The Quireboys live in London 2019

The Quireboys are iconic in English rock, with their distinctive twist, combining influences from rock, folk and blues. It was great to see them again, almost a year after I first saw them during their tour with H.E.A.T. and Aaron Buchanan & The Cult Classics. This time they had teamed up with Tequila Mockingbyrd, Massive and Pig Iron. It was a very busy but exciting day, starting with a press conference and finishing with an after show party. With their new album out and a secret announcement (about the Hell Raiser Campaign) at the press conference, there was much to celebrate!
The Quireboys London Show 2019 poster
The room was filling up already, which can be unusual for the first band, Tequila Mockingbyrd. It’s great to see another kick-ass girl rock band on a big stage, always need more! Blue lights flooded the stage as they start to play. Their bouncy songs and performance was full of energy, making them the perfect warm-up act. You can see they’re having a fantastic time and love their music.
A slow, steady beat rang out, and the lights turned red. Indicating the start of ballad song, in stark contrast to their other songs. Halfway through they switch it up again, the beat picks up, with a catchy edge. They slip back into their standard style of rock and roll. As the strobe light flashes, they step up to the front of the stage, and all play and headbang in unison. They inject energy into the room, and get the crowd clapping and singing along.
Massive is another high energy rock and roll band that comes from Australia, so a bit of a commute! They warmed up the audience with their upbeat tunes and antics on stage. Taking center stage for instrumental solos, tasty riffs and headbanging. falsetto screams. Brad’s voice rings out into the large room for his solo, ending on an epic falsetto scream.
“We’re a long way from home, but glad to be here! And we’ll keep on doing this until we’re dead”! They mixed some lighter songs in with their usual heavier rock anthems. “Dancefloor” got the crowd dancing and clapping along with the band. The lights dim and turn to purple, signifying the change in pace, for “Ghost” another song from their album “Full Throttle”. “What you see is what you get, we’re Massive!”…
Pig Iron carefully combines influences from various music genres. Heavy rock and roll, with a soulful blues meets wild west twist. They start slow with bass and drums, then Johnny’s raw yet piercing vocals ring out, and they start to pick up the pace. Slowing back down again for a harmonica solo, bringing with it a blues vibe. Which was mirrored by the blue lights flooding the room. They had a few technical difficulties but powered on through. The lights turn to red as the harmonica solo starts, combined with Hugh’s cowboy hat and clothing brings you straight back to the Wild West.
“Alright, this is our last song!”, Johnny shouts out jokily, after at least one last song already. Not that the audience were complaining! Newcomer Rich Groom on lead guitar takes centre stage for a blistering solo. Celebrating his first tour with the band. The beat picks up and the crowd claps along. Then everyone joins in for a final showdown. As the lights go up you can see the audience cheering with their hands raised.
It was a fully packed house, and The Quireboys were there to celebrate their 35th anniversary and their latest album, “Amazing Disgrace”, which was released earlier this year. The lights go down and the Top of the Pops video from January 1990 when they played “Hey You” is projected above the stage. Then the band finally hits the stage, to raucous applause from their fans. They launch into a live rendition, with the audience joining in for the famous and catchy “hey you, what can I do” chorus.
“Let me hear you sing!”, Spike shouts out to his fans, “it’s great to be back in our second home! We’re going to play the whole of the first album, then one song from each of the other albums, and just keep going til we run out of time”! Playing their hit songs and some lesser known tracks.
Spike dedicates “Take Me Home” to the ladies; “this song was about all the women that didn’t want to go home with me”! “Let me see whose drinking! Let me see those glasses!” he shouts as he raises his own up high. And of course, his fans cheer and raise theirs in return, to toast their hero.
“Sweet Mary Ann” continued the wild west blues vibe that Pig Iron started. “Give me a yeehaw!”, Spikes shouts, and the audience scream “yeehaw!” back. Then in a change of pace they start to play “I Don’t Love You Anymore” their hit ballad. “We’ve all had our hearts broken, me more than most”! It showed a different side to them, the soulful blues tugging on your heart strings. Everyone sings along to the iconic chorus “I could’ve cried... when she said… I don’t love you anymore”.
“All I need is women, cars and Rock ‘n’ Roll!”… Finishing their first album renditions with their hit song “7 O’Clock”. Moving on to “Mona Lisa Smiled” from their 2015 album “Homewreckers and Heartbreakers”. Then jumping forward to the present day for their recently released single “Seven Deadly Sins” and lead song “Original Black Eyed Son” on their new album “Amazing Disgrace”. Finally finishing on the catchy “This is Rock ‘n’ Roll”
“Raise your cups, cheers!”, Spike shouts, “this is Rock and Roll with the Quireboys!”… the crowd goes wild with cheers and applause as they finish and exit the stage. But they were not gone for long, as their fans called them back for an encore.
“Oi you horrible lot, you want one more song from The Quireboys?”… Launching into “Sex Party” as the lights go up, “let me hear you scream!”, spike calls out. And finally finishing the night on “Mayfair” ironically as it was their first ever single, back in 1988.
The After show party: It was great to meet and chat to the bands. Everyone was so friendly and had a great sense of humor. Sharing anecdotes, memories and jokes. From talking to the bands they seemed to enjoy the show as much as their fans Luckily, I met someone from each of the bands and got a few photos with them.
It was great to celebrate 35 years of The Quireboys. With their unique style, skillfully combining classic hard rock, with blues and glam rock influences. Spike was dressed to the nines in full pirate swagger. And up to his usual antics on stage, dancing and twirling the mic stand around. Showing even after 35 years he is still as passionate about his music as the first day.