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  QUIREBOYS ALBUM REVIEW AND INTERVIEW
'Beautiful Curse'
(Off Yer Rocka Records)

Roger Berzerk Fauske

Roger Berzerk Fauske



quireboys

It is almost 25 years since I first saw the Quireboys supporting the mighty Aerosmith at the equally mighty Hammy O. One of the new breed of UK bands along with the likes of Thunder that were poised for greatness until the abhorrence known as grunge reared its ugly head.

They have had the odd break since then of course but for the last ten or so years they have been back, doing what they did best and what they still do best – writing damn fine songs and strutting their stuff on stages big and small. Quireboys always were unmistakeably themselves, no pretentious heads stuck up their arses like far too many in the music industry.

Article continues below...



So what about their first studio release for all of five years? As guitarist Guy Griffin told me, the album title 'Beautiful Curse' sums up life on the road with music, a wonderful thing for those that get to live it tinged with long periods away from home. Curse it may be but beautiful it most definitely is.

On first listen the album is just what you would expect from the band – not that they are predictable but you can guarantee shooting from the hip rock 'n' roll that brings a smile to the old boat race and gets your feet twitching. But there is a lot of depth to this one, they are quite clearly doing what they want to without any outside interference (yes execs, that's you) and the result is as good as anything they have done since the seminal 'A Bit Of What You Fancy' back in 1990.

Spike is, well, Spike, his voice always instantly recognisable but you get the sense that on this one he is more relaxed, more passionate and the emotion flowing from that gives even more gravitas to his voice. His voice may not seem to be a powerful as it was but that is more than made up for by the passion. Musically it is a clever album with something new on nearly every listen, a sign of seasoned songwriters and musicians but never detracting from what the band is all about.

quireboys

First up is 'Too Much Of A Good Thing' and there is nothing like a good old fashioned bit of rock n' roll to kick things off. Guitar riff to get your body shaking, vocals causing more foot stomping than is healthy, chorus inducing even the most lethargic to leap around like a rabid wolverine on heat.

This is the Quireboys doing what they do better than anyone else and if they ever gain independence it would suit well as their anthem. There is a moral too – you definitely can't have too much of a good thing.

Health advice comes next in the form of 'Chain Smokin''. Another classic riffing piece of rock, sleazy undertones pulling it along by the proverbials. "Don't preach to me, I'm chain smokin'" - personally I'm off down the pub and if anyone complains about my smoking habits, I'm happy in the knowledge I have Spike on my side.

'Talk Of The Town' slows things down just a little, more a meander than a torrent. The keyboards on this one adding an extra level especially on the chorus, guitar perfectly leading the track into a slower tempo before it rises back at the end.

'Mother Mary' is next to hit my ears and starts off with a melody full of remorse and sorrow, thoughts echoed by the lyrics and Spike's delivery just reinforces the feeling. Don't listen to this if you are prone to slipping into the melancholy – it will get you. Ain't that what music is meant to do? Music, vocals and lyrics combine to talk to you, suggest... this is a true ballad, not the all too common lightweight pap that doubles as a filler. A very memorable song.

'King Of Fools' takes us back up to the sound probably most associated with the band, rock and roll keys a plenty, bar room boogie thrown in. It must be party time and they are buying.

'Homewreckers And Heartbreakers' starts off with infectious keyboards, riff getting down, dirty and funky, vocals pulling it along before the slide guitar adds even more and it is beautifully done. Musically this is a masterpiece, the transitions are almost imperceptible and there are plenty of them here, but none of them are forced. The Quireboys were once described as the UK's answer to Poison – Poison in their wildest dreams couldn't come close to this.

'Diamonds And Dirty Stones' does actually have a bit of the Stones about it, that's the Rolling ones rather than anything sparkly. Funky guitar coming in over the drums, vocals sliding in – Spike involved in a six-string conversation, a song in a song, before it settles into its rhythm before the chorus brings it back out again, catchy lyrical melody backed by equally memorable guitar, the two perfectly in tune, emotionally and musically. You get the feeling these guys know what each other is thinking without needing a conversation.

Guitar goes off on a monologue, a great solo, before filtering back seamlessly to the song. This is a very well written and crafted song but it could have gone stratospheric if the production matched, but more about that later. Suffice to say it's a case of class coming through in spite of, not because of the production. Simon Hansen's drumming on this one too is the perfect foil, leaving room for the guitars to do their business without ever overloading the song.

So to the title track 'Beautiful Curse'. Cowbell initiating the song, guitar riff piling in, organ completing the sound as it swoons, breaking through before the vocals kick in. A superbly smooth intro, musically complete. "Searching for some piece of mind, searching for the truth, heading to the promised land... I've been blessed, I've been cursed." Spike sums up the mixed sentiments of what they do, what musicians do.

The infectious riff and keyboard patterns stamp their mark on the song all the way through, vocal melody and lyrics filled with the genuine feeling of a double edged sword. It's not all wine and roses but you can't go against what is inside you.

'Don't Fight It' starts off slowly, piano letting you know the mood, vocals tinged with sorrow and pain, organ again filling the space during the chorus, understated guitar pulling on the heart strings. This type of song is hardly a new concept but where Spike and co do so well is by keeping the song simple, keeping it under control and not going in the templated rock ballad direction.

Hell I wouldn't even call this a ballad. This talks to you from the heart as only music can, music that comes from the heart.

'For Crying Out Loud' lifts the spirits from the first riff and from the first growl of "Hey" you know what is coming. Drums build, bar room keys and rock n roll guitar again doing what they do best. Pure Quireboys this one, and it is sometimes easy to forget just how hard this kind of music is to get right. They just do it so well it is easy to get blasé about it, and the best bit is this crosses all genres.

'Twenty Seven Years' is an intriguing song, straightforward on the surface but there is a lot to this one. Guitar kicks straight in, upbeat musically, reflective vocally and lyrically. "I've made it through the tears of 27 years" is tinged with both relief and sadness about those who didn't during that time – 27 years is about the time the boys have been together as a band. Stirring stuff indeed.

So to the closer, 'I Died Laughing', a medium pacer, organ again coming to prominence during the intro, guitar changing down, vocals again packed full of thought and emotion. This one just goes to show how mature the band now is, how they have grown and how varied their musical resume now is.

So there you have it, the first one for FIVE years and if the result were the same with every band I would strongly suggest that is the perfect interval between albums. In truth though this has not been five years in the making, they spend so much time doing what rock bands live to do, touring, and armed with new management and label, the time was right. As Guy told me the chances are they won't be waiting five years for the next one. Cue loud cheers and sighs of relief.

The most impressive aspect of this album is the immense diversity on offer, this is an album for both musicians and music lovers. Even more impressive is that it is transparent none of the songs are anything other than from the band's heart, from the very soul of who they are and that is refreshing in these days of corporate entanglement. Honesty in music is as important as anything else and this is integrity personified.

From a personal point of view, this has put a smile on my face in the same way that the latest Queensryche offering did. Both bands and their music went hand in hand with my depraved youth and it's of great comfort to know my middle aged depravity (yes I am old enough to know better but I choose to ignore that) is being accompanied by some familiarity.

Down sides? Musically nothing whatsoever, but I do have an issue with some of the production. In some places the drum sound is almost as lifeless as a Coldplay gig and there is that feeling that the live sound of the band that is an essence of them has been dumbed down – it is all a little flat on occasion. It is not badly produced as such, just not to my mind suited to this band. But I don't want to dwell on that too long and distract from what is a damn fine album. Neither am I going to dwell on the well publicised rhythm section departure.

Most of you know all about The Quireboys but if you were in any doubt about their credibility now, then you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

This is as good as any album I have come across this year so get hold of it however you can and get out and see them, twice. Superb songs, down to earth guys, great musicianship – don't you just hate some people!




beer beer beerbeerbeer
(and that half is down to the production)


9.7.13













 

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"Metal music can be seen as cultural good for fans and thereby can form part of their social identity."

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD STILL RUNNING DOWN THE HIGHWAY: PHIL, MIKKEY AND EDDIE ALL GEARED UP FOR FORTHCOMING DATES
"Every snare hit I do from now on until the end of my career will be a small tribute to Lemmy..."

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN'S STEVE HARRIS DROPS THE PRICE OF HIS ESSEX MANSION BY £1MILLION
The eight-bedroom mansion was on the market for £6.75million in 2012 but it's "guide price" is now a mere £3.95million...

hrh aor ALL GUNS BLAZING FOR NEW HRH AOR 5 ANNOUNCEMENT
Phil Lewis & Tracii Guns unite under the L.A. Guns banner once again for next year's HRH AOR 5 being held next March at Camp HRH in North Wales...

deep purple DEEP PURPLE 'LIVE AT THE NEC' DVD ON THE WAY: FAREWELL JON, WELCOME DON
The two share keyboard duties during the night in a very fitting "passing-of-the-torch" moment...

status quo ROCK 'TIL YOU DROP WITH STATUS QUO 1981-1986 VINYL BOX SET
In addition to the studio albums the box set will include an extra disc of b-sides and extended mixes...

zz top ZZ TOP TO RELEASE THEIR VERY FIRST OFFICIAL LIVE ALBUM IN SEPTEMBER
"In an abstract surrealism style, this collection is a definitive chronicle of the band hangin' together for four plus deluxe decades..."

tygers of pan tang TYGERS OF PAN TANG "SPECIAL TIME" HAS COME WITH NEW RELEASE
"The new Tygers album is finished, done and dusted and ready to unleash on our 'Tygertastic' audience. You're gonna love this one, it's a MONSTER..."

andy fraser ANDY FRASER OF FREE'S LAST RECORDING WITH SAIICHI SUGIYAMA ONLINE HERE
"'Melting Away' became one of Andy's last recordings. He still had so much to offer and I was really looking forward to continuing to work with him."

ritchie blackmore RITCHIE BLACKMORE'S RAINBOW TO PLAY AGAIN BUT WITH LESS DEEP PURPLE SONGS
"I would do probably ninety-five percent Rainbow songs; that's what they seem to want to hear. And it didn't occur to me. I just naturally assumed they wanted to hear everything."

saxon EXCLUSIVE: THIS IS WHAT OUR FAVOURITE ROCKERS THINK OF THE CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE
Comment from Saxon, Slash, Thunder, Iron Maiden, Uli Jon Roth, Hawkwind, Cher, Johnny Rotten, Machine Head And More...

beyond the black UK EXCLUSIVE: BEYOND THE BLACK SINGER JENNIFER HABEN IS LOST IN FOREVER AS FIVE MEMBERS DEPART THE BAND
"I have enjoyed the time together with the guys very much and am grateful for everything we have achieved together in Germany. I am currently looking for new colleagues..."

cats in space CATS IN SPACE SET TO RELEASE SLADE CLASSIC WITH DANNY BOWES OF THUNDER ON GUEST VOCALS
"It's is one of my favourite Slade songs, so when they asked me to sing on their version it took me a good second and a half to say yes..."

guns n roses WAS BREAKING NEWS: GUNS N' ROSES ADD MORE TOUR DATES FOR OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER
The Gunners' newly announced dates are for South America with ten dates in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Colombia with more to be announced soon...

keith moon YOU WON'T GET FOOLED WITH OFFICIAL KEITH MOON COMMEMORATIVE DRUM HEAD
Manufactured as a special, custom product by Remo, these 14" high-gloss drum heads are a perfect collector's item for true fans of the legendary drummer and The Who...

the answer WAS BREAKING NEWS: THE ANSWER AND THE DEAD DAISIES ANNOUNCE NOVEMBER UK TOUR
"The fact that we get to debut this new material with our mates The Dead Daisies just adds to the rush we're currently experiencing. You really don't want to miss this one!"

ian gillan IAN GILLAN SAYS: "IT'S A WONDERFUL THING, VINYL..." WITH NEW COLLECTION ABOUT TO BE RELEASED
"You just bought something significant, not easily disposable. And look at the sleeves - aren't they cool..."

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS NEW ALBUM ON THE WAY: "THE LYRICS ON THE TITLE TRACK ARE SOME OF SPIKE'S BEST EVER!"
"I approached the songwriting from a different angle and it felt good. There's a lot of passion there."

48 hours 48 HOURS TO ROCK THE UK TO A CITY OF ASHES
"We're hitting the road in September for a co-headline tour with our broseph's City Of Ashes! This will be one of the unsigned tours of the year!"

hammerfall WAS BREAKING NEWS: LIVE LIFE LOUD WITH HAMMERFALL ON 2017 EUROPEAN TOUR: NEW ALBUM ON THE WAY
"We can't wait to get back on stage again to have a gigantic Heavy Metal party every night with all our Templar friends!"

joe perry AEROSMITH GUITARIST JOE PERRY REPORTEDLY SUFFERS HEART ATTACK DURING HOLLYWOOD VAMPIRES GIG
"Thanks to everyone asking about our brother Joe Perry," Alice Cooper wrote. "He is stable right now, with family and is under the best care."

onslaught ONSLAUGHT, BEHOLDER AND ANIHILATED TOUR PROMISES TO BE A TOUR DE FORCE
"By the time we hit the road in November it will be well over two-and-a-half years since we did the last run and we feel the time is now right..."

arw ARW (JON ANDERSON, TREVOR RABIN AND RICK WAKEMAN) ANNOUNCE BAND FOR UPCOMING WORLD TOUR
"I have played with arguably the three greatest bass players ever and I can't wait to play with one of them again!"

marillion MARILLION UNVEIL 'THE NEW KINGS' FROM FORTHCOMING STUDIO ALBUM 'FEAR'
'The New Kings' can also be heard on Marillion's current tour which starts on Monday 11th July in Barcelona...

michael des barres AN AMERICAN WRITER ASKS WHY IT TAKES A BRITISH EX-PAT TO ASK, "WHAT'S GOING ON?" MICHAEL DES BARRES HAS THE ANSWER
This incendiary cover of Marvin Gaye's classic confronts America's issues in an incredibly timely and head-on manner...

freedom call FREEDOM CALL RELEASE A NEW METAL HYMN 'HAMMER OF THE GODS', AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD NOW
The trademark bold vocal harmonies remain. The track is taken from forthcoming opus 'Master Of Light'...

guns n roses STEVEN ADLER JOINS GUNS N' ROSES ON STAGE IN OHIO: FOUR FIFTHS OF 'APPETITE' LINE-UP PLAY TOGETHER FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1990
"On the drums, you might know this guy. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Steven Adler..."

ac dc AC/DC BASSIST CLIFF WILLIAMS TO RETIRE AFTER ROCK OR BUST WORLD TOUR: "IT'S BEEN SURREAL"
"AC/DC has been... you know, just... I don't know what else I would wanna do. I love the music and I love playing in the band, and I'm all filled up..."

guns n roses GUNS N' ROSES USE THEIR ILLUSION TO SILENCE THE DOUBTERS WITH US TOUR GOING SO FINE
Axl is clearly in his element on this tour, running across the stage to jump on the monitors mid-song and displaying all the panache of a man completely on top of his game...

stray del bromham STRAY TO ROAM AROUND THE UK ON TOUR INCLUDING A RARE REUNION OF THE ORIGINAL LINE-UP
No need to move a mountain as both Stray and Del Bromham's Blues Devils are on their way to a venue near you...

amorettes THE AMORETTES ANNOY THE NEIGHBOURS WITH RAUCOUS NEW SINGLE
'Let The Neighbours Call The Cops' was co- written by vocalist Gill Montgomery and Black Star Riders front man Ricky Warwick...

eagles of death metal WAS BREAKING NEWS: EAGLES OF DEATH METAL WANT YOU SO BAD ON TWO UK DATES IN AUGUST
This is EODM's first visit to the UK since the band were caught up in the terrible events at The Bataclan Theatre in Paris back in November 2015...

soil SOiL 'SHINE ON' THE UK WITH COMPREHENSIVE TOUR
"We are looking forward to seeing some new places and making some new friends this time around..."

acid reign ACID REIGN GET IN FESTIVE MOOD EARLY WITH SPECIAL GIG ANNOUNCEMENT
'Tis the season to Thrash as Acid Reign team up with Shrapnel with far from obnoxious results...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN: LEGACY OF THE BEAST MOBILE RPG GAME IS OUT NOW
"We've always wanted to make a quality Maiden mobile game as we think the combination of Eddie and the music is so well suited..."

rick parfitt status quo EXCLUSIVE: STATUS QUO'S RICK PARFITT SEEMS TO BE 'FINE FINE FINE' AS HE IS SPOTTED OUT AND ABOUT
Following the recent health scare a picture has emerged online of him taking a walk in Kingston over the weekend...

bullet for my valentine BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE TO PLAY 'THE POISON' IN FULL FOR THE FIRST EVER TIME
"We promised you something special right? See 'The Poison' played in full for the first time in Manchester! Tickets on sale now here..."

alter bridge WAS BREAKING NEWS: ALTER BRIDGE TO HEADLINE ARENAS ACROSS EUROPE THIS WINTER WITH GOJIRA AND VOLBEAT
This will be their biggest headline tour yet with twenty-four dates across fifteen countries, kicking off on November 4th 2016

the mission WAS BREAKING NEWS: BAUHAUS FRONTMAN PETER MURPHY TO GUEST WITH THE MISSION ON THEIR 30th ANNIVERSARY UK TOUR
"Peter's appearance will help make these shows the special events that we always wanted and hoped they'd be..."

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN ILLUSTRATOR DESIGNS SHIRT FOR ONE DIRECTION'S ZAYN MALIK, MAIDEN LAUNCH THIRD TROOPER BEER AND HI-ON-MAIDEN TO HEADLINE PICCSTOCK
A full-bodied beer using a blend of chocolate and crystal malts to give "a roasted malt and caramel backbone with hints of liquorice and honey"...

bruce dickinson BRUCE DICKINSON TO TAKE PART IN TOP GEAR STYLE CHARITY ROAD TRIP
"The enthusiasm from the group is amazing which will lend itself to making it an unforgettable trip..."

anvil WAS BREAKING NEWS: ANVIL ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPEAN TOUR FOR OCTOBER/NOVEMBER
Anvil will not only be playing dates in Scotland and Wales but also English towns which rarely see major international artists, such as Huddersfield, Doncaster and Grimsby.

status quo IT'S TIME TO GET 'DOWN DOWN' TO BUTLINS AS SECOND STATUS QUO FAN CLUB CONVENTION IS ANNOUNCED
The weekend will feature live music from ex-Quo drummer John Coghlan and his band with long time friend of the band, Jackie Lynton also scheduled to appear...

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