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That was the Quo month that was ... October 2010

3rd - Quo performance on 'Weekend Wogan' at the London Palladium

Terry Wogan presented a special live edition of 'Weekend Wogan' on BBC Radio 2 in aid of BBC Children in Need from the London Palladium on October 3rd. Quo performed three songs live, with "In The Army Now", "Whatever You Want" and "Rockin' All Over The World". Video highlights of the show, including part of Quo's performance, can be seen on the BBC website here.

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3rd - Francis article in The Daily Mail

The following article appeared in the Daily Mail, entitled "In a taxi with... Status Quo's Francis Rossi" and written by Maureen Paton.

"There’s only one dress code for interviewing Francis Rossi: it’s time to dig out the blue jeans to show some respect to the veteran Status Quo rocker. A last-minute change of plan has our taxi driver, Quo fan Terry from Twickenham, picking up our hero from the decidedly unstarry forecourt of a petrol station rather than his mansion in Purley, Surrey. When he arrives, in his chauffeur-driven limo, Francis leaps into Terry’s cab like a character switching cars in a getaway movie. As he sheepishly explains, he’s ‘nervous of cameras near my house’ – hence the neutral pick-up point.

But it’s no wonder he’s protective of his privacy. For this veteran British band is still rocking all over the world, with an unbeaten record of more than 60 UK hits over the past 40 years, and in February this year, Francis and Quo co-founder Rick Parfitt received OBEs from the Queen for services to music and charity. Hard to believe that in 1985 they’d been on the verge of folding, before Live Aid gave them a new lease of life – and a hip new reputation – when they agreed to open the transatlantic concert in response to Bob Geldof’s nagging.

‘These days we’re like an army on the march, on the road for nine months every year. I’m trying to cut down because I’m 61,’ says Francis. Yet he embarked on his first-ever solo tour this summer to promote his own album One Step at a Time, with son Nicholas playing guitar in his band and daughter Bernadette’s own combo as support act; and there’s no sign of him hanging up his Fender Telecaster. ‘Quo is never going to break up,’ he pledges. ‘Nothing would frighten me more than to sit around or stay in bed all day – I need a purpose, a reason to be alive, and in some ways Quo has given me that validity.’

Having auctioned off his 35-year-old trademark ponytail for charity last year, Francis now cuts a dapper, gym-fit figure in Hugo Boss jacket and silver ear-stud. Born in Forest Hill in Southeast London, he and the Woking-raised Rick first met back in 1965 at Butlins in Minehead, when they were in different bands and Rick was a cabaret singer who camped it up in tight leather trousers that squeaked with his every move. ‘But we both used to mince around – it was considered OK then,’ explains Francis.

‘Rick and I have known each other so long that it’s like a marriage. There are times when we get on quite well, and times when we don’t talk to each other,’ he adds, implying the occasional strop. ‘But we don’t fight – which is good, because most duos would be whacking each other by now. But Rick and I come from self-employed, café-owning families, so we both have that work ethic.’

Married to his second wife Eileen, 53, for 20 years now, Francis is a devoted family man with eight children and three grandchildren. When I ask about groupies, the former wild man says, ‘I’ve done all that. The secret of a happy rock marriage is his-and-hers bathrooms and separate mattresses.’ He first met Eileen in 1973 when she was just 16 and he was chasing other women, but he tracked her down years later to ask her to live with him. ‘I just want to be with her and near her,’ he explains. And this family-friendly band’s gigs continue to be a magnet for several generations of fans, who love the danceability of their block-chord boogie.

Such an institution are Quo that they’re the only living musicians since the Beatles to feature as Royal Doulton character jugs, as well as the only rockers to have performed on Coronation Street, thanks to fan Bruce Jones, who played Les Battersby in the ITV soap – Bruce persuaded the producers to work them into the script. Even the Queen likes Quo. ‘We’ve played in front of her at charity concerts, and she said to us once, “You’re really rather good, aren’t you?” But I didn’t have the heart to tell her that we were miming on that particular show,’ he grins. We drop him off at a Twickenham car park, where a fabulously appointed tour bus is waiting to pamper the Grand Old Man of blue-denim rock. As the down-to-earth Francis endearingly admits: ‘We’re all basically insecure little show-offs.’"

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7th - Quo concert at Country Hall, Liege, Belgium

After a quiet September for live shows, Quo kicked off a hectic couple of months with a show at Liege in Belgium on the 7th October. Fans were treated to the first outing for the new light show and by all accounts Pat Marks has done a great job in this area (again!). The setlist for this first show follows.

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9th - Quo concert at L'Arcadium, Annecy, France

The first of seven shows in France saw Quo playing in the pretty town of Annecy at the foot of the Alps on 9th October. They were supported by Asaf Avidan & The Mojos, but the enthusiastic audience were there for Quo and made their presence known throughout the band's set. The light show was again very well received and this show marked just the beginning of a successful short tour of France.

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10th - Quo concert at Zenith, St Etienne, France

The second night of the French tour saw Quo in St Etienne on October 10th. A crowd of 2000-3000 witnessed the same set as in Annecy. Some great photos (and links to videos) are available on this French blog post (which also includes a review of the show in French).

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17th - Quo concert at Zenith, Amiens, France

Quo rounded out their short tour of France with a gig at Amiens on October 17th. Some excellent quality videos of a few songs from the set in Amiens are available here and some professional photos from this gig are online here.

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19th - Quo concert at Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam, Holland

Quo recorded their massive sold-out show at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam on Tuesday, October 19th for a new live Limited Edition Double CD. The Limited Edition Double CD is available from Live & Pure via mail order or as a digital download.

An amazing collection of professional quality photos from this gig are available here.

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24th - "Status Quo - Live at the BBC" CDs and DVD released

The following press release appeared on the Quo website on 22nd September.

"The unique relationship with those two great British institutions, Status Quo and the BBC is celebrated on "Status Quo Live At The BBC" which is issued by UMC on 24 October 2010. The release will be available on a range of formats: 2CD 'best of' collection / DVD / 4CD box set and a limited edition collectors' 8 disc complete set. Status Quo's unbelievable career has largely been built upon their unassailable reputation as one of the world's greatest live acts and it is that prowess and power that underlies this collection.

This release is collated from all of the BBC owned Quo recordings that still exist in the archive and charts the inexorable rise of the band: from the first steps made as The Spectres, the brief incarnation as Traffic Jam and then the glory days as the mighty Status Quo. The BBC gave the band a platform and support at crucial stages in their career and thus "Status Quo Live At The BBC" should be seen essentially as an alternate Greatest Hits, a musical growing up in public.

Francis Rossi said, "We've done so much with the BBC over the years that a release such as this truly charts the history and evolution of the band. It's wonderful that these recordings have been collected and presented this way." Rick Parfitt added, "The relationship with the BBC has not always been a smooth one but a release like this shows how important they are in supporting and celebrating music in this country. John Coghlan commented, "There's no doubt that the Beeb played a big part in getting Status Quo off the ground, and I'm just as excited by this anthology as the fans will be. It's about time it came out."

This incredible archive represents the last great unreleased set of recordings in the Quo catalogue. The collection has been brought together by trawling the BBC archives, but also by inviting contributions from fans. The BBC had a habit of wiping tapes after they were broadcast which has meant that some of the Corporation's output has been lost for ever. However thanks to fans recording broadcasts at home a couple of gems have been reclaimed here for this set.

Sessions for shows hosted by the likes of David Symonds, Dave Lee Travis, Steve Wright, Ken Bruce and more are included here, as are live performances such as the legendary and much-bootlegged Paris Theatre set from 1973, and shows in Wembley, Birmingham and Brighton. Classic performances and, of course, classic tracks: this collection brings together everything of real significance from the psychedelic styling of'Pictures Of Matchstick Men' to the true Rock thumpers of the 70s to the tracks that made the band a household name, 'Rockin All Over The World', 'Caroline', 'In The Army Now', the list goes on.

Fully supported and endorsed by the band - the current line up but also the original incarnation of Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan - "Status Quo Live At The BBC" is a triumphant collection of the defining moments of a truly seminal British rock act, as witnessed, broadcast and archived by the voice of the nation, the BBC. A set to be treasured."

The BBC offerings came in four guises - a double CD ("highlights"), a 4-CD box set, a DVD (featuring NEC 1982 live footage, some "Top of the Pops" performances and some other TV show appearances) and finally a mammoth "complete" 7-CD and DVD set (including the content of all the other formats). While there is little that die-hard collectors won't already have seen or heard somewhere, much of this content is available for the first time outside of bootlegs so at least good quality versions are now available as a result of this release.

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