Self-confessed devotees of early British 1970’s rock The Quireboys have been strutting their stuff on and off for 30 years. Quite literally, they have been making music of a bygone era because they love it and no one else was doing it when they formed back in 1984. Despite a fair amount of line up changes throughout their career they have still managed to establish themselves as one of the best live rock ‘n’ roll party bands.
Although they might not have the respect of a band of their standing should, this may be because they resemble their heroes so avidly. So it is easy to dismiss them as no more than Faces clones. However, when I saw them at the Islington Academy last year what struck me was an incredible depth of good well-written and varied songs.
It needs to be reminded that they did have UK chart single success, a UK number 2 LP with their debut ”A Bit of What You Fancy”, and graced our screens on Top of the Pops. This re-issue of an album released back in 2001 was their 3rd album but the first after re-forming since their split in 1993. Well, of course, it has The Faces all over it but the re-unification of Spike and Guy Griffin as songwriters bursts with freshness, quality and steadfastness, and displays many sides and depth of their song writing ability. The first seven songs are quite exceptional majestic slabs of good old -fashioned classic hard rock.
It kicks off with the title track and it is a riotous rock ‘n’ roll sing –along with a killer hook. In fact the majority of the songs on this album are classic beverage (of your choice) in one hand while heartily singing along at the top of your voice to the catchiest choruses, which make their mark on you after only a couple of listens. ‘Show Me What You Got’ is another triumph, ‘Searching’, ‘Six Degrees’, ‘Seven Days’; ‘Taken For A Ride’, all provide evidence there is more to this band than their debut. While ‘C’mon’ with its Chuck Berry riff mixed with another great early British 70s rock group Slade, is an unabashed stomping rocker.
There is an underrated art to write lyrics that are simple but universal, so can be interpreted to mean something personal to the listener. Spike achieves this many times on the album with meaningful easy to remember lyrics about happy times, sad times, reflection on past decisions, and the hopefulness of better times ahead, all washed down with wonderful hooks and melodies.
There are a couple of tracks which don’t quite match the high standard set by the first half of the album, but with ‘It’s Alright’ and ‘Never Let Me Go’ they finish strongly. There are four bonus tracks of ‘Hey You’, ‘Misled’, ‘7 O’clock’, and ‘There She Goes Again’, recorded by the current line up add to the desirable factor of its re-release. But it is the original album itself, which is worth discovering if it missed you by back in 2001.
So raise your glasses – Happy 30th anniversary boys!