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.

The Quireboys – Amazing Disgrace

Amazing Disgrace Cover

The Quireboys – Amazing Disgrace
Off Yer Rocka Recordings
Release Date: 05/04/2019
Running Time: 46:25
Review by Paul Monkhouse
Rating: 10/10

The Quireboys aren’t strangers to the knocks and scrapes of rock ‘n’ roll but it’s been an unbelievably long, hard road to get this album out due to the ongoing issues with Pledge Music, initially the chosen platform for this release. Thankfully you can’t keep a good band down and due to the immense hard work by the band, their team and the fans this has now come out and stands as a testament to their street fighting spirit. Driven by a passion to stretch themselves, “Amazing Disgrace” shows a band that’s both fearless and incredibly fresh, highlighting their undoubted flair for writing great and timeless songs.

From the opening notes of ‘Original Black-Eyed Son’, this is something really special. The song wastes no time in getting into a great riff and it just keeps on growing with some superb keys, Stax-like brass and female backing vocals adding to a fantastic, dirty rock ‘n’ roll barroom number that has both grit and polish. Really setting their stall out, you know that just two minutes into this that it’s an album The Quireboys can be proud of. Whilst the band can really rock out when they want to, as anyone who’s seen their electrifying live shows can attest, this release broadens their palette and adds some real colour but doesn’t sacrifice any of their fire. Next track ‘Sinner’s Serenade’ perfectly highlights this with it’s powerful, big start and yet more layers of sound as it really drives along, propelled by some teeth rattling drums and some superb slide guitar at the end.

Already a firm live favourite, ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ has a funky strut and the peerless guitar work of Guy Griffin and Paul Guerin as they show off the sonic swagger that has a real stake in proving their confidence whilst not being too flash. This is also echoed in the titular ‘Amazing Disgrace’ that boasts a real late 60’s / early 70’s vibe as Spikes distinctive vocals dances throughout and the track ends by morphing into Southern Hard Rock. Yet another bold change of pace comes with ‘Eve of the Summertime’, a beautifully crafted ballad, that is ice cream sweet and sparkles with sunshine whilst retaining an edge. Very evocative of that season, you could hear it any time of the year and immediately be transported to those hazy, lazy days where life just consisted of sitting on a beach, drinking beer with your friends.

‘California Blues’ picks up the pace again and is a perfect reminder of why the band was chosen to support Guns ‘n’ Roses and the Stones. This would be the perfect soundtrack to cruising along Sunset Strip and you can clearly picture the band whipping up the crowds at the Whisky in downtown L.A. ‘This Is It’ brings an almost country feel and expands on the great storytelling that Spike and Co excel at. Boasting some more very fine keys from Keith Weir, this also benefits from some excellent fiddle playing and if you wince at the mere mention of that instrument then this track will surely convert you. ‘Feels Like A Long time’ brings back a Rolling Stones feel and is tailor made for playing at massive stadiums to a sea of people, waving arms held aloft in appreciation of its grandeur.

Yet more swagger and stomp form the brilliant ‘Slave Number One’, its chugging riff building into a juggernaut that shows that you don’t need to be full-on to be heavy. ‘Dancing in Paris’ is another great ballad, its fragile and tender vocals matched perfectly to the tasteful and tasty guitar work. The album closes with a bang as ‘Medusa My Girl’ boils out of the speakers. Incredibly powerful, this is a maelstrom of instruments that warn of a coming storm that continues to get darker as Spikes howls through the wind and rain. With a real Celtic feel, the Quireboys have chosen the perfect track to end the album and yet again show why they are one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands this country has ever produced. The Quireboys may, at times, have been heavier than this release but they have never been better. As they say themselves: “This is Rock ‘n’ Roll”. One of the most vital albums of the year, you need ‘Amazing Disgrace’ in your collection.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Original Black Eyes Son
02. Sinners Serenade
03. Saven Deadly Sins
04. Amazing Disgrace
05. Eve Of The Summertime
06. California Blues
07. This Is It
08 Feels Like A Long Time
09. Slave #1
10. Dancing In Paris
11. Medusa My Girl

LINKS:

Home


https://www.facebook.com/quireboys/

https://www.instagram.com/thequireboys/

 

Promo Pic1

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Monkhouse 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.