Well I guess Quo had to find their way again and, in 2002, it happened with the release of “Heavy Traffic”. Heavy Traffic was the twenty-fifth studio album by Quo and made No 15 in the UK charts. The album was released following a reunion between Rossi and his writing partner Bob Young, who was the guy who would come onstage and play mouth harp during “Roadhouse Blues” and who also co-wrote, with Francis, many of the band’s great songs between 1968 and 1980. This is was also the first album to feature new drummer Matt Letley. The album was welcomed by fans and critics alike, and is generally recognised as a return to form and, at the time, Quo’s best album for 20 years or so. “Heavy Traffic” sees the guys returning to their rock and boogie roots, with some classic Quo heavy rockers that stand up alongside the tracks they turned our during their 70s classic rock period. Particularly strong tracks are opening song “Blues and Rhythm”, “All Stand Up (Never Say Never), “Creepin’ Up On You” and “Jam Side Down” which was released as a single. Several of the tracks made their way into the live set and have become favourites.David continued to come to see Quo, still somewhat under sufferance. This time it was to another National Trust open air gig, deep in the forest (Dalby Forest to be exact) in Yorkshire. Dalby Forest is located somewhere near Pickering and on the road I would take if driving to Flamingo Park (anyone reading this of a similar age to me, and from the North East is likely to remember Flamingo Park as a regular destination for school trips in the 60s). I bought “Heavy Traffic” and my faith in Status Quo was renewed, to the extent that from here on and for the next 10 years, I went to see them any tour, and sometimes more than once in a year. I saw the old Quo again, and felt a renewal of energy in the band, and the fans who went along to the gigs. The Dalby gig was another fun rocking night. David and I stayed in a nearby hotel and were awoken at 3am by the alarm going off….the hotel was evacuated and we were all standing outside, half asleep and half dressed. I can’t remember what set the alarm off, but we had to wait until the fore engine arrived and we were given the all clear to go back to our rooms and back to sleep. Not the best nights sleep that I have had 🙂
Setlist: Caroline, The Wanderer, Somethin’bout You Baby I Like, Don’t waste My Time, 4500 Times, Rain, All Stand Up, Solid Gold, Heavy Traffic, Creepin’ up on you, Mystery Medley, Gerdundula, Big Fat Mama, Roll over lay down, Down Down, Whatever You Want, Rockin’all over the World, Anniversary Waltz / Oh Carol / Junior’s Wailing / Bye Bye Johnny.
PS That makes Quo gig No 26 for me (there is an end to this, I promise)