Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne

Francis Rossi

It’s not often that a bona fide Rock n’ Roll legend visits the town of Wimborne; however tonight we are truly in the company of a man who has played some of the biggest gigs. With his band Status Quo he opened the monumental “Live Aid” at a sold-out Wembley Stadium in 1985 and in 1986 supported Queen at Knebworth playing to 125,000 people. Francis Rossi is here tonight on the opening night of his “I Talk Too Much Tour”, a tour that will take in over 60 dates around theatres of the UK. On the tour Francis is joined by his sidekick Mick Wall for an evening billed as sharing some of the best Rock ‘n’ Roll stories ever, accrued during an extraordinary life on the road. “Expect laughter, revelations, tales involving some of the giants of music, exclusive video clips, and snatches of classic tunes”.

Rossi said: “This show is something new for me; it will be live and unscripted, so god knows what could happen! One thing’s for sure though; it’ll be a white-knuckle ride for me, but fans will get a real unvarnished insight into what’s happened over the years. I’ll be taking a guitar along to demonstrate how some of those Quo classics came into being, and hopefully, we’ll take a few questions from the audience too. It’s been quite a journey, there’s a lot to share.”

Francis Rossi
Francis Rossi 12

Every seat in this historic theatre has been sold and as Mick introduces the Status Quo legend; the place erupts in long, loud applause and cheers for a man who to many here is their Rock n’ Roll hero. Sitting on two chairs in the middle of the stage; the two men are sat in front of an appropriate green, white and red Italian coloured backdrop; along with a screen for a few video clips. Francis is relaxed and very comfortable in these surroundings and tells stories of his enjoyable childhood within a large Italian family. The Italian and Irish music he heard when he was young gave influence to his music-making. He also explained how Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Hey Joe’ helped the band create their first major hit ‘Pictures of Matchstick Men’ and we are treated to a fine acoustic version of the track.

There are also stories of how he met some of his fellow band members, along with the first time he set eyes on Rick Parfitt while playing a gig at Butlins. The stories continue after the interval with the events of “Live Aid”, along with his friendship with Queen’s Freddie Mercury. The name of the show is certainly true as Francis constantly goes off at tangents, only to be reeled back in by Mick. Francis talks candidly about his relationship with his sidekick and friend Rick Parfitt along with the events up to his death in 2016. At the interval the audience is asked to put questions on a piece of paper, it was suggested it would be preferable on a five-pound note and put them in a box at the front of the stage. Towards the end of the show Mick puts a whole host of them to Francis with the best one asking “Francis, where are you staying tonight? as I want to know where to pick up my Mother in the morning”. The show ends with Francis playing some of Status Quo’s biggest hits on his acoustic guitar which include “Paper Plane” and show closer “Caroline”.

Francis Rossi

It’s a fantastic show for all music fans and it gives an amazing insight into a guy who at 70 years old is still rocking with his band today. He is genuinely one of the good guys and comes across as someone who really cares. Tonight’s audience clearly loved every minute of the show and their reaction more than showed this as Francis and Mick take their bows at the end of the show.


Words, Pictures & Video by David Chinery (Chinners).

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