Status Quo go from Rockin’ All Over The World to stripped down acoustic Sheffield date

Rick Parfitt, left, and Francis Rossi, of Status Quo in action.

Rick Parfitt, left, and Francis Rossi, of Status Quo in action.

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They have been Rockin’ All Over The World for years – but Quo fans will be in for a different experience at their next Sheffield gig.

Status Quo are bringing their new acoustic tour to the city on Tuesday – and will be out of their comfort zone as old fashioned rock’n’ roll is replaced with stripped-down songs, backing vocalists and even a string section.

Status Quo – Aquostic Live will be visiting Sheffield City Hall on Tuesday, April 21, as part of a six-date national tour that will finish at the Royal Albert Hall.

It follows special acoustic shows at London’s Roundhouse and in Stuttgart in October and the release of a ‘Stripped Bare’ acoustic album by the group in the same month.

Classic hits such as Pictures Of Matchstick Men, Whatever You Want and Down Down have all been painstakingly reworked for the new album and tour.

Singer and guitarist Francis Rossi says the new direction has prompted some of their oldest fans to reassess the group – as well as helping them reach a different audience.

Legendary Status Quo frontman Francis Rossi in action. Picture: Robin Burns.

Legendary Status Quo frontman Francis Rossi in action. Picture: Robin Burns.

He says one of their most loyal followers had been in the front row for one of the acoustic performances – and the band were not sure how he would react to the new sound.

Francis, aged 65, says: “We have known him for years and he had a face like ‘I don’t believe it’.

“But he said after ‘I just couldn’t believe how good it was’.”

Francis admits that, in all the group’s years of performing – he started playing in The Spectres, which later became Status Quo, as a schoolboy in 1962 – Status Quo have never tried playing acoustically before and band members were nervous about how the change in direction would go down.

Rick Parfitt, left, and Francis Rossi of Status Quo performing at the Glastonbury Festival. Picture: Yui Mok.

Rick Parfitt, left, and Francis Rossi of Status Quo performing at the Glastonbury Festival. Picture: Yui Mok.

He says: “That is why it is so much out of our comfort zone.

“We had never done acoustic before and are used to visually doing stuff on stage. You can’t work the stage as much.

“You go on, you sit down and you get up after an hour or so and hopefully they have liked it.”

He says many of Quo’s hardcore fans were unsure about the new direction, but most were won around after seeing the acoustic shows for themselves.

Francis says: “Lot of fans have come to us after a show and said ‘I never knew there were so many melodies’. I think ‘what were you listening to before’.”

He says the band had spent about four-and-a-half months recording songs for the acoustic album – a rewarding experience.

“It got the creative juices going and it was such an enjoyable experience,” he says.

And he is looking forward to playing at City Hall, having first performed there as a teenager.

Despite the many years on the road and thousands of gigs, Francis says he still looks forward to the excitement of playing live and the uncertainty of whether a show will be a success.

“Something happens on the night – it is what live music is all about,” he says. “I’m very much looking forward to playing the City Hall.”

* For tickets to the show on Tuesday, April 21, priced from £42.35, visit www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk