IT has become the Quo countdown to Christmas.

Dressed in the trademark denim and white trainers, The Quo army invaded Bournemouth for some nostalgia flavoured rock ‘n roll by the seaside.

Francis Rossi has lost his pony tail and Rick Parfitt has shed his flowing locks. Apart from that nothing has changed about these evergreen rockers who have become a national institution.

They might be motoring towards their state pension but they can still do that dancing on their toes over sixties fitness routine.

For years they have had to put up with jibes of being three chord wonders although Rick says they often use four or even five chords. But their track record speaks for itself – they have sold 120 million albums, had record breaking 64 British chart hits and been on Top of the Pops 106 times.

Merchandise flying off the shelves before and after the gig at the packed BIC showed that the Quo brand is as strong as ever.

Now the traditional show opener, the band’s 1973 hit Caroline – the lyrics were composed on a table napkin - is always guaranteed to get the air guitars into overdrive.

But this Christmas party by the sea did not get into full flow until well into the gig with a run of the Quo’s greatest hits, Down, Down, Whatever You Want and the iconic Rockin’ All Over the World. It was the cue for plastic guitars to fly through the air and for that old Quo magic to shine. Proving that sometimes it is best to stick to the old favourites.

The BIC was the third stop on the band’s 10 date winter tour which ends at London’s O2.

Next March Rossi and Parfitt will be turning back the clock nearly 50 years when they get together for a one off reunion tour with original Quo members Alan Lancaster and John Coghlan.

The Quo’s first feature film will also be hitting the silver screen. And no doubt they will be back again beside the seaside for another festive rock ‘n roll show.