The Quireboys – A Bit Of What You Fancy (30th Anniversary Edition, Totally Re-Recorded)

A Bit Of What You Fancy (30th Anniversary Edition, Totally Re-recorded) Album Cover Art

The Quireboys – A Bit Of What You Fancy (30th Anniversary Edition, Totally Re-Recorded)
Off Yer Rocka Recordings
Release Date: 30/07/2021
Running Time: 48:04
Review by Simon Black
9/10

Indulge me if you will… Way back in 1989 when I was a bright, young and ridiculously curly-haired thing, I spent a number of months backpacking across the States just prior to going to university. The end point of my lengthy pilgrimage was L.A. and in particular the Sunset Strip – foolishly dazzled as I was by the images glimpsed on screen and the hype coming mainly via Mick Wall’s regular flow of copy in Kerrang! of a glamorous music scene blown wide open by the likes of Guns ’N’ Roses or Poison. The reality of the Strip was a bit of a let-down really, as by the time I got there the whole L.A. bubble was on the point of bursting, the sleazy Rock’n’roll underground scene that had made it famous had gone mainstream leaving behind largely shallow impersonators, Grunge was looming on the horizon and I was by then too skint to go to any of the clubs (not to mention too young to actually buy a drink there being under 21 at the time).

One night myself and the gang from my youth hostel did actually make it to a Girlschool show up there. Whilst leaning up against the bar trying to order an overpriced coke, I heard a distinctly Geordie accent ordering a drink next to me and realised to my surprise that I was standing next to Spike from The Quireboys, whom I recognised from a support slot show at Nottingham’s fabled Rock City a few months before my travels and because no-one else wore a bandana quite as well as he did (or indeed still does). Conversation started up with a fellow expat Brit, although I ended up spending more time talking to new boy guitarist Guy Griffin, who having barely had time to register that he had replaced Ginger in the band, had found himself on a plane to L.A. and recording the original version of this debut album for EMI, which was quite a big thing back then. It was a fantastic night made doubly great by being able to sneak on the coat tails of these chaps and Girlschool to somewhere that would actually serve me alcohol, until getting rumbled by the bar staff that I was underage for drinking in that part of the USA – so I met two lots of rock stars andgot thrown out of the Rainbow Bar and Grill on the same night. A few months later I saw them again as the band headlined a show at Nottingham Rock City, with this album riding high in the charts and playing a venue that was already way too small for them.

More than thirty years has passed since those heady days and for me this band had somewhat faded into the background, as musical tastes shifted and The Quireboys spent a very long time on hiatus for the best part of two decades before, relatively recently, reforming (and very prolifically in terms of new material). So, I was very curious and not a little nostalgic when this came across my bows – after all, a lot has changed.

So, this is track for track a complete remake of that storming classic disk with the current line-up, of which Guy and Spike are the only remaining members. Now that original album is full of the sparkle and glamour of the period with its birth in L.A. (no doubt with a firm eye on the American Radio market of the period) overseen by the watchful gaze of erstwhile manager Sharon Osborne, but I remember feeling at the time that it was perhaps a little too slick and polished for their Rock’n’roll Gypsy look and feel. It also clashed with their more edgy live performances – although who cares when it spawned five hit singles and saw the band supporting G’N’R in Europe and a slot on the fabled Donington Monsters of Rock line up not long after, when both of those things really meant something.

This incarnation has not changed the arrangements at all, but the songs all have a much richer and edgy timbre than the originals. Add to that there is a distinctly un-polished feel to them which is truer to the bands Rock’N’Roll roots and, despite the massive improvements in Production technology since then, has a more honest feel that fits the band so much better. No overdubs on bum notes here…even though it’s a million times easier on ProTools. Add to that Spike’s grating Bluesy ‘Rod Stewart snorting razor blades’ voice has got so very much more soulful over the years, that I suspect I may never bother listening to the 1989 version ever again. This evokes a sense that if the band stood up tomorrow and ran through the entire thing on a live stream, it would sound just like this (hint). Because the songs on here are largely classics, many of which are still a feature of their live set, they have not aged badly either (although I suspect that to attend their ‘Sex Party’ in this day and age you will probably need to bring proof of vaccination and a recent negative lateral flow test). A fantastic job on a fantastic classic and one that has made me fall in love with them all over again.

‘Man On The Loose’ (30th Anniversary Edition Audio)

TRACKLISTING:
01. 7 O’Clock
02. Man on the Loose
03. Whippin’ Boy
04. Sex Party
05. Sweet Mary Ann
06. I Don’t Love You Anymore
07. Hey You
08. Misled
09. Long Time Comin’
10. Roses & Rings
11. There She Goes Again
12. Take Me Home

LINE-UP:
Spike – Vocals
Guy Griffin – Guitar
Keith Weir – Keyboards, Piano
Paul Guerin – Guitar

LINKS:

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Simon Black and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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