Not Dead Yet Live — that’s very good. Most of our generation can’t believe it. We’re still alive, how did that happen?”

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6th - Francis interview on The Michael Ball Show (BBC Radio 2, UK)

Francis was interviewed on The Michael Ball Show on BBC Radio 2 on 6th November, with Richard Madeley sitting in for Michael Ball. Richard kicked off by remarking how well Francis looked before looking back on the history of the band and its amazing longevity. They discussed the predictable, symmetrical nature of Quo's music and Richard's love of "Caroline".

Talk then turned to "Aquostic", the motivations behind it (thanks Coles!) and how different songs worked better than they first imagined they would. "Hold You Back" from the latest "Aquostic" album was played then they discussed the improved technical equipment used during recording these days.

Rick's health was the next topic and Francis talked quite fondly of him and his future plans. Richard probed as to why Rick didn't want to pursue the acoustic direction and then Francis was forced to choose his "desert island" Quo track - and he selected "Marguerita Time".

The twelve-minute interview can be heard here.

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14th - Quo concert at Max-Schmeling-Halle, Berlin, Germany

My first gig on the German leg of the Last Night Of The Electrics tour was in Berlin on 14th November. We got to the Max-Schmeling-Halle mid-afternoon and met Leon, Rhino, Richie and Andy as they arrived (all squashed into one car). It was a very cold sunny afternoon but Richie and Leon seemed happy to chat and pose for photos for a while before heading into the venue.

We retreated to a friendly pub across from the venue and had an enjoyable time catching up with friends and a marketing rep from the venue also had fun, taking lots of photos of us fans (which have since been posted on their Facebook page).

Having bought "VIP Golden Circle" tickets, we knew to arrive well before normal "doors open" time and our 5.30pm arrival back at the venue meant only a fifteen minute wait until us VIPs were let in. It was the usual dash to the barrier, made somewhat more difficult in this venue as the floor is well below ground level so a lot of stairs to navigate along the way. A spot on the barrier right in front of Rhino's mike stand would do me very nicely.

We already knew that Uriah Heep would again be the support band, but Berlin got a bonus support act in the form of DRDW. Hopes were not high when we saw the setup, a drummer and a lederhosen-clad accordion player. They were then joined by a tatooed young singer and they went on to dispel our initial misgivings, playing a really rocky little set! Watching them play AC/DC's "Whole Lotta Rosie" certainly ranks as one of the most bizarre things I've ever seen while following Quo, with Angus Young suddenly wearing lederhosen, but still doing the duckwalk. A really enjoyable opening act.

At 7.30, it was Uriah Heep's turn to take the stage and they played the same hour-long set as in Ireland recently. They got an excellent reception here and their set is becoming more enjoyable as it becomes more familiar (it will be very familiar after another five gigs on the German tour for me!).

By the time Quo's crew were getting their stage ready, the venue had filled up nicely - the Golden Circle area was busy (but civilized), the main standing floor area crowded and most of the seating was full. I'd estimate the crowd to be 4-5000.

Quo kicked off just after 9pm and played the familiar LNOTE set. Standing right in front of Rhino made it obvious just how much of an additional load he has taken on in Rick's absence, with a lot of vocal responsibility throughout the set. This gig was the best vocal performance I'd seen from him. Andy Bown was in a very playful mood throughout the set, headbanging through "Roll Over Lay Down" and mucking about a lot as the gig went on - he was clearly having a ball. Francis seemed to be relishing his time on stage as well, acting as ringleader and showman. Richie continues to appear amazingly relaxed and never missed a beat, great to see him enjoying it (and the support on stage from Francis too). Leon pulled out a long solo and maybe he was trying too hard during "Gerdundula" as he broke a stick playing the drum out front.

It was a good-sized crowd (again) here, resulting in another fine performance - and a very enjoyable afternoon and evening spent in the company of good friends only heightened the experience. An excellent set of official photos from this show can be found here

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19th - Quo concert at LanXess Arena, Köln, Germany

So, the second gig of my six in Germany (and gig number nine of 24 on my last big Quo tour around Europe) saw me joining the Golden Circle folks at the Lanxess Arena in Koln on 19th November. Getting there around 5pm, the Golden Circle queue was already quite long but it was an orderly affair when the doors opened for us around 5.45 and I secured a spot just off the barrier in front of Rhino again.

DRDW were again a bonus support act, hitting the stage at 7pm for their twenty-minute set of rocky accordion-based music (I have no idea what genre to put this band into!). It's a bizarre act but very enjoyable and they got a great reception from the growing crowd packing into the enormous ice hockey stadium of Lanxess Arena.

7.30pm saw Uriah Heep take over and their one-hour set was incredibly well-received here, with lots of very loud audience participation and they seemed to genuinely enjoy the responsive crowd, pulling out the best performance I've seen from them during their time supporting Quo this year. It seems Uriah Heep were a wise choice of support here in Germany with many Heep fans turning out to see them even as a support band.

By the time Quo appeared at a fraction after 9pm, the big arena was packed (with a reported crowd of some 9000) and would welcome Quo with some enthusiasm! The next 100-minutes or so were filled with the same LNOTE set as we've become used to, but the big audience made all the difference. The whole band seemed to step up and showed no signs of fatigue even with this being their third gig in a row. Francis's interactions with the audience between songs were longer than usual and he commented that this arena is a "nice room" (a very very big room at that!). As they finished off with "Bye Bye Johnny" and left the stage, the chants started and carried on very loudly for a long time. I've never seen Francis linger so long before finally leaving the stage, so long in fact that Leon came back out to see where the rest of the guys were! An amazing reception from this good-natured big crowd.

My Golden Circle spot gave me a great vantage point again and it was all very civilized up front, meaning we could all enjoy the top notch performance from Quo. Watching them up close like this night after night really is a privilege, I'll miss it so much and, from what I saw of the smiles on their faces last night, Quo will too.

Next stop Frankfurt on Monday night! An excellent set of official photos from this gig can be seen here.

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20th - Francis interview abour Rick's heart attack in The Mirror (UK)

The following interview with Francis appeared in the UK's Mirror on 20th November, written by Amanda Killelea and titled "Status Quo's Francis Rossi on the night he watched bandmate Rick Parfitt 'die' of a heart attack".

"Francis Rossi stood in horrified silence, not knowing what to do or think. His Status Quo bandmate Rick Parfitt had just had a heart attack right in front of him, minutes after coming off stage.

Now his heart had stopped. All Francis could do was watch as medics pounded Rick’s chest, giving the stricken guitarist CPR.

For an instant, Francis wanted them to give up.

Talking about that night for the first time, Francis says: “I saw him lying there and what they were doing to him and I thought ‘Oh sh*t’.

“They were pumping his chest with so much effort his arms were flailing. He was gone.

“I almost said, ‘Oh leave him alone’. I wouldn’t want people doing that to me. But it wasn’t my call.

“It could be seen as one partner trying to bump the other partner off.”

Francis, 67, might joke now but on the night in Turkey in June he was dumbstruck as Rick lay, clinically dead, his heart having stopped for several minutes.

“I was just stood there,” Francis says. “We all felt for him. But you do think ‘Oh, Rick, don’t be a d**khead’.”

His plea worked. Rick responded to the lengthy CPR and is now making a slow recovery .

It was a very narrow escape – and a reminder of the high price Rick, 68, is paying for decades of hard partying.

He and Francis – together in legendary rock band Quo for almost 50 years – were infamous for their binges at the height of their fame.

Francis would splash out £1,200 a week on cocaine.

He did so much damage to his nose that part of his septum – the bit that divides the nostrils inside the conk – fell out with a “dunk” as he had a shower.

Francis knocked the crazy days on the head in his late 30s – while Rick kept up the rock’n’roll lifestyle.

Rick had his first heart attack in 1997 followed by a quadruple heart bypass. He had another heart attack in 2011 and one in 2014, after which he said he had given up drinking.

Quo’s charismatic frontman Francis says before a gig in Hamburg: “We always said it, and he said it himself, it is the quid pro quo – it’s the payback for being the wild person.

“We all stopped being wild in our mid to late 30s, but Rick didn’t. He kept going. It did scare me what happened to Rick. But part of me, was going ‘Oh, Rick, you f***ing idiot’. In his defence, the whole world is like that – Gazza and George Best, no matter how people helped them they kept going.

“I gave up drinking in 1988. I’ve never been a drinker, I don’t like the taste. Whereas Rick had to have a drink.”

Nearly losing Rick has made dad-of-eight Francis re-evaluate a lot about his own life and health – and how he would want to die.

“I don’t want to die on stage,” he says. “I used to think it would be great, but I do not want to die out there.

“I don’t mind dying in my own bed, with people visiting me. I don’t want to end up in some strange hospital with them keeping me alive.

“If it happened to me like what happened to Rick I’m not even sure I would let them take me to hospital.”

It’s a subject close to home.

His mum Nancy asked him to help end her suffering before she died. It has left him feeling passionately that assisted suicide should be legalised.

He says: “My mother said to me, ‘You know about drugs – give me some’. She wanted me to kill her. Which is weird because being such an over-the-top Catholic she must’ve been in so much pain to say that.

“She had osteoporosis, diverticulitis, all sorts of things. I said to her ‘I would, but I’m not going to prison for you or anybody’.

“I think suicide should be legalised for people who are so ill. They say we are playing God, but how did we get this far if people aren’t playing God?”

Francis is determined to stay as fit and healthy as possible. He does daily workouts while the band are still Rockin’ All Over the World with what they have announced will be their last electric tour – though they may still do one-offs and acoustic sets. “I do everything I can to stay fit as a fiddle,” he says. “I panic. I look after my diet, I exercise. I make sure I work out every day.”

The tour comes to Britain next month. But after Rick had to pull out on doctor’s orders, they had a problem.

“When Rick fell over – that’s what we always call it – we all went ‘Oh f**k, now what?’. We could never have cancelled.

“In the 70s you could cancel and just leave the venue. Whereas now the punter wants his money back, the hall want their money, the crew, the buses... everyone wants paying.

“And then the promoter would sue you for loss of earnings. We couldn’t cancel – we can’t afford to do that.”

At first they brought in Freddie Edwards, son of Quo bassist John “Rhino” Edwards. Irish guitarist Richie Malone has now stepped into the breach.

Francis admits all this has brought him down to earth a bit. He says: “We didn’t fancy the idea of bringing someone in... we are so used to Rick being there. It’s kind of an ego bust – it could’ve been me, but they just get someone else in and carry on.

“If you’ve got the right tunes and it sounds right, the people love it.

“You are not indispensable, none of us. We all like to think we are.

“I really hate to admit it, but I am so past my sell-by-date it is ridiculous. I am sixty f***ing seven.”

Francis, a born and bred South Londoner, co-formed the band – then called The Scorpions – in 1962 while he was still at school.

After a few failed singles, they changed their name to Status Quo, Rick joined and they soon had their first hit, Pictures of Matchstick Men, which reached the top 10 in 1968.

Now, the mighty Quo have had more hit singles – 66 to be precise – in the UK than any other band. Their current album, Aquostic II, is their 44th hit album and it is estimated they have played live to more than 25 million people.

There can’t be much more to achieve. So, hasn’t Francis thought about hanging up the mic for good?

Despite owning an eight-bedroom home in Surrey, twice-married Francis admits: “I do keep thinking, should we stop at the end of this year, or the end of next year? Will I have enough money?”

“Unless we make money it goes under. We have to make a certain amount of money each year to maintain the Status Quo... I’m not poor but I haven’t got that hundred million in the corner of my bedroom like people imagine. People think ‘You’ve had a boat, a plane, all those women, you have been to all those fabulous places, you must have all that money’. But you can’t do that and still have the big pile of cash sitting in the corner.”

With a cheeky smirk, he adds: “Some nights I don’t want to go on stage, but some nights it is so good. It is like the moment of climax, it just stays there. I would miss that every night."

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21st - Quo concert at Jahrhunderthalle, Frankfurt, Germany

My third gig on the German tour saw me queuing outside the spaceship venue that is the Jahrhunderthalle in Frankfurt before 4pm on 21st November. "VIP Golden Circle" ticket holders had been emailed to arrive by 4pm and there were already about 15 in front of me when I arrived at shortly before 4pm. It was soon after that we were let in to be issued our wristbands and lanyards, then forming our own queue for early entry. It was a nice warm way to queue inside the venue and we were finally let into the auditorium at about 5.45. The venue looked large from the outside but the interior space for standing and seating were surprisingly small and the stage not particularly wide so the barrier spots were quickly taken, with a spot between Francis and Rhino being my barrier real estate for the evening.

Other fans were let in at about 6pm and the venue filled quickly so the openers, DRDW, played to a nicely-sized audience and got a great reception for their entertaining (but still bizarre) brand of accordion-based rock. Their reception was so good that the lead singer came back out after their set to take photos of the audience still applauding (see here!).

Uriah Heep again got an excellent reception for their energetic hour-long set. A trio of Quo fans on the barrier provided a challenge for them, with Mick Box and Bernie Shaw working on them throughout the set to get involved. They stubbornly refused, however, and earned a few choice words from the drummer as he left the stage!

Quo appeared at just after 9pm (after a very short drone intro) and played the same LNOTE set as at the previous German gigs. The venue was full by the time they took the stage and the audience got involved from the get go, albeit without the size to generate the same kind of noise as the Koln gig a couple of days before. The band were again in good form after a day off and Francis in particular seemed to really enjoy himself. The fine architectural interior of the Jahrhunderthalle was nice for us as an audience but Francis complained about their (underground) facilities. The standout song of the night for me was "Down Down", it's become such a big song in the set and Francis clearly loves the audience interaction. The bye-bye's came way too soon, but it was a very enjoyable gig, especially enjoyed from such close quarters (the pit was very narrow at this gig).

Another good performance from Quo in a superb venue (with excellent organization and easy entry & exit), next stop Oberhausen for me. Some superb pro shots from the gig can be found here and here.

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24th - Quo concert at König-Pilsener Arena, Oberhausen, Germany

My fourth gig of the German tour was in Oberhausen on 24th November. An early visit to the venue was rewarded by a tour poster, thanks to a nice lady in the box office, then there was some time to explore the large Christmas market at the adjacent CentrO shopping & entertainment complex.

Heading back to the venue at 3.30pm, it wasn't easy to find the right spot to queue for early entry with our "VIP Golden Circle" tickets. When we did find the right place, there were only a handful of fans waiting there and the area also happened to overlook the back of the venue where the Quo tour buses and trucks were parked, so watching the goings-on down there helped to pass the time. We spotted Richie heading out on foot and wandered down to see him. He was happy to stop for a chat on his way to the CentrO shops and it was good to have a long talk without being interrupted by other fans wanting a piece of him. It was good to hear about his journey with Quo and plans for the future.

It was a long and cold two-hour wait before the doors opened for us early birds at about 5.40pm. The dash to the barrier involved a tricky navigation down a lot of steps but we scored a couple of spots on the barrier between Francis and Rhino, right in line with Leon's kit.

The gig poster suggested the bizarre German accordion rockers DRDW would be opening again, but they unfortunately didn't materialize ("for production reasons", whatever that means) so the support action kicked off with Uriah Heep at about 7.10pm. They played the same hour-long set and got a fantastic reception from the big crowd already in residence by the time they took the stage. I'm something of a convert now and find their set very enjoyable, they're clearly very good at what they do and a number of their songs are catchy. The incredible rock voice of Bernie Shaw continues to wear well on this long tour.

The Quo crew were back on a more normal schedule for this gig, seeing the stage set for the band by 8.45pm. After a very long drone, the band appeared and, of course, played their same LNOTE set. Pretty much from the start, Francis was having trouble with his in-ear monitor pack (and this would continue until the break before the encore) but it didn't seem to stop him having a great gig. By the time Quo appeared, the available sections of the arena were packed (an estimated 7-8000 fans) and they were a noisy bunch, regularly taking over the gig with their chanting. When Francis addressed the crowd, he had his work cut out to calm them down, often just giving up and letting us have our chance to sing. Richie and Andy were actively encouraging this, it was great to see the band reveling in the reception they were getting here, the best crowd of the tour so far for me.

There were no surprises in the setlist, but the band were in top form. Francis was more energetic than in the previous gigs I've seen (jumping off the ground during the "bouncy" songs, for example) and Andy is a show in himself when he's in the kind of mood he was in Oberhausen!

A great show, big crowd, barrier spot, birthday wishes from Richie and a poster as a memento of a memorable day in Germany! The venue's official photos from this gig are superb!

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26th - Article on special birthday gig by John Coghlan's Quo

The following article about a special John Coghlan's Quo gig appeared on Gloucestershire Live on 26th November, entitled "Status Quo drummer rocks up for special birthday for severely autistic girl, 16" and written by Kim Horton.

"What better way to celebrate your 16th birthday than by having one of your favourite band members pay you a visit and rock up literally to perform on stage for you and your family and friends.

This dream came true for Chloe Elliott who has had the best surprise birthday present ever.

The drummer from Status Quo, John Coghlan brought his new band along to provide the evening's entertainment for her family and friends at Longlevens Community Centre.

The planning started a year ago when her parents really wanted to mark her birthday so Chloe's dad has been working hard with mother Vicky to make this a birthday that she will always remember.

Father Jonathon Elliott said: "Chloe has severe autism but when she hears the music, it provides a relief for her instantly. I am really pleased that the original band had signed a birthday card for her and she is really pleased with it.

"When Chloe found out what we had planned she was so excited. It is a big deal to her."

People traveled from all across the country to share this special day with Chloe and her parents Jonathon and Vicky.

Yvonne Hanvey who runs the Status Quo fan club said: "It is absolutely crazy, and fabulous that John has come here for Chloe's birthday.

"Chloe's father invited the fan club along and it sums us up as the Quo Army family. We are really pleased to have been invited and to celebrate Chloe's 16th birthday."

The icing on the cake is that the company that makes t-shirts for Rick Parfitt, they have made Chloe one with crystal sewn onto the tee. Plus a card signed by the band members past and present, including the original bass player Alan Lancaster who lives in Australia.

Mother Vicky said: "It has been difficult to make sure that we don't slip up and give it away. It has been difficult and that nearly happened a couple of times. Chloe had a great day with her friends at Hop Skip and Jump club and has enjoyed getting her presents and so excited about seeing John Coghlan."

"The whole evening has cost quite a lot, but she will only turn 16 once and we wanted to make it so special. Chloe is only really interested in soft and wind up toys, and not into iphones and electronics so this is something she will always treasure."

At the party we hope to raise some money for her school the Milestones as they have supported Chloe since she was 5 years old both in and out of school.

Chloe's class teacher Claire Murphy said: "Chloe loves dancing and music. Her parents have worked so hard to make this happen for her as a lot of children want lots of things for their birthdays, but this is something unique to Chloe. I know that Chloe has been really looking forward to this and music makes her really happy."

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28th - Backstage video of Quo in Germany on Moma (ADR/WDR, Germany)

A rare glimpse into the behind the scenes aspects of Quo tour was broadcast on German morning TV on 28th November, on the Moma show (ADR/WDR). The footage (recorded at the Oberhausen gig) included soundcheck as well as interviews (and singing!) with fans - I was interviewed by WDR for this, but didn't make the cut! Most of the footage was on the tour bus and they also showed the band performing the "Aquostic" version of "Hold You Back", with a very cut down backing, on the Oberhausen stage (perhaps for later release?).

The three-minute clip can be seen here.

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29th - Quo concert at Porsche-Arena, Stuttgart, Germany

The penultimate show of the big German LNOTE tour was in the modern Porsche Arena in Stuttgart on 29th November. A decent queue formed early at the dedicated "Golden Circle" entrance and we were finally let in at 5.45pm. It was a tricky place to navigate but I ended up between Francis and Richie, one off the barrier, so a good spot to take it all in. The DRDW boys did another good job of warming up the crowd with their bizarre form of entertainment, before Uriah Heep blasted the house down for the next hour. They clearly had a great time (and were also having fun in the city centre German market when I saw them in the afternoon the day before the gig!) and a couple of nights off had done them no harm at all. Bernie was impressed with the audience reaction and commented they were having "too much fun for a Tuesday"!

The Quo crew did their work quickly to prepare the stage including a new ritual I'd never seen before, spraying anti-static spray around each microphone stand. It turned out the band have been having trouble with static on the stage and this was designed to mitigate that (with questionable effect apparently as the show went on!). Of course, it was the same set and the crowd was sizeable, taking up most of the venue, I'd estimate 6-7000 in attendance on this cold November evening. Francis managed to forget his usual introduction of Richie until reminded by Rhino and when he eventually did it, the young man got a great reception and was forced out of the shadows into the spotlight alongside Francis to enjoy it.

I had a good spot to enjoy this show and was surrounded by friendly locals, another very enjoyable Quo night with just one left in Germany for me before moving to the Netherlands.

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30th - Quo concert at Olympiahalle, München, Germany

The final gig of the fifteen-night German LNOTE tour saw Quo playing at the famous Olympiahalle in Munich on 30th November. Arriving later than usual at about 6.30pm, there was no queue left for the Golden Circle folks so we got straight in and, after a few mistaken attempts to navigate down to the right area, secured a decent spot between Rhino and Francis, two rows off the barrier.

This massive venue (capacity of 16000 or so according to their official site) was curtained off somewhere around halfway, but what remained filled up very nicely by the time Quo appeared. The seating area was one of the steepest and highest I've ever seen in a venue, so it held a lot of people plus the busy floor and packed Golden Circle, so I'd estimate an audience of about 6000 for this show.

This gig gave me one more chance (probably my last ever one) to see the entertaining DRDW and they got a great reaction from the building crowd. It was also nice to hear them expressing gratitude for the opportunity they'd had on the tour, good luck to them.

Uriah Heep then did their sixty minutes, following the same set as for the rest of the German tour but one of their best receptions (at least from the gigs I've attended). Bernie again argued this was too much fun and every night was like Friday night on this tour. Mick Box did the honours in thanking Quo and their crew very warmly, a class act all round and a fine choice of support in this part of the world.

From the time Quo kicked off their familiar LNOTE set with "Caroline" a little after 9pm, it was obvious they were in the mood to make their last German gig a memorable one. They seemed in great spirits and Francis was much more talkative than usual (even to the point of revealing that Rhino was wearing no underwear, a little too much information) and treated us to a longer "Bye Bye Johnny" than I've seen at the previous gigs on this tour. The vibe was good, the crowd always involved and the standout song (and performance) was "Down Down" again, with Francis loving every minute of the big crowd's reactions to him, brilliant.

A fine gig to end the band's trek around Germany as part of the "Last Night of the Electrics" tour and a very enjoyable sixth German show for me too, in the company of good friends! Next stop Amsterdam and the crazy Dutch crowd at the Heineken Hall, looking forward to it!

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