STATUS Quo are coming to the Quarry this weekend. Ahead of the show, frontman and rock’n’roll legend Francis Rossi took the time to speak to Rob Bellis.

Francis Rossi is to take to the stage in Shrewsbury tomorrow as Status Quo headline what promises to be a memorable show in the Quarry.

“All I remember about Shrewsbury is trying to work out how to say it and that a band called Fluff won ‘You are a Star’ or something like that,” said Rossi.

“I’m not saying I’m not looking forward to playing Shrewsbury – I look forward to all our gigs.”

The Quo’s latest album, 'Quid Pro Quo', has been particularly well received, as has the single ‘Rock and Roll and You’.

“The new album is apparently very good,” Rossi continues. “When you are working on it in the studio you might think ‘yeah, this is really good’ but you don’t know until six months later.

“I don’t know what we’ve done differently. All I can think of is that I said to the drummer ‘don’t do Steely Dan meet Status Quo – be the bloke at the back going mad’ and that’s what he did.”

I turn the conversation to Rossi’s famous, now absent ponytail which he cut off in 2009.

“I get asked this a lot, the last time by a woman on security,” he says. “In the end it looked like some wizened rat’s piece.

“When I was young I thought it was against the grain, then I got older and felt people were saying ‘look at that old guy with a ponytail’. Now it’s ‘look at that old guy with short hair’.

“It’s good though. I haven’t had short hair since I was 15 – it’s a lot easier.”

While the Quo are famed for their rock’n’roll party lifestyle, even rock stars need a break now and again.

Quo’s frontman discovered shooting as an escape from the studio – although his target pigeons were made of clay.

“I haven’t done that for some years,” he admits. “My manager said ‘you need something to get you away from all this’ and that was what I did.

“I do love it.

“When we were in Brighton I used to take a trap out some days and shoot some clays but the responsibility of keeping a gun and having to have a steel cabinet and all that, I can’t be bothered.

“Suzi Quatro asked me to join her team once. She’s a really good shot, I’m not.”
So what does he do to escape the rock world these days?

“I don’t,” he says. “This is the worry – I’m becoming institutionalised within all this.

“I sit at home doing the crossword, thinking ‘this is wonderful’, but then I start to miss work.

“I can’t sit and watch TV any longer.

“I sit in this room I call the music room with a guitar and it becomes a battle between the guitar and the TV.”

He added: “When I was 30 I used to wonder ‘will I still be doing this when I’m 40?’

“Now I’m 62 I’m wondering if I’ll still be doing it in another 10 years.” 

Status Quo play the Quarry, Shrewsbury, tomorrow night (Friday).