'My day job is a lot noisier!'

Status Quo's Francis Rossi will return to Shanklin Theatre next month. <i>(Image: Francis Rossi/Shanklin Theatre.)</i>
Status Quo's Francis Rossi will return to Shanklin Theatre next month. (Image: Francis Rossi/Shanklin Theatre.)

The importance of a twelve-bar-blues is legendary and that's something frontman and founding member of the chart-topping three-chord hitmakers, Status Quo, knows well.

Calling me from the 'corner of a tour bus' in Kettering, near Leicester, I’m greeted by Francis Rossi's rendition of Jake the Peg and four minutes of enthusiasm about 'this kind of touring' - an intimate, conversational evening with the singer who, at the height of his fame, was Rockin’ All Over the World.

The legendary vocalist and guitarist, who is behind some of rock’s biggest riffs, makes his second appearance at Shanklin Theatre, on May 7.

He will be discussing his legendary career - which has reached incredible heights.

He's been in the entertainment industry for over half a century, enjoying the occasional Marguerita Time along the way.

I wondered how his 2023 Tunes & Chat tour might differ from a typical run of concerts back in the 1970s.

Nostalgically, Francis says: "Rick [Parfitt] and I would stay at hotels and leave when it was time, depending on where we were going.

"We'd get to the venue just in time for the soundcheck.

"With Quo now, we go overnight and arrive very early in the morning.

"It’s a routine and you’re always at the venue."

It's been all change recently, he says.

"Now we have this B.C.P. - Brexit, Covid-19, Putin - those things have added to a band’s tour bill and they make it far more difficult," he said.

Isle of Wight County Press:
Isle of Wight County Press:

Finances are different and the current Quo does not have as many buses and trucks.
"People want to believe that show business is 'la la la', but it’s a business.

"I grew up in retail, so I know if no one comes through that shop door, we close down.

"It’s the same with a band.

"I’m becoming more and more aware of that the older I get."

Fear not, fans. You will be still able to see Status Quo live, when the band embarks on a tour, between May and September, 2024.

Hoping to play festivals, Quo is no stranger to the summer scene.

2016 saw them headline the Thursday night of the IW Festival.

Just six months later, Rick Parfitt - Francis Rossi's rhythmic partner-in-crime - died, aged just 68.

"[Rick] would never look after himself," Francis told me.

"[It was] his worst thing."

If, like me, you already caught Francis on his 2021 I Talk Too Much tour - named after his 2019 tell-all autobiography - there is plenty more to hear next month.

"Come along! I think you’ll enjoy it.

"I think it’s good - but I would," he laughs.

"There are about 16 or 18 songs.

"I just enjoy doing songs so much and it’s refreshing to hear them without the noise we make during my day job!

"That's a lot noisier than this one."

Meanwhile, I am personally hoping the Down Down hitmakers return to the Isle of Wight Festival next year.