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That was the Quo month that was ... October 2000



2nd - Quo concert at Southport Theatre, Southport

This review comes from Paul Bruns.

Monday 2nd October, a rare defeat on home soil for the mighty Quo!!!

The band tried, god how they tried but in the end they could not break the stubborn Southport crowd (apart from the "rabble", who were also quite tame) who were determined not to enjoy themselves!

A good show last night - not the best ever but it was still up there, plenty of energy, loud and with the loudest snare drum I've ever heard!!

Francis was in fine form, cracking jokes and in good humour and the set was also top notch:

Letley is a solid drummer and the band rock - Hirsh looks very nervous - I wish he'd smile!!!

I really felt sorry for the band - they sweated their arses off, Francis was constantly trying to get people to sing and get up but i think he gave up after a while when he realised he was fighting a losing battle. Rick even started shouting for people to sing during RAOTW, something I've never seen before!

Unlucky lads, don't take it to heart - last nights crowd let you down big time. Band 7.5/10. Crowd 3/10

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2nd - "Old Time Rock and Roll" released in the UK

The second track to be lifted as a single from the "Famous In The Last Century" album, "Old Time Rock And Roll" was released on Monday 2nd October. Available in two formats (CD single with catalogue number 159 793-2 and cassette single as 159 793-4), the single failed to chart - but was well received by the fans. The CD contained the title track but, more interestingly, live versions of "4500 Times" and "Rain" from the Shepherds Bush Empire gig in March. It also included a CD-ROM video of the title track from the same gig.

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4th - Quo concert at King Georges Hall, Blackburn

An excellent series of photographs from this gig can be found at Paul Bolger's web site.

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8th - Quo concert at Sunderland Empire, Sunderland

This review comes from Frankie Shelley.

Just returned from the Sunderland Empire for my first gig of the tour. Set list as follows:

No "Living on an Island" and no "Hold You Back" in the encore, but the first time I've heard "Living Doll".

Francis apologised for his voice, which was pretty croaky, and had the usual banter with the audience. Rick was looking trimmer than on the last couple of tours, and was in good voice. Matt and Paul were introduced to the crowd and received a warm and well deserved reception. I thought the band were on good form, and seemed to be enjoying themselves, as usual. Sound seemed fine from my position on R & F's side of the stalls.

The crowd were pretty good, everyone in the stalls on their feet, lots of bouncing, singing along & clapping, with the exception of the miserable bugger next to me, who did not clap, sing or bounce ONCE throughout the entire set ... there's always one!

Francis spoke about playing something for the 'hardcore' before "4500 Times", "Rain" and "Big Fat Mama", explaining that there would be some more 'hits' for the casual punters later on. The best received tracks on the night were "In The Army Now" and "Rockin' All Over The World", and the "Anniversary Waltz".

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12th - Francis and Rick interviewed on The John Laws Show (Foxtel, Australia)

Francis and Rick undertook a satellite interview with John Laws for Australian pay TV, just before their 2000 Australian tour. The interview, though long and entertaining, did contain some glaring mistakes and Quo's humour was a bit stifled by the stiffness of Laws' interviewing technique.

Click here for a full transcript of the interview.

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22nd - Francis Rossi interview in Sydney Sun-Herald

Thanks to Steve Doorey for this.

"Once a psychedelic band, south Londoners Status Quo have pumped out good-time boogie rock for 30 years. Known by their fans as simply Quo, they have offloaded 112 million albums and spent 413 weeks in the British singles charts.

Q. Were you off your nana when you opened Live Aid at Wembley Stadium in 1985?

A. I was pissed, I think. I'm not a drinking person but cocaine allowed me to drink a lot and become a social animal. I'm not any more, I don't go anywhere really. I can't deal with parties and large gatherings.

Q. Why did you hide in the toilet from your first wife and mother-in-law?

A. You should've seen my mother-in-law. I desperately wanted to be married and be grown up. Within a couple of days it struck me I wasn't going home any more. It used to be one place I could take a guitar and play and write songs. We lived with the mother-in-law for a while. Oh man. It was murder.

Q. Original Quo bassist Alan Lancaster has said you and Rick Parfitt weren't interested in learning his songs.

A. Probably. It's nothing against Alan, it's just that we didn't like his material most of the time. He wrote quite a lot of songs and wrote quite a few we really loved. But you can't love all of everyone's songs.

Q. Would you play with him again?

A. Last time we were in Australia, Alan [who lives in Sydney] said some particularly nasty things about myself and Rick. I understand bitchiness goes on between people but I don't think you need to do it in public.

Q. Not a good basis for a reunion then?

A. Not really, no. I can't see it, not with all that acrimony.

Q. As a Gemini do you notice the gregarious and reclusive side of the twins in your life?

A. Yeah. I've been aware of it for some time. There is definitely something about the star signs and the way we're in types. I have this jack-the-lad side and really am overt and the other side is [mumbles] "Mum, they're looking at me".

Q. Did bits of your nose fall off in the shower due to your cocaine habit?

A. [Laughs] Well, part of it fell out. When I was doing cocaine I thought the hole came in the outside of the nose and that's why people put studs in their noses. I used to hear bits of it hitting the deck in the morning.

Q. Did Status Quo pioneer the denim 'n' sneakers pairing later adopted by Jerry Seinfeld?

A. I don't know, but I know we were instrumental in that whole denim thing. You have to understand in England in the early 1970s you couldn't go anywhere in jeans. You were considered a ruffian; you weren't allowed in hotels or restaurants. Afterwards everybody wore denim; skirts, shoes, waistcoats, shirts, everything came flooding to England."

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27th - Quo Vadis gig at The Lawnton Tavern, Brisbane

What makes a good Quo cover band? There are the essentials - passion for their music, adherence to the original style, and musicianship - and the cosetting optional extras - original band member contributions, large set pool, and physical likenesses. Billing themselves as the "Australian Status Quo Tribute Show", Brisbane-based 'Quo Vadis' score all the essentials and most of the tempting extras too, as evidenced by their show at the Lawnton Tavern on Friday 27th October.

Quo Vadis in full flow A small but enthusiastic, encouragable and spirited audience saw the band perform three sets; the first two being straight Quo and the final send-off being a mixture of covers and Quo crowd-pleasers. The extensive repetoire of this relatively new band is impressive, with material to please everyone, from the everyday Quo fan to the denim-clad die hard. Imagine a set literally taking on Quo output from 1967 (in the form of "Pictures of Matchstick Men") to 2000 (in "Old Time Rock and Roll") and you get an idea of the scope of Quo Vadis' efforts.

While their attempts at authenticity fall short of some of the more established European outfits, they still score highly - from the Marshall amps adorning the backline to David's (as Francis) drilled green Telecaster. Tony (as Rick) parades a faithful Rick Telecaster and has even been known to model a tasteful blond wig, though thankfully not on this occasion! Gary works hard on drums and, even after three sets, looked as though he could have played on till dawn. Tina (as Alan!) adds to the picture with a passionate performance on bass.

Roy enjoying the show The picture, however, needs one more colour to complete its palette - in the shape of original Quo keyboard player, Roy Lynes. He provides some excellent spins on the old Quo tunes and takes on lead vocals for the classic "Pictures of Matchstick Men". The band shine with his contribution, especially on those old favourites like "Down the Dustpipe". A charming and entertaining individual off stage, Roy stamps his persona on his performance too and clearly enjoyed this gig and the response from the fans.

The finest hours for me came in the form of the less well known and more rarely performed songs. "Blue Eyed Lady" was superb, as was "Rolling Home", a great tune from 'Blue For You'. All the hits were in too of course and got the crowd going (not that they needed much assistance in that respect!).

With more live experience, this band will get tighter and tighter and should maybe restrict their repetoire a little in order not to sacrifice the quality of their material. But the signs are all good - the passion for Quo and for playing Quo is self-evident, and their access to the skills of Roy Lynes is a real plus point.

My thanks to Tony, Tina, Gary and David for making me so welcome and for introducing me to Roy, who I was lucky enough to have fascinating extended conversation with during the evening. Good on ya guys (and gal!) and keep up the good work spreading the Quo word in Queensland.

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28th - Quo concert at Grandchester, Queensland, Australia

Watch out Grandchester ... here comes trouble By way of introducing the Australian public to their presence in Australia, Quo indulged themselves in another of their one-off "more bizarre the better" publicity stunts, on Saturday 28th October prior to the start of their Australian concert tour.

Leaving the Queensland capital of Brisbane in the morning, Quo and a party of around 130 invited guests took the opulent Great Southern Pacific Express train out to the historic township of Grandchester. Upon arrival, they were to play a short live set to their guests and the townsfolk, before returning to Brisbane. In the event, a few 'outsiders' had gotten wind of the event and the band would eventually see themselves before a crowd of around 500 eager fans who waited patiently under the fierce Queensland sun for their idols.

Dr Lee catches up with an old friend Peace was shattered in Grandchester at about 12.15 when the beautifully prepared train edged its way into the old train station. A seemingly endless stream of lucky train passengers gradually lightened the train's load, but we were to be kept waiting a while longer for any sign of the band. In the meantime, the familiar faces of the road crew busied themselves with final preparations - Tonto still searching for that missing fourth chord as he tuned up the battered Fenders awaiting Rick and Francis, Toot giving the drums a good thumping before letting Matt loose upon them, Dave Salt limping around his now complete stage.

More elements of the Quo entourage soon followed - manager David Walker, publicist Simon Porter, FTMO manager Mike Hrano. First off to follow was Rhino, who immediately headed over for a chat and shelter from the sun under Tonto's guitar tent. Clearly in good spirits, he was a good ten minutes prior to the rest of the band and gave his time generously to the waiting fans as well checking out the stage area.

As we got hotter and hotter, the PA finally kicked in with the unmistakable drone to signal the imminent start of the show. Francis was first to pop his head out of the train, then in quick succession, Rick, Rhino, Matt and Paul bringing up the rear.

Bathed in perfect Queensland sunshine, the band took the stage in front of the gleaming white backline and shook the sleepy town as "Caroline" started the show. The dubious couple of "The Wanderer" and "Something 'Bout You Baby I Like" followed, before the more classic "Don't Waste My Time" with Francis having a good day on the solos. A brief chat with the audience, including the predictable complaints about the heat, led to "Rain" being mis-introduced as per the usual spiel reserved for the "Mystery Song Medley", the sun must have been playing tricks on Francis by now.

Rick, Francis and Rhino    Matt bathed in Queensland sunshine Francis Rhino looking cool... Francis Rick Francis and Rhino Quo!

Francis Rhino and Paul Having been mis-intro'd, things only got worse for "Rain" as the backline failed mid-song leaving the band flailing silently in the sun. Thankfully, normal service was soon resumed and the willing audience took on lead vocals in the interim!

"Down Down" came next, complete with new intro and finish thanks to Matt, nice work. A brisk wind kicked up across the stage during the song too, leaving Rick to take a rest lying down on the stage to knock out a few chords! To finish off the short set, "Whatever You Want" and "Rockin' All Over The World" did their jobs nicely.

All too soon, the show was over - cut short because of time restrictions and the searing heat. No time for an encore, the band quickly left the stage to give a brief TV interview before returning to the air-conditioned confines of the train. The patience shown by some of the fans was rewarded when the band re-appeared to do some promotional photos, further interviews and sign autographs.They also met up with Roy Lynes and posed for photos with members of the Brisbane-based cover band, Quo Vadis.

Another well-executed publicity effort, the event made national TV news in the evening and gave a few lucky fans a truly memorable day. There was plenty of opportunity to meet the band with Rhino in particular making himself very accessible. With such a unique location and perfect weather, the event was received well by both the media and locals and should remain long in the memories of those of us privileged enough to have experienced it.

Francis and Rick with the local fire brigade Francis and Rick bid farewell to Grandchester
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30th - Francis and Rick interviewed on Today (Channel 9, Australia)

Francis and Rick gave a 5-minute interview to Richard Wilkins for the Australia-wide morning TV show "Today". Broadcast from Sydney, the interview concentrated on the tour and included video clips from the "Famous In The Last Century" video shot at Shepherds Bush as well as an archive clip of "Rain".

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undated - Raven releases cover version of "Big Fat Mama"

Heavy metal group Raven released a cover version of "Big Fat Mama" as a B-side to one of their singles. It can be downloaded by visiting here.

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