Francis Dominic Nicholas Michael Rossi, scion of ice cream heritage and otherwise known as GOMOR (Grand Old Man of Rock) is back out on the road, but he’s parked the Quo for a while.

Instead, he’s five nights into his lengthy Tunes & Chat 2023 tour, which is running until November (with July and August off), playing more than 100 dates in theatres large and small, before Quo’s traditional festivities kick in.

Rossi’s GOMOR status is actually a bit of a misnomer as he’s only 73 (compared to the Great-GOMOR’s such as Jagger, 79, McCartney, 80, Cliff Richard, 82, Tom Jones, 83, Ian Hunter, 83, and great-great-GOMOR John Mayall, 89 and counting).

So here is the green-behind-the-ears young stripling, eschewing his pension to take up his acoustic guitar to play some stripped back Quo classics, rarities and rarely performed tunes, while throwing a few tales from on the road. With a musical heritage stretching back to 1962, there is no shortage of material.

The scene is two plush red armchairs, a grey rug and a coffee table in front of a big screen displaying 44 Quo album covers. The theatre is by no means full, the uber-fans who had earlier met and greeted their star seated at the front.

Rossi sits to the right, his guitar tech/second guitarist Andy Brook, the renowned producer/engineer, who had been tuning/preparing since we arrived, to the left. Rossi is dressed in black jacket, black jeans and white socks. His trademark ponytail is long gone, along with most of his hair.

He is a nervy, energetic, self-deprecating character, never sticking to the point, going off on tangents from tangents, worrying about the size of the audience, obsessing with the running time, holding is head in his hands on occasion. He’s no raconteur, but his voice is holding up remarkable well.

The format is probably more songs than chat, kicking off with Pictures Of Matchstick Men and progressing serenely through the likes of In My Chair, Gerdundula, Claudie, Rock’n’Roll, Break The Rules and Down The Dustpipe.

After a brief interlude, side two continued with Rossi in a brown waistcoat playing What You’re Proposing, followed by the likes of And It’s Better Now, Blessed Are The Meek and Margarita Time, before Rossi’s Q&A began.

Brook read out the questions posed earlier on postcards by the audience, enabling us to learn his favourite venue is Australia, despite the flight, he still loves the Everly Brothers, he wishes he was a member of ELO and his rock’n’roll lifestyle includes doing the crossword and going to bed early.

He also told us that BCP were ruining the music industry – Brexit, Covid, Putin.

Then we had the Rossi acoustic version of John Fogerty’s Rocking All Over The World, followed by the Quo classics Paper Plane and Caroline – and the mainman was gone leaving Brook to soak up the applause – then the red curtain actually came down.