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That was the Quo month that was ... October 2005



7th - Quo concert at Sparkassen-Arena, Landshut, Germany

The much-discussed new medley was soundchecked at Landshut but was not played at the actual gig.

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9th - Quo concert at Stadthalle, Tuttlingen, Germany

The new medley was played at this gig, in front of a packed house of about 1500 fans!

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11th - Quo appearance on "TV Total" (German TV, Pro 7)

Quo appeared on the high-rating German TV show "TV Total" (on the Pro Sieben channel) on October 11th. They played "Rocking All Over The World" and "Whatever You Want" (both songs being interrrupted by advertisements), before a live performance of "The Party Ain't Over Yet". Rick and Francis were also interviewed by presenter Stefan Raab.

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13th - Quo article in The Independent (UK)

The following article, titled "Status Quo: On the road again (and again)" and penned by James McNair, appeared in the UK Independent newspaper on October 13th.

"The band are back on tour in their 40th anniversary year - but these days they're in the gym more than the bar. James McNair tries to keep up with them.

Status Quo's Rick Parfitt is as unreconstructed a rocker as can be imagined. Having survived a quadruple heart-bypass in 1997, he seems intent on squeezing fun from every waking moment. His cardiologist must have winced at Quo's latest video, which required Parfitt to strap himself to the top wing of an airborne biplane, then fraternise with cheerleaders. As the title of Quo's 33rd album puts it: The Party Ain't Over Yet.

Quo's other frontman, Francis Rossi, remains equally game, but unlike Parfitt, he had to "neck a load of sick pills" before being filmed warbling in one of the biplanes' cockpits.

Rossi and Parfitt have appeared on Top Of The Pops more than 100 times, and have spent 23 years away from home while on tour. Some extra trivia for the Mastermind bod who recently chose Quo as his specialist subject: the band's road crew calls Rossi "Gomor", an acronym for "grand old man of rock".

In this, Quo's 40th anniversary year, they seem to be speeding up, not slowing down. Another mammoth British tour kicks off in late October, while, in a move that sees two great British institutions colliding, Rossi and Parfitt are currently playing themselves on Coronation Street.

Tonight's Quo show is the second of two at Carnival City, a vast casino-cum-concert-hall in Johannesburg, South Africa. Unsurprisingly, none of the inhabitants of the shanty town two kilometres away make it. South Africa is an untested territory for Quo, but their no-nonsense chugging functions as a lingua franca. You have to wonder, though, what the group's Eastern-looking PA, Lyane, makes of "The Oriental", a decidedly non-PC song.

The moment the gig is over, we get a police escort to the airport. If Quo are to make the filming of Top Of The Pops the following morning, it's imperative that they make the last flight out of Jo'burg. We reach the airport to find that it has been delayed. Nursing a vodka-tonic in the departure lounge, Parfitt drily delivers the first of many gags: "Somebody said to me yesterday, 'Lee Anne Rimes.' I said, 'No it doesn't.'"

Asked about his most memorable Top Of The Pops, Parfitt recalls a time when he and Francis were miffed at the absence of power outlets in their dressing room. Spotting a loose ceiling tile, they secreted some chicken madras near a heating pipe and left it to fester. "That was back in the Seventies," he says, laughing. "Perhaps it's still there."

Rossi homes in on the December, 1983, TOTP where Quo played "Marguerita Time", a double pleasure for him, as he wrote the song, and fellow guests Frankie Goes To Hollywood accurately predicted that it would claim the No 1 slot.

Back then, margueritas and cocaine were a nightly combo for Rossi. He once recalled seeing part of his septum disappear down the plughole while he was showering, but now his only addiction is keeping fit. "In January, when we're off the road, I go to the gym five days a week. When we're touring and I can't get there I get wound up; I feel like I'm letting myself down."

A ball of nervous energy, Rossi does seem a more complex, less happy-go-lucky character than Parfitt. "Our main focus tonight was to get to the airport," he says, "and for me that ruined the show. On the last British tour we had a run of six or seven gigs that I thought were horrendous. Luckily, it's like women and the pain of childbirth - you forget how hard it was."

Later, when I ask Rossi how he came to renew his song-writing partnership with Quo's former tour manager Bob Young - the pair had penned such Quo classics as "Caroline" and "Down Down", and are reunited on The Party Ain't Over Yet - he is more revealing. "I've been a heavy Catholic all my life, and one day this homoeopathic woman who treats me banged a copy of Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsch down on my coffee table. I thought it was fantastic, and I realised that whatever bitter disagreements there had been between Bob and I were completely pointless.

"I phoned him, and we sat strumming acoustic guitars in my garden - lovely, it was. Now he comes round to eat, then goes home for another meal. My kids call him 'Bob Two-Dinners'."

At Heathrow, we transfer to Quo's tour bus. It has a double-bed-appointed area for Rossi which Parfitt jokingly calls "the sick room". Back at Carnival City, Parfitt and I had shot the breeze about Mick Jagger and Keith Richards's love/hate relationship. Echoes of Francis and himself, perhaps?

"The last person I want to see on a day off is Francis Rossi, believe me, but by the time we're back on stage, we're raring to go. We're not best buddies all the time, but it's not punch-ups either."

Having missed the rehearsal, the Quo arrive at the BBC's studios for what Rossi estimates is their 105th TOTP. He and Parfitt watch footage of their 1968 hit "Pictures Of Matchstick Men" then mime a rendition of "The Party Ain't Over Yet".

Indeed. We must immediately away for Quo to headline ITV's 50th anniversary celebrations. When the cameras roll, the band snap to it with a tight medley that takes in "Caroline" and "Rockin' All Over The World".

Later tonight, Status Quo will drive to Germany for yet more shows. Why do they do it? "Most of us in this business are insecure little show-offs," offers Rossi."

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16th - John Coghlan jam session

John Coghlan held a jam session on Sunday 16th October with a few of his muso mates (including Colin Earl, ex-Mungo Jerry). The venue was the "Rose & Crown" pub in his home village of Shilton, just a short stagger from his cottage!

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20th - Francis loses driving license

The following article, titled "Rock legend in court" and written by Glenn Pearson & Mark Davison, in relation to Francis losing his driving license after multiple speeding infringements appeared on the I C Surrey web site on October 20th.

"ROCK legend Francis Rossi has been disqualified from driving for six months and ordered to pay £500 in court costs after being caught speeding near Reigate Hill.

Status Quo front man Rossi was clocked five times in 20 days by speed cameras on the A217 Brighton Road, Lower Kingswood, in April. In one week, Rossi was caught speeding by the same camera three times.

Millionaire Rossi, was caught on the A217 doing in excess of the 40mph speed limit, but claims to not have noticed the speed restrictions.

Rossi of Farm Road, Purley, was caught doing speeds of 55 and 56mph and now faces six months on the passenger side of the car. The rocker, who has sold millions of records worldwide, arrived at Redhill Magistrates' Court on Monday afternoon in smart black jeans and a blazer.

However, he was most identifiable by his hair which was tied in his customary ponytail. Speaking to the Surrey Mirror outside the court in Hatchlands Road, Redhill, Rossi said he did not cherish being at the court.

After being made to wait his turn, Rossi sauntered into the court room and took his place before the bench with his lawyer.

In his defence, Mr Hilliard said Rossi accepted that he had been speeding, but the fact he was caught on a number of occasions in the same place, made them unusual circumstances.

He said: "Mr Rossi is not somebody who drives fast but it is clear he didn't notice the road was restricted to 40mph. That is why it happened on four other occasions in a short space of time."

Rossi was forced to wait for 10 minutes as the magistrates mulled over their decision, but still looked cool and confident as he laughed and joked with members of the court room.

When the magistrates returned, Rossi looked rocked as he was told he had racked up 17 points and was then fined £504. The news will come as a blow to Rossi who has a new single with Status Quo called All That Counts, which is to be released on October 31.

The band has also been in the spotlight recently after appearing on an episode of Coronation Street.

Lead guitarist Rossi, who is known in the band as "The Frame" was dignified in his acceptance of the punishment, and was also on hand to sign autographs for some keen music-lovers working at the court.

After the ruling, Rossi kept to the magistrates' decision as he made a speedy exit driven by a friend in a silver Mercedes car.

Status Quo's earliest beginnings in 1967 had a strong Redhill link.

The band's organist at that time was Roy Lynes, who lived in the Grovehill area of Redhill. Lynes played on the 1968 top 10 hit Pictures of Matchstick Men and the group won a summer season at Butlins holiday camp at Minehead, Somerset.

Lynes left the line-up soon after and moved to Australia although his mother lived locally for several more years. Rossi recently recalled those early days of Quo when Lynes was a member.

"We didn't rehearse for Butlins because we had to do two shows a day. I think we'd play for four or five hours a day. It was a pain. You'd have to wear your suit and in the afternoon there was nobody there. People would just be wandering about and walking past."

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26th - "The Party Ain't Over Yet" DVD launch party at The Marquee, London

Warner Vision held a launch party for the new DVD "The Party Ain't Over Yet", to be released on 7th November. The party was held at The Marquee Club, in London's Leicester Square on Wednesday 26th October at 6pm. The idea was that competition winners and invited guests would get to see footage from the unreleased DVD before anyone else and also witness an interview with Rick and Francis on stage before a party with the selected guest list.

In practice, the event turned into something of a farce. Firstly the large queue caused the organizers to eventually give up checking off the guest list and just let everyone in, ticket/invite or not! The hapless DJ then proceeded to play Led Zeppelin, Motorhead, The Wombles and Cliff Richard before a fan requested some Quo and got... "Ice In The Sun" and eventually (and somewhat more fittingly) "The Party Ain't Over Yet"! Next up was a short and factually inaccurate introduction of Quo followed by about 15 minutes of footage from the DVD, including some previously unseen material.

Then came the interview with Francis and Rick by David 'Kid' Jenson (and partially broadcast on Capital Gold radio), in which Rick did most of the talking and Francis played the fool. After the interview, the DJ managed to dig up the live 2005 version of "Gerdundula" from the latest single release, sadly playing it at 45rpm instead of 33..!

Some photos from the event are available here and the following article - entitled "The day I met the Quo..." by Paul Furley - appeared on the BBC Gloucestershire web site after the event.

"BBC Gloucestershire's Paul Furley is a bit of a Status Quo fan, to say the least. Somehow he managed to get his hands on a ticket for the launch of the band's latest DVD at the Marquee Club in London...

For a rock band celebrating 40 years in the business, there can be no more an historic sounding venue to mark part of the anniversary than the Marquee Club on London’s Leicester Square.

Status Quo were in town to launch their new DVD, entitled The Party Ain’t Over Yet, following on from their hit single – written by the Forest of Dean’s John David – and album of the same name.

The idea was for highlights of the DVD to be shown on a big screen and for Quo founder members Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt to answer questions posed by DJ David “Kid” Jenson, plus others sent in advance from fans.

There were just two problems with this plan: a good number of Quo’s loyal family of fans (we are not just talking denim and tour t-shirts, we are talking Quo tattoos and leather waistcoats with Quo painted on the back. Oh, and being a family, they all know each other) had won tickets to be there and were in party mood and Rossi and Parfitt – as Jenson admitted himself – are pretty much interview proof.

This meant that in the build-up every non Quo song played on the PA was greeted by groans and calls of “Quo-oh-ooh-wo-wo” and the few Quo tunes belted out induced sing-a-longs during the choruses, all good fun.

The DVD highlights were plentiful and well received; footage of the band in its early days produced nearly as much laughter as a whole string of out takes and gaffes, plus future snippets of the band’s appearances in Coronation Street.

The sight of Parfitt really going for it on stage at Wembley Arena in 1974, with hair flying everywhere produced gasps even from hardcore fans due to the ferocity of his playing.

But it was the real life Rossi and Parfitt everyone had come to see and predictably they were in playful mood, Rossi complaining of his microphone “I don’t like holding things this shape!” The pair then opened up a packet of jelly babies mid interview, sharing them with the front few rows.

Parfitt neatly dodged a question from the glamorous blond girl hired to host the event on the song Forty Five Hundred Times, wrongly asked as Four Thousand Five Hundred Times (it is invariably written as 4,500 Hundred Times) without embarrassing her, but shared a knowing in-joke with the fans about how difficult singing Four Thousand Five Hundred Times is.

The inevitable question of how long the band will go on for came up, and back came the answer "as long as we can carry on playing and the fans keep asking for more".

Finally as if to remind people that the party ain’t over yet, nobody could find their way out of the Marquee. In true Spinal Tap rock'n'roll fashion people, including family members of the band, were wandering around staircases asking where the exits were!

Quo’s new single All That Counts Is Love – another composition from the Forest of Dean’s John David - is released on October 31st. The DVD The Party Ain’t Over Yet is out on November 7th."

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29th - Quo concert at Ipswich Regent

The first show of the UK leg of the "SQ40" tour took place on October 29th to a packed house at the Regent Theatre in Ipswich. Photos are available here and the setlist was as follows.

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31st - "All That Counts Is Love" single released in UK & Europe

The second single to be lifted from the 'The Party Ain't Over Yet' album, "All That Counts Is Love" was released on October 31st. It came in just two formats: a 2-track CD single consisting of a "single mix" of the title track backed with a new Rossi/Young effort, "I Ain't Ready" and a CD maxi-single containing the album mix of the title track and live versions of "Bellavista Man" and "The Party Ain't Over Yet", both from the Emden show on September 30th.

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31st - Quo appearances on Coronation Street (UK ITV1)

Following on from Quo's previous appearances on the Street, the Halloween episodes of UK soap opera "Coronation Street" again featured performances from Quo. The episodes centred around Les & Cilla's wedding and Quo were involved (or referred to) for much of the shows. Performances of "The Party Ain't Over Yet" and a closer of "Rockin' All Over The World" rounded out this foray into acting!

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undated - Quo article in Audience magazine

The October issue of Audience magazine (a music industry mag in the UK) included a special feature on Quo, including input from people like Simon Porter and Neil Warnock, and compiled by Gordon Masson. The article is transcribed in full below.

"Not surprisingly, Status Quo have experienced their fair share of ups and downs during 40 years on the road, but their relentless determination and the support of some devoted professionals have resulted in the band enjoying an all-time high in popularity.

Talk to those who have been involved with Status Quo over the years and the one point everyone makes is the band's determination never to compromise.

Proving that consistency is one of the keys to success, Quo have steadfast rules that keep them at the top of their game, which also makes them one of the most loyal outfits in show business. Dave Salt, Quo's tour and production manager has been with the band for the last 17 years. "It was September 1989 and I'd been on tour with The Outfield in the United States, " he recalls. "I was supposed to have a couple of weeks off, but a friend of mine called me and said Status Quo were looking for a new keyboard and bass tech and did I fancy doing it? I said 'yes' and that was it". "They can't get rid of me - I'm like a bad sore," jokes Salt.

The band's worldwide agent Neil Warnock, chairman of UK-based multinational booking operation The Agency Group, says, "This band are a phenomena in their own right - they are quite simply unequalled. I booked them when they were still called The Spectres, so I've been working with them on and off for more than 40 years."

Another long-term partner is Scandinavian promoter Erik Thomsen at ET Concert Promotion in Denmark. "I've been working with Status Quo from the start," says Thomsen, "and what is unbelievable is that they are now taking-off bigger than ever." That revival has much to do with the planning between the band and manager Simon Porter, of Duroc Media. However, Warnock states, "People like me and Simon Porter help, but it's the dedication and professionalism of the band that drives everything. We take the band where people live - their fans are ordinary folk and the band realise they should go to them, rather than ask them to travel to see a show." Porter notes, "The day you stop looking to build is the day you should give up. For instance, there are still territories, such as France, Italy and Spain, where we would like to grow."

Porter took the reins when the band's manager David Walker died in 2001. "In 1986 I was taken on to do PR for the In The Army Now album, "says Porter. "It was an initial three-month deal, but Quo were a 365-days-a-year client and they still are, so I never went away. When I started, Ian Jones and Alan Crux were managing the band. As I recall, Colin Johnson - who was the band's longest serving manager, having been with them for 15 years - was also involved."

Porter says when Walker took over the management role in 1990, Quo were in genuine need of a career boost. "David did a great Job," says Porter. "Apart from our close working relationship, he was one of my best friends."

Salt says, "David really revitalised their career - I remember playing three Wembley Arenas, three Birmingham NECs and a couple of Glasgow SECCs. It was great to have someone who was always there to help and always gave you a straight answer." Walker's untimely death saw Porter step up to the manager's role. "It was very natural that Simon should take over the management'" says Thomsen, "and I must say he has done an excellent job."

LIVE AID LIFELINE

Warnock is more candid about the band's fortunes and reveals that had it not been for Bob Geldof and Harvey Goldsmith the band would have struggled to notch up 20 years, let alone 40. "Live Aid was their wake up call," says Warnock. "They were in dissarray and literally had to put a band together, so that they could perform that day. They were lucky to get another bite at the cherry, but by God, have they grabbed it with both hands."

While many think the band consists of two principals and a bunch of session musicians, nothing could be further from the truth. In addition to front men Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt, the band includes Andrew Bown, who has been playing Quo's keyboards since 1974, John Edwards (bass) since 1986 and Matt Letley (drums) since 2000. Porter says, "My whole plan was to increase the fan base and build credibility. We signed a record contract with Universal and we brought out the Heavy Traffic album, which kick started everything. Year-on-year since, we've made more money and the audience increased as well."

Porter says the band consistently plays more than 100 shows a year. "This year it has been 104, but the band has been involved in so many other projects," explains Porter. "They've been in the studio recording a new album and they have been involved in recording episodes for [long running TV soap opera] Coronation Street. In addition to that, there are all the demands on their time because of the 40th anniversary."

TAKING IT TO THE FANS

Satisfying those demands can be tricky, but Porter says, "Neil Warnock is fantastic. I've known him for 30 years, since he was running the Bron Agency and I was at Bron Records. Neil and I get together two or three times a year to work out tour plans. I let him know what other projects we have, such as recording, and what areas we want to look at for touring and between us we work out a schedule."

UK promoter Stuart Galbraith, vice-president of UK music at Clear Channel Entertainment, says, "I was at [promoter] MCP when I first worked with Status Quo at Monsters Of Rock 1982. I've been working with them pretty much solid since then. In November and December every year they do a UK tour and we also do some festival work, which thanks to some good planning doesn't effect their touring. "says Galbraith. "They play 35 to 40 shows every year for us."

Porter notes, "We tend to play some fairly obscure places, so we can perform to as many people as possible. Consequently we'll only play major venues like Heineken Music Hall [cap. 5,500] in Amsterdam every two years. The same goes for the likes of the Hallenstadion [12.000] in Zurich and the Forest National [10.000] in Brussels."

It's a policy Dutch promoter Rob Trommelen of Mojo Concerts endorses. "Status Quo is the band I get the biggest number of phone calls about every year, with people wanting them to play in their town, but our policy with Neil Warnock and the band is we don't want to overplay this market'" he says.

"We have them in Holland for two shows every year, selling 4,000 to 7,000 tickets per show. We do one indoor show in the winter and we always find a summer festival for them: next year for example, they are returning to the Arrow Rock festival in Lichtenvoorde. "They alway put on a fantastic show and they never give you any bullshit. It's rock 'n' roll as it should be," adds Trommelen.

SALT OF THE EARTH

That professionalism has won them friends worldwide. "Nothing is ever too much for them," says Galbraith. "They do all the meet-and-greets and promo commitments before a show, they're fantastic performers and when they come off stage they're straight on the bus and on their way to the next show."

Warnock says, "Their poor show is anyone else's best show and that sense of responsibility toward their promoters, their record label, and above all their fans, is what has made them so successful. They have the best road crew in the world and by far the best work ethic: they don't ever want to let the fans down."

Overseeing the production and crew is Salt. "We've pretty much the same crew working with the band for 14 years," he says. The LD, Pat Marks, for example, has been involved for the same amount as time as me. "The band simply will not play unless they use their own equipment. But the show looks stunning, so it's worth it." Salt reveals that the band uses different crew depending whether they are at home or abroad. "For Europe, I take PA and lighting from a company called Nordic in Denmark,"he says. "They have a crew that works non-stop and do everything - no job is ever too difficult for them. They also have their own crew bus and trucks."

In the UK, lights are handled by Bandit Lites, while audio expertise is provided by Capital Sound Hire. Martin Connolly at Capital Sound recalls, "I've been working with the band since they reformed for Live Aid in 1985, as the company I was working for at the time, Malcolm Hill Associates, did the Wembley Sound. In 1992, Status Quo left Malcolm Hill for Capital Sound and coincidently I moved at the same time and found myself as their system tech. Nowadays I'm behind an office desk, but I still get to see them at the occasional show," says Connolly.

Lester Cobrin, business development manager at Bandit Lites says, "I've been fortunate enough to supply Quo's lighting rig for over eight years and have witnessed at least 30 shows. I can't get enough of them. The venues they play are very different. One night it's Wembley Arena, the next night they're playing a hall in Folkestone. They certainly bring their show to your town, but on the production front, Dave Salt and Pat Marks are a joy to work with. It's like a well-oiled machine and they know their gig, which makes my life much easier.

Cobrin adds, "The forthcoming tour promises to be something quite special as the band will be moving into new territory this time using LED lighting mixed with video images."

CASTLES AND FORESTS

That willingness to try out new equipment extends to people as well. Veteran UK production manager, for example, has only just begun his relationship with Quo. "We did Crathes Castle near Aberdeen and Rochester Castle and they were just amazing shows, attracting 4,000-plus to each gig,"says Tee.

"I know Dave Salt very well, but this was the first time I've done any shows with Quo. I have to say that both the band and crew are the best professionals - they just turn up and make it happen. They also have an amazing group of fans because it just spans the generations. At the Crathes show I saw kids of five or six with cardboard cut-out guitars, standing with their mums and dads and then the grandparents in tweeds beside them."

That growing UK market for outdoor events has been lucrative for Quo. "Status Quo were one of the early pioneers for forestry commision shows," says Porter. That's proved extremely successful for us, as the audience tend to be people that maybe would not go to a regular Quo show. So shows at forests, castles and stately homes help convert a lot of those people into buying tickets for the winter tour, meaning our attendences are up all around."

Warnock agress. "Every year is a growth year for Status Quo. We're selling more tickets for this year's winter tour than ever before and we're playing bigger venues as a result."

DEDICATED TO TOURING

Impressed by the band's touring philosophy, German promoter Henning Togel at Stuttgart-based Mederne Welt, says, "Simon is doing a very clever job with the band and he handles the business side very well. We have Status Quo for 15 to 20 dates a year in Germany - festivals in the summer and a tour in the autumn. They play small arenas and small open-air shows, so we're talking about 2,000 to 6,000-capacity venues. Quo are still the best party band in the world. They are big all over Germany and we are very careful not to go to the same cities every year."

And they're still opening up new markets. Demonstrating just how big the band is in its 40th year, Thomsen reveals, "Next July we have them playing 12 dates at big parks and castles in Sweden to audiences of 10,000 to 15,000. No foreign act in history has ever done this before."

Clear Channel's Galbraith comments, "The great thing about Quo is that sales have been incremental for the last four years. The band just keep getting better - I dread to think how good they're going to be in another 40 years."

Thomsen adds, "One of their secrets is they don't just target the big cities, they play all the small towns as well. They do not compromise on quality, so there is never a bad show. They always use their own backline, so they know what they're working with."

MOVING EXPERIENCES

That backline gives Mark Guterres at Transam Trucking his most loyal client. "They have a trailer permanently out - we never unload it," he reveals. "They take all the backline gear to every show, whether it's a festival or a theatre date. For their big tour each autumn they'll add sound and lights, so maybe another two trucks.

"I've been working with them for more than 20 years," says Guterres. "In fact, I can remember their farewll tour in 1988," he jokes. "I don't have any other clients that have a trailer solely dedicated to them, so that shows the level of commitment they have to touring and live work."

Dirk Eykel of freight experts Sound Moves also benefits from the band's permanent state of movement. "We're taking them out to South Africa for the start of the tour, so we have to fly seven tons of their equipment in time for rehearsals and their two shows at Carnival City," reveals Eykel. "Seven tons is a hell of a lot, but it's basically their backline - they've accumulated a lot of gear in the last 40 years.

"We anticipate things are going to be crazy next summer and I've no doubt we'll be flying them all over the place internationally."

And Eykel says the long-term relationships within the Quo camp make business very smooth. "Dave Salt has been with the band for such a long time that he can anticpate their thoughts on certain aspects. He gives us plenty of lead time on projects, which is rare in this business, and best of all, he speaks our language, we never have to dumb it down when it comes to explaining about customs protocol or whatever."

Another outfit reaping rewards from Quo's resurgence is Phoenix Bussing Service, whose Paul Hattin tells Audience, "We're building a new 45-foot double-decker star bus for Status Quo. This is the first time that we've purpose-built a star bus." Hattin says the bus will be available for other acts, but adds, "Quo go out so many months of the year that we anticipate they'll use it more than anyone else - they'll definitely have first refusal on it.

"In addition to the star bus, we're providing them with a crew bus for their European tour and add an additional crew bus when they come back to the UK for the autumn tour."

Another first timer for the band is Grant Williams, entertainment manager at South Africa's Carnival City in Sandton. "I must admit that I'm looking forward to working with them, as they have a large following in South Africa," he says. That following is enough to fill Carnival City's Big Top Arena (3,500) for back-to-back dates. Other international stars that have played the venue this year are Mark Knopfler, BZN, Katie Melua, Belinda Carlisle, Helmut Lotti, Harry Armand and Shiamak.

POWER OF PERFOMANCE

Status Quo are the living embodiment of what live music is all about. They may not be a multi-million record selling act, but the energy and enjoyment their fans get from experiencing the band live have kept the show on the road for four decades, with more to come.

Warnock concludes, "The 40th anniversary is shaping up to be an absolutely fabulous year. In addition to the outdoor shows in the UK and Europe and then the autumn tour, we're adding on other markets such as South Africa and Australia."

And what other plans are there for the future? "I'm already working on the 50th anniversary," smiles Porter wryly.

Revisit the October 2005 event list