IF the term ‘status quo’ is generally taken to mean that things remain the same, this year has been anything but static for the veteran rock band who adopted the name back in 1968.
In March the ‘classic’ line-up of the band – Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan – reunited for the first time in more than 30 years for a short tour of Britain.
In June came a new album – Bula Quo – which was essentially the soundtrack of the first-ever feature film starring the band, which went on release in July.
Then there was the matter of a new drummer, the winter tour and another reunion tour with the ‘Frantic Four’ line-up.
All of which gave the band’s loquacious singer and lead guitarist Francis Rossi something to talk about when I caught up with him at his London home.
“It was great being with Alan again,” says Rossi, alluding to the fact that he and Lancaster were the best of friends when they formed their first band, The Scorpions, while at school in Catford in 1962.
“John too, although he found it hard – it was hard work for all of us, really.”
The tour by the original foursome was arguably the event of the year for Quo fans, with sell-out crowds at every show.
“It’s wrong for me to poo-poo it,” Rossi says. “We did it for the fans, as they had been asking for it for many years and I think the time was right.
“And even though I thought we were a bit sloppy and under-rehearsed I can’t believe the reception we got – it was amazing.”
And it seems that this won’t be the last we see of the Frantic Four (as they have been labelled).
“No, tickets are on sale for some dates in Europe next year, and we’ll be doing Britain again.”
The new album was released in June to decent reviews.
“To be honest,” admits Francis. “If we hadn’t done the film, I don’t know what I’d have done for the album but I found it very refreshing. There’s a lot of diversity on the album which is always nice.”
The film, released in early July, was shown in around 200 cinemas throughout the country and has the band on tour in Australia before becoming involved in a crime plot which has them running for their lives and filming in Fiji.It is now out on DVD.
Says Rossi: “We were pleased with the film in the end and they may even want us to do another one. ”
Status Quo, along with special guests 10CC will play Leeds Arena on December 17. Tickets are priced at £38.50 (plus booking fee). www.firstdirectarena.com