The Joiners, Southampton

the Quireboys

It’s been years since The Quireboys were at the peak of their fame and to be honest, I was never that into their music. I jumped at the chance to go and see them, however, because it’s always interesting to see how a band continue to reinvent themselves when they’ve been going for over 20 years.

The Joiners was busy and there was a mix of ages present, although it was predominantly an older audience that greeted support act Curran, who are usually a five piece band. As the whole gig was “Unplugged and Upfront”, there were only two guys on stage, both wielding acoustic guitars. Lead singer Mark Curran is a permanent member of the band but he was accompanied on backing vocals by Matt Pearce of London rockers Voodoo Six. The crowd were appreciative and it was clear that both of them were enjoying their performance, putting in a solid acoustic set which featured covers of Bon Jovi’s “Blood on Blood” and Thin Lizzy’s “Rosalie”. By the time Mark and Matt wrapped their set with the new Curran single “Run Back to You”, the audience was well and truly warmed up for the main act.

Curran 1

Wise-cracking from the start of the set, Quireboys front man Spike appeared to be on fine form and interacted well with the crowd. We learned during the course of the set that it was his birthday the day before and as the set went on, I was surprised at how intimate the gig felt, mainly because of the banter; it was more like a jam in someone’s front room than an actual show.

The first song was “Don’t Bite The Hand That Feeds You”, Spike’s harmonica sounding loud and clear through the PA. He still has the same distinctive, raspy voice and the audience laughed along with him as he retrieved his forgotten set list from the table behind him, constantly sipping from a pint. The third track was “Beautiful Curse” from the album of the same name, which was released last year and judging from the crowd reaction, and Spikes subsequent thanking of the audience for buying it, The Quireboys clearly still have an army of fervent fans, some of whom were in the room.

The Quireboys

The Quireboys 123

Next up was “There She Goes Again”, which the crowd loved. Before he took his jacket off, Spike took the carnation from the buttonhole and passed it to a lady in the front row, clearly enjoying himself, sipping yet another pint. The set rolled along nicely and he whipped the crowd up for “Hello”, then it was straight into “Misled”, again a very popular choice. Keyboardist Keith did a great solo and I started to enjoy the set at this point, although it was a bit unfortunate when guitarist Paul Guerin suffered technical difficulties due to a broken string. He couldn’t use his spare because of battery and mic issues, but the show went on whilst he added a new string to the first guitar. Spike dedicated new track “Mother Mary”, from the new album to his Mum, before penultimate song “7 O’clock” again had the audience dancing and clapping along. The set ended with “I Don’t Love You Anymore” and the band left the stage to rapturous applause after entreating everyone to go and say hello and have a drink with them in the bar.

the Quireboys

Overall, The Quireboys were engaging, funny and note-perfect. I got the impression that they’re living the dream all over again and grateful to be doing so; to be honest, they’re very good at what they do and fair play to them for successfully translating 80’s songs and style into an acoustic extravaganza fit for 2014.

Set List
Don’t Bite The Hand That Feeds
Devil Of A Man
Beautiful Curse
There She Goes Again
Roses & Rings
Mona Lisa Smiled
Twenty Seven Years
Whipping Boy
Pretty Girls
Have A Drink On Me
Love This Dirty Town
Hates To Please
Chain Smokin’
Mother Mary
7 0’Clock
I Don’t Love You Anymore


Web Links

Words By Vikkie Richmond
Pictures & Videos By Dave “predominantly an older audience” Chinery (Chinners).

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