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That was the Quo month that was ... November 1999

20th - State of Quo at Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury

The following review comes from Mike Ellwood. (Some photos also taken by Mike at the gig may be found by clicking here and typing "coghlan" into the search field.)

As I crossed the boundary from Oxfordshire to my native Gloucestershire, I dusted off my passport and Gloucestershire accent, and headed for the Roses Theatre, which is right in the heart of the old town.

It is a modern, purpose-built theatre, cum all-purpose venue and, not surprisingly for a theatre, was seated. I'm not sure of the capacity....250? 300? 400?

Well, I seem to remember Gloucestershire folk as a doughty lot and I wondered how they would react to a blast of good old seventies-style Rock and Roll. Of course, there would be plenty of incomers like me, and I recognised a few faces, but could not have put names to them. Apologies to any other Quo mailing list members I failed to recognise.

"Coghlan's Quo", as they were billed, were due to come on stage at 8pm. As everyone on the list knows, "Coghlan's Quo" is State of Quo plus John Coghlan, minus their regular drummer, Dave Owen, the rest of the guys being:

Soon after 8, the lights went down, the smoke went up, and some not too threatening, but appropriately mood-setting music was heard (er, sorry, don't know what it was :-) ), and we settled back.....but not for too long, as we were pretty soon slugged in the ears and chest by.... "Caroline"! Yeah! We were back in the seventies and really rockin'.

In pretty quick succession, we had "Paper Plane", "Roll Over Lay Down", "Little Lady", "Most of the Time", "Rain" and "Hold You Back".

This was all fantastic, rocking stuff, note perfect, and visually pretty realistic too. I think the Tewksburians were getting into it in their own way, slowly but surely, and by almost the end of the first half, we were beginning to cook.

What took us to boiling point? Tune to D, thumpa thumpa thump! Yeah.... "Whatever You Want"!

That sent us off to the bar feeling pretty pleased with ourselves, and ready to stoke up for the second half.

When that came, we were into "Down the Dustpipe", "In My Chair" and "Down Down". Then "Don't Waste My Time", "Big Fat Mama" and one of the last songs John recorded, "Something 'Bout You Baby I Like".

I must admit, we were so into it by now that I had given up trying to write down the set, and I have probably omitted some crucial numbers, and apologies for ones I have surely missed.

The set "officially" finished with "Roadhouse Blues", but we managed to twist the guys' arms to come back for an encore :-) erm, did they go straight into "Bye Bye Johnny"? erm, probably not, but my notes fail me at this point. What was interesting and impresive was John Coghlan's drum solo in the middle of "Bye Bye Johnny". Oh yes! And we also had "Shake" and the riff from "Shakin' All Over" (I think that's where it comes from, anyway you know the one).

Somewhere along the line, John came to the front and made a nice very big break with tradition from Old Quo days! He made it clear that he was having a ball touring, he loved bringing Rock and Roll and some life back to the venues he was touring and, as he said, he was still friends with Rick and Francis and said that while they were playing a different set these days, he was helping to keep alive the old set that people know, love, and remember. He was also still friends with and in close touch with Alan.

Well, as everyone who has seen State Of Quo says....they are great, you MUST go and see them, and you MUST go and see "Coghlan's Quo"!

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22nd - Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt on "Arbeidsvitamienen" (Dutch Radio 3)

While in Holland for the "Night of the Proms" tour, Francis and Rick appeared on Dutch radio to talk about their three favourite or inspirational songs from other artists.

At number 3 was "Free Falling" by Tom Petty, number 2 was "Lonely Boy" by Andrew Gold (Francis commenting that it has just three chords and the intro of this song was the basis for the intro to Quo's "Jealousy") and at number 1 was "Simply the Best" by Tina Turner.

When asked about how long Quo will continue to tour, Francis commented that if Tina Turner can still rock at the age of 60 then there's no reason why Quo can't do it when they're 70!

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24th - State of Quo at Chicago Rock Café, Banbury

The following review comes from Mike Ellwood.

For those (like me) who had/have never been to a Chicago Rock Café, its own description of itself as "The Eatertainment Place" just about sums it up. It is brightly lit, with a large bar, DJ and dance area, and an eating area along one side.

Oh yes, and a stage at one end that you might not notice. And that's the problem with it for a live gig. The band seem far away, and up too high, remote from the crowd. SOQ have and had no problem making themselves heard, of course, but a lot of the crowd were just too distracted, I think, to give them the appreciation they deserve.

Fortunately, at the stage end, there were enough "fanatics" (Copyright, Mike Grady, 1999 :-) ) to kick up a Quomotion, and some new converts.

I actually managed to make a note of the set this time, which was:

I guess the band knew that they were playing to a crowd who were predominantly just out for a night out and who were not necessarily into Quo, so the choice of that great crowd-pleaser, "Rockin' All Over The World" to finish off with was a good one.

The "fanatics" had certainly helped to liven the rest of the crowd up, and you got the feeling that a lot more people were into it by the end than were at the beginning.

A lady next to me, who had been bopping for most of the set, said "Hey, they are good aren't they!". I agreed of course, and discovered that she was not particularly into Quo, so gave her a quick rundown on the latest album, but also made sure she knew that almost all the old albums are still available in some shape or form.

Many thanks Tony, Paul, Mike and Dave for another great would have been nice if it had been longer, but I don't think that was your fault. One thing though, if you are ever down in Oxfordshire again, please, please come and play Oxford!

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27th - State of Quo at The Limelight, Crewe

The following review comes from Phil Gibson.

A well-attended 5th Birthday Party at the Limelight featured State of Quo, with John Coghlan on drums.

Downstairs in the 'concert room' several well known faces gathered. Also familiar were several faces from the Star & Garter and Manchester Apollo gigs earlier this year, as well as representatives of the Quo Army (Northern Branch) complete with banner. By 9pm a full house were ready for SOQ, the floor was packed with expectant fans, ready to boogie. At about 9.20 SOQ took the stage and didn't let up for a full 2 hours - sheer bliss !

I've said this before - if you haven't seen or heard SOQ before, make the time, trouble and effort to go and see them. They are really awesome and the Limelight seems to bring out the best in them. Last Saturday night was the best I've seen them play.

Highlights, for me anyway in no particular order, were "Down the Dustpipe", "Railroad", "Don't Waste My Time", "Most of the Time", "Rain", "In my Chair", "Roadhouse Blues" and "Big Fat Mama". Also included were all of the 70s Quo classics making up a show that had heads bobbing, feet tapping and air guitars playing all over the room.

The well deserved encore included "Gerdundula", first time I've heard SOQ do this and it was very good, "Bye Bye Johnny" of course, with the crowd in good voice, and a JC drum solo which was well received.

All too soon it was over, 2 hours of non-stop boogie, played with skill and passion and loved by the crowd who left well pleased, with one or two needing help to stand !

If you want to hear 70s Quo played with passion, catch SOQ especially at the Limelight in Crewe !

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