THEY are one of the hardest working bands around but Status Quo plan to take it just a little bit easier in the future. Band frontmen Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt admit the years are catching up with them, although they are not yet ready to call it a day.
"I talked with Rick about retiring at the end of next year but the danger with that is that I don't know what to do next," says Francis. "It's not like I'm 35 and I've got time. I'm 62 and at the end of next year I'll be pushing 64. I don't want to be like an old person that hits a brick wall and then vegetates and dies." Francis and Rick, also 62, will be with the band at the Bulldog Bash at Long Marston Airfield, Stratford, tonight, and Birmingham 's LG Arena on December 3. Both admit the tours and shows are leaving them more and more tired.
"I never thought I'd have to admit it but physically it's getting harder so Quo are going to cut down their set by 15 minutes," Francis says. "It's either cut it down to an hour and 20 minutes or we don't go on. As much as we say 'come on, let's do it', the following day it's 'that hurts today'. I'm still a fit man physically and I want to go on a little longer." As well as reducing the amount of time they spend on stage the band are also changing the format of their traditional pre-Christmas UK tour.
Instead of playing theatres, followed by bigger venues like the LG Arena, they'll just be doing the arenas. And for added value they are turning the tour into a 'Quo Fest' with two support acts, Roy Wood and Kim Wilde. "We had to make it a much more interesting show," says Francis.
The new set features three tracks from their latest album, Quid Pro Quo - 'Rock 'n' Roll 'n' You', 'Two Way Traffic' and 'Let's Rock'. They may be joined by another newie, 'It's All About You', by the time the December shows come around.
Quid Pro Quo is the first Status Quo album to initially be sold exclusively through Tesco. It's a decision Francis is more than happy with. "In the last few years I've been very much aware that it's getting increasingly dif-ficult to sell records. There are fewer and fewer retailers and people of my generation find it difficult to download or don't want to know because they want to own the hard copy. Airplay was getting trickier so Tesco was a route for us and it's working very well so far. What I love about Tesco is they only want to sell the record, they're not interested in who you are. The album is racked into a place where lots and lots of people go and that's good news for me."