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That was the Quo month that was ... October 2002



11th - Quo concert at Pier 2, Bremen

The first gig of the major European "Heavy Traffic" tour was in Bremen on October 11th. The setlist for this gig was as follows:

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15th - Quo concert at Grugahalle, Essen

The following review comes from Till Langhorst.

I just come home from the Quo concert in Essen in the famous Grugahalle and I must say sorry Offenbach but when I compare the concerts in Offenbach and in Essen, it is the same when I compare the Heavy Traffic CD with the Thirsty Work CD and Essen is the Heavy Traffic CD.

I have said this before and I will say this again the west of Germany is the best place to visit a Quo concert. The crowd was singing before, during and after the concert - this is the real Quo feeling.

The venue was really packed with many diehard fans from many parts of Germany and also some fans from Belgium, England, Holland and Switzerland (Suzie Quatro).

From the first second of "Caroline", the hall was cooking until the end of the concert - also during the four songs in a row from "Heavy Traffic" and this says something about the audience and also something about the quality of HT.

Quo played as second song "The Wanderer" instead of "Burning Bridges" which is for my taste much better but also not very new.

In the encore they played the "Waltz", "Oh Carol" but only a short "Bye Bye Johnny".

I am not totaly sure but I think we met the Quo bus on the motorway near Aschaffenburg after the concert when we were on our way home and the bus on the way to Munich.

PS: The best thing at the end: In Essen they had some posters in the venue with the following words: due to the sensational success of this tour, Quo will play in March in Düsseldorf at the Philipshalle. The Philipshalle is one of the best places to see quo.

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21st - Quo concert at Forest National, Brussels

Courtesy of the support band for this gig, there are some great photos available, by clicking here.

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24th - Broadcast of "Rock On and On" documentary (Channel 4)

The long-awaited fly-on-the-wall documentary following Quo on the road was aired on October 24th. The following review, entitled "Status Quo: Rock On" by Paul Hoggart, of the programme appeared in The Times (UK) on the same day.

"QUITE A few of them live round our way, though I never have any idea who they are - lean men with crumpled leather faces, wearing fancy boots, black T-shirts tucked into tight jeans, their receding hair cascading over their shoulders like the proud manes of horses with alopecia. I imagine they once played bass for groups called Deaf Leopard, Blind Hippo or Okapi with a Deficient Sense of Smell. Old rockers aren't supposed to hang around. They can drown in swimming pools, overdose on Bourbon and barbiturates or retire to the trout farm with their sixth wife Cheryl (a former model). At the very least they should get changed occasionally, like Sir Cliff. Status Quo have broken this rule, or at least Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi have. These are the two founder members still touring with the band. We met them on Status Quo: Rock On and On (Channel 4), Janet Treays's disarming fly-on-the-amplifier documentary, following last year's autumn tour.

Basically, the Quo have been doing the same act for 35 years. The statistics rattled by: 112 records, 22 top ten singles ("most on three chords"), 4,800 live shows, over four million miles travelled and the equivalent of 23 years away from home: Rockin' All over the World, Whatever You Want, Again and Again, Down Down the charts.

Normal rock stars get resentful of their fans' constant demands to hear their early hits. They sing them as if drunk or semi-comatose with boredom, or else they mess around with the rhy- thms in a feeble attempt to make them sound more sophisticated. It is always a let-down.

There is none of that nonsense with the Quo. They know what their loyal fans want and make sure they get it. They belt out the old favourites in that characteristic semi-squat, bent over their guitars, their heads bobbing up and down as if repeatedly nutting a small child. What's more, they still care deeply about doing it properly. After almost every show either Rick or Francis goes into a temporary slump, convinced that something wasn't quite right. Their professionalism seemed wholly admirable.

If the life of the rock star is the fantasy of every adolescent boy (even pious Mr Blair, for heaven's sake), then this was a cautionary tale. Their tour-bus may be fitted out with leather sofas, sound systems and bunks, but they spend endless hours on it, eating beans-on-toast as they criss-cross the land from Dundee to Port Talbot to the Brentwood International Hall.

They take naps in the afternoon and spend their nights alone with a book in anonymous hotel rooms. Rick has had a heart-bypass and sleeps with a towel between his knees because of his arthritis. A blokes-only post-gig party consisted of a few of them drinking wine on the bus. Rossi described it as "a really quite mundane, normal job". Mark my words, sonny, you may become a multi-millionaire overnight, do tons of drugs and have casual sex with thousands of beautiful women, but you will only end up like Status Quo, you know! Both Rossi and Parfitt seemed to feel that their lives had just sort of happened. They hadn't even known what "Status Quo" meant when their manager suggested the name. He offered "The Muhammad Alis", "The Queers" or "Status Quo", said Rossi. And it could have been worse - "Caveat Emptor" perhaps or "Quod Erat Demonstrandum" and who knew what "Procul Harum" meant, anyway? In the end this was a rather touching portrait. They still enjoy their work and, as Treays repeatedly suggested, have a kind of marriage. Or as Parfitt put it, there is "a very kinship spirit between us". They make a loyal fan-base of middle-aged rockers very happy and they seem to be at ease with their fate."

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28th - Release of "All Stand Up (Never Say Never)" single

The second single to be lifted from the "Heavy Traffic" album, "All Stand Up", was released in the UK on October 28th. It appeared in just one CD format (with catalogue number 019 487 2) and contained three tracks - the single edit of "All Stand Up (Never Say Never)", a new Rossi/Young track, "You Let Me Down", plus a CD-ROM video (from "The One and Only" TV performance) of "All Stand Up (Never Say Never)".

The single failed to achieve Top 40 success, peaking at number 51 in the first week of release.

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undated - "Purple Haze" single released by Groove Armada

UK dance act Groove Armada sampled Quo's "April, Spring, Summer and Wednesdays" to form their new single, "Purple Haze". They acknowledged the Quo link, via royalties to writers Francis Rossi and Bob Young. Francis also appears briefly in the video clip for the single! The following review appeared on www.chaosmusic.com

Groove Armada could be making Status Quo cool again. And it looks like we could be seeing more of lead singer Francis Rossi too, the singles video.

Says G.A's Tom, "The guitar riff is a sample from a tune... April, Summer, Spring and Wednesdays, from Status Quo's golden era in the late Sixties. Actually it's quite weird 'cause our tour manager's dad tour manages Status Quo and wrote that song. So we have these really quite strong links to Status Quo."

They also confirmed the Francis Rossi involvement. "He came down... he's in the video. He's a lovely bloke and he loves the tune and hopefully we might even drag him on stage one day."

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undated - Rick Parfitt interview in Hotlines - Virgin Trains magazine (UK)

A short interview with Rick Parfitt appeared in the Winter 2002/3 edition of the Virgin Trains magazine, Hotlines. You can view the interview by clickin here.

Revisit the October 2002 event list