Francis Rossi Whitley Bay Playhouse 19 May 2023

rossi tix 23This tour was entitled “Tunes and Chat” as opposed to the previous Francis Rossi tour which was called something like “I Talk Too Much”. So, this time round Francis was accompanied by another guitarist, his guitar technician I believe, and the emphasis was more on the songs, and less chatting. Francis is a cheeky chappie, that we all know and love, and tonight was no exception. Plenty of quips, jokes (some of the ruder variety) and general chitchat about his past.

rossi flyerArrived in time to have a nice double whiskey. No merchandise this time around. Accompanied by carer Elaine and old mate Norm.So Francis started at the beginning with some tales of his Italian origins and Italian songs such as “Papa Pickalino” (or something like that) and how they introduced him to music, songs and the guitar shuffle which would be the backdrop to many of the Status Quo tracks. He talked about how psychedelia and pop led him to write “Pictures of Matchstick Men” and then moved on to explain how Status Quo became more rocky and the shuffle became songs like “Spinning Wheel Blues” and “In My Chair”. Then we got the great “Gerdundula”, “Down the Dustpipe” and others. “Burning Bridges” (“some people like it, some people hate it” said Francis) closed the first set. Time for ice cream (Ben & Jerry’s; lovely)

Francis-rossi-2007-07-18During the interval the merchandise stall was selling the latest Francis large format coffee table signed book, which I already have courtesy of his website. Before I forget to mention it, the second guitarist was excellent and played quite a lot of lead guitar; both men on similar looking electric guitars. The second set comprised more tunes and some questions from the audience. One in particular sticks in my mind. Francis’ sidekick read the questions from cards collected from a pile placed on the stage by audience members. “What makes you so successful and to have continued success over so many years?” After a little thought Francis replied “Well I am basically insecure. I always wanted to be famous and to feel loved. And I still do feel that way. So to fulfil my dreams and overcome my insecurities I have to keep coming out and performing to audiences like yourselves”.

Francis_Rossi,_Bula_Quo,_London,_2013_(straighten)Another question. “Which do you prefer? Large arenas or small theatres?” Again, after a pause, “I suppose I like the intimacy of smaller venues where I can actually see the audience and sing and talk directly to them”. Then we are into the final stretch and Status Quo favourites “Margarita Time”, “Rockin’ All over the World” and finally “Caroline”. All good fun. Elaine, Norm and I all enjoyed it. But hey Francis time to get the Quo back on the road.
Photography was not allowed so the images are stock photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

640px-Status_Quo_-_2019156201319_2019-06-05_Zeltfestival_Rhein-Neckar_-_Sven_-_1D_X_MK_II_-_0370_-_AK8I5331Setlist: Set 1: Pictures of Matchstick Men; (April) Spring, Summer and Wednesdays; Spinning Wheel Blues; In My Chair;  Gerdundula; Rock ‘n’ Roll; Claudie; Break the Rules; Down the Dustpipe; Burning Bridges

Set 2: What You’re Proposing; And It’s Better Now; Nanana; Tongue Tied; Marguerita Time; Rockin’ All Over the World; Caroline

2 responses to this post.

  1. Great stuff Peter. We’ve got ticket’s to see him at The Phoenix Theatre in Blyth in October. The dates were announced around this time last year! . It wasn’t until I got the email confirmation that I realised they were for October 2023!!


    • Posted by vintagerock on May 24, 2023 at 4:59 pm

      You’ll enjoy it my friend! Great show from a great rock ‘n’ roll icon. Happy days Peter


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