Gig preview: Status Quo at First Direct Arena, Leeds

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A busy year for Status Quo culminates in the now-traditional December UK tour. But could this be the last?

Singer Francis Rossi reveals the veteran rock band is considering changing its schedule and playing sit-down acoustic gigs as it approaches its 50th anniversary.

“We aren’t sure if we’ll be doing a tour like the December one in 2015,” says Rossi.

“The older you get, the more it hurts. Our gigs are quite physical,” he smiles.

“I tell people I’m 65 so they say ‘you’re as old as you feel’ and I keep telling ’em that I f***in’ feel 65.

“But when we sat down to do the acoustic show, it felt very comfortable. So that may be the way to keep the band going to the 50th anniversary in 2017.”

This year the band released an acoustic album – a full album of Quo hits as we’d never heard them before.

“I didn’t fancy it at first,” explains Rossi. “But then we did some adverts in Australia and did a couple of acoustic songs, and we thought that the melodies were really nice.”

So the band took it a stage further and went into the studio. “Once we got into it, I began to enjoy it. It was both enjoyable and creative. So much so that I got a bit ‘precious’ about it and the concept grew a bit.”

A project that was supposed to take four to six weeks ended up taking four and a hlaf months. “The songs got better each time we did them and we kept adding bits, and then we decided on having a real accordion instead of a synthesizer.”

There was also the second reunion tour of the ‘Frantic Four’ line-up of Francis and Rick together with original bassist and drummer Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan.

After 30 years apart, this classic line-up reunited in 2013 for a handful of shows.

The fans, who had wanted this reunion for years, were ecstatic and clamoured for more.

They got it as the foursome reunited for one last time earlier this year for a handful of shows in the UK, ending in Dublin.

“This year’s shows went much better than the first,” Rossi tell me at his London home. “The people loved it, which was the main thing.”

And will the Frantic Four reunite again? “No, there’ll be no more. We had a talk and came to the conclusion that the personality clashes that helped break up the band before could resurface – but we’ll keep in touch.”

Status Quo, with special guests Chas and Dave, play at Leeds First Direct Arena on December 10, £39.50. http://www.statusquo.co.uk/

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